Thank you for contacting me on behalf of the charity Refugee Action about asylum support payments.
Those who arrive in the UK to establish their family life must do so on a basis that prevents burdens on the state and the wider taxpayer. It is a key principle that those who benefit from the state should contribute towards it.
The Government takes the wellbeing of all those in the asylum system extremely seriously. Asylum seekers are provided with accommodation and support to meet their essential living needs if they would otherwise be destitute, whilst their claim is considered. Support includes accommodation with no utility bills or council tax to pay, as well as a cash allowance to cover the cost of essential living needs. If they are granted refugee status they have access to public funds and are eligible to receive mainstream benefits in the same way as British citizens and other permanent residents.
The Government have put in place a separate range of measures to specifically support asylum seekers affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Part of these measures ensures those individuals who are provided with accommodation can remain in their current accommodation until the end of June. This includes those granted refugee status or other leave who can access public funds, as well as those whose application for asylum has been refused. The situation will be kept under constant review.
As Coronavirus has been included in the list of infectious diseases, it means that anyone experiencing symptoms, irrespective of their immigration status will be treated free of charge. A dedicated Coronavirus immigration help-centre is available to provide assistance and this can be accessed by emailing CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.
Thank you again for contacting me.