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What other forms of social support/welfare should I know about? (Buddy systems, etc.) Who is eligible? How does someone apply?
A full list of UK benefits can be found here (official government website) and here (Citizens Advice).
Are there any social benefits I can claim such as child support?
You may be eligible for help with childcare costs if you are using "approved childcare". Approved childcare includes registered childminders, nannies, play-schemes and nurseries.
You may be eligible for up to £2000 a year of tax-free childcare. This scheme involves the Government contributing towards the costs of childcare, reducing the tax you would otherwise pay. To receive tax-free childcare, you will have to set up an online childcare account. For every £8 you pay into the account, the government will pay in £2 (up to the maximum £2000 a year) for you to use to pay your childcare provider. Anywhere in the UK:
Are there any social benefits for pregnant and nursing women?
There are two types of maternity payment schemes in the UK.
Statutory maternity pay - this is paid by your employer.
If you do not qualify for statutory maternity pay, you may qualify for maternity allowance. To claim, visit your local Jobcentre Plus .
You do not need to be a British citizen to qualify for either of the above maternity pay schemes, but you will need to meet the criteria applicable.
You may be entitled to a one off payment of £500 (or £500 per baby, if you have multiple births). To be eligible, you must be:
If you are a refugee, you may be able to claim the maternity grant if you had your child(ren) before you arrived in the UK (you must claim before the date your child is six months old). To claim, follow these links:
If you live in Scotland, you may be entitled to 3 one-off payments at different stages in your child's life:
You may also be entitled to the Best Start Foods prepaid card which can be used to buy healthy food items such as fruit and milk. To be eligible, you must be pregnant or have a child under 3.
The Healthy Start Scheme (All UK except Scotland) provides food vouchers and vitamins to pregnant women and parents receiving certain qualifying benefits. To qualify, you must be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4.
Women who are pregnant or within 12 months of giving birth are eligible for free NHS prescriptions and dental care. To apply, ask your doctor or midwife for a form FW8. Send the completed form to your local health authority. Please refer to the next section of this document for further details on Healthcare in the UK.
Are there specific social supports available to me if I am elderly?
If you have reached pension age (66 years) and have low income, you might be eligible for the Pension Credit.
You’ll be eligible if either:
A partner is either:
When you apply for Pension Credit your income is calculated. If you have a partner, your income is calculated together. Pension Credit tops up:
As well as help with daily living costs of up to £182.60 per week for single people and £278.70 for couples, Pension Credit also opens up access to other support, such as help with rent and council tax, heating bills, free NHS dental care and free TV licenses for the over-75s.
The easiest way for Ukrainian nationals to apply for Pension Credit is by phone and the department has made translation services available to help new arrivals with their applications. The Freephone number: 0800 99 1234, is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
You can find more information about the Pension Credit here .
Are there specific social supports available to me if I have a disability?
There are a number of disability-related financial support systems in the UK, including benefits, tax reliefs and credits, grants, concessions and other payments. A full list of these benefits can be accessed here .
As a result of emergency regulations recently put in place by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ukrainian refugees are able to access benefits - including disability-related benefits, such as Universal Credit, Child Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance - as soon as they are within the UK.
How to apply for disability-related benefits depends on the benefit you are seeking to claim. Guidance on how to claim some of the more common disability-related benefits is below:
The UK benefits system can be complex. If you are unsure which benefits you may be eligible for or are having difficulty applying for benefits, Citizens Advice provides free advice through volunteers and guidance on benefits schemes in the UK.
If you know somebody in need of a wheelchair or mobility equipment, the Red Cross hires out equipment for short-term use. The service is free to Ukrainian refugees. Call 0300 456 1914, or visit redcross.org.uk/wheelchair .