Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I access welfare benefits if I have recently moved to the UK?

If you have recently moved to the UK, your entitlement to public funds will depend on the status you have. Generally, citizens with pre-settled status will be asked to prove that they can pass the ‘habitual residence test’ in the UK, which can include showing you have been in the UK for a certain period and that you have been in employment. It is advised that you check your own personal eligibility to state benefits based on your particular circumstances. You can check if you can pass the habitual residence test for benefits purposes here:

While pre-settled status is not an automatic entitlement to welfare benefits, settled status does automatically give you the same rights to welfare as British citizens in the UK - however, there are varying rules depending on the type of welfare benefits.

However, this is subject to a legal challenge, see for more information.