For the purposes of the Immigration Rules the following benefits and forms of support count as public funds:
Child tax credit
Council tax benefit
Council tax reduction
Disability living allowance
Housing and homelessness assistance
Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
Income related employment & support allowance – ESA (IR)
Personal independence payment
Severe disablement allowance
Social fund payment
State pension credit
Working tax credit
Please note: Child and Working Tax Credits
These were not included as public benefits until 15 March 2005 therefore applicants who receive these before that date has not breached their conditions of leave.
A British citizen or a person settled in the UK who receives housing from a local authority
can include their partner’s name on the tenancy agreement, even if their partner is subject to immigration control.
Because it is not the person subject to immigration control making the claim they are not considered as claiming public funds.
Claiming through Nationality of Family Members
A person subject to immigration control is not considered as accessing public funds if it is
their partner who is receiving the funds they are entitled to.
Child and working tax credits are claimed jointly by couples. If only one member of a couple is subject to immigration control, then for tax credits purposes, neither are treated as being subject to immigration control.
A person subject to immigration control can claim certain public funds when they have a
right to reside in the UK if they live with a family member who is:
a British citizen, or
a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Benefits and Support that do NOT count as public funds
Benefits not considered as public funds under the Immigration Rules include:
Contribution based jobseeker’s allowance
Contribution-based employment and support allowance (ESA)
Statutory maternity pay
Statutory sickness pay
Widow’s benefit and bereavement benefit
Council tax discounts, such as sole occupancy discounts
National Health Service Treatment
Attending Local Education Authority Schools (public schools)
NHS treatment does not count as public funds for the purposes of the Immigration Rules. Depending on your immigration status you may be entitled to a free treatment or you may have to pay.
However If a person has been granted leave to receive private medical treatment they are not eligible for NHS treatment for the same treatment they were granted leave for.
Attending Public School
The law requires all children of compulsory school age (5-16 years old) to have access to education. Because of this, compulsory school age education does not count as public funds for the purposes of the Immigration Rules.
If a person has been granted leave to study at an independent fee-paying school but studies at a state-funded school instead, they may have breached their conditions of stay in the UK.