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BASW calls for NRPF to be suspended during Covid-19

All vulnerable individuals should receive vital support during the coronavirus crisis.

BASW calls for the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition to be suspended by government, so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive financial support during the Covid-19 outbreak.

No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) is a condition imposed by immigration law. Individuals who are NRPF are not entitled to claim Universal Credit, Income Support, Child Benefit and other welfare entitlements.

Covid-19 has resulted in many people losing their work, and without a financial safety net many people who are subject to NRPF are extremely vulnerable.

In making this call BASW is supporting the Local Government Association, in its call for suspension of No Recourse to Public Funds during COVID-19 crisis so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive support during the coronavirus crisis.

BASW will be issuing a fuller statement and guidance on NRPF shortly.

Further information on NRPF

Under the human rights legislation, individuals with NRPF are entitled to financial support if ‘destitute’ a specific legal term meaning: ‘they do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not their other essential living needs are met) or; have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it but cannot meet their other essential living needs[i]’.

There is a high threshold to meet the human rights eligibility criteria.

The NRPF condition applies to individuals and families across the UK and is not an issue that is devolved from the UK Parliament to the Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly or Welsh Senedd.

There will be different interpretations of the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. BASW is defining the length of the Covid-19 outbreak as the duration of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Act currently expires in April 2022.

Central government effectively passes on the costs of supporting people with NRPF to local government, who have already suffered ten years of income reductions. 

 

[i] P. 6 Home Office (2019) Assessing Destitution. London: Home Office