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LILLEY REMOVES BENEFIT RIGHTS FROM POLITICAL REFUGEES

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Social security minister Peter Lilley has announced plans to curb benefit entitlements to asylum seekers and other ...
Social security minister Peter Lilley has announced plans to curb benefit entitlements to asylum seekers and other persons from abroad.

Under the proposals, asylum seekers who make no claim until after they have arrived in the UK would not be entitled to benefits. And asylum seekers who claim at their point of entry to the UK would cease to be eligible for benefits if their claim is refused by the asylum division of the Home Office rather than, as now, from the time their appeal is rejected.

Other changes affect sponsored immigrants and also other persons from abroad who claim non-contributory benefits.

There will be transitional arrangements for asylum claimants already in receipt of benefit at 11 October 1995. They will be able to retain entitlement to benefit up until a negative decision is made on their case.

Any negative Home Office decisions on asylum applications made between 12 October and the date the regulations come into force will result in benefit ceasing as soon as practicable after the latter date.

Sponsored immigrants who come to this country on condition that they will be maintained by a sponsor, and those given leave to remain on the understanding they will not be a charge on public funds, will, in future, not be entitled to most benefits.

The department of social security currently pays asylum seekers at the Urgent Case rate, which equates to 90% of the income support personal allowance. They are entitled to full housing benefit and council tax benefit.

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