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No recourse to public funds

Information for social workers and professionals about no recourse to public funds, our procedures, duties and responsibilities.

A person who has no recourse to public funds (NRPF) is subject to immigration control and generally will not be able to access financial help from the Government. This includes most benefits and housing assistance.

Certain households may be eligible for support from our social services departments. Council staff will treat you humanely and respectfully, regardless of your country of origin or immigration status.

Who can apply?

There are three main groups who can apply for assistance:

  • Families who are destitute or who are at risk of being destitute. This includes families who are experiencing homelessness or who are struggling to meet their family’s essential needs.
  • Single adults with care needs. This includes adults with complex needs who require care and support due to a disability.
  • Young people leaving care. Young people who have been looked after by the local authority.

How can you apply for help?

Families or practitioners can make a referral to our Multi Agency Support team (MASH). MASH provides a single point of access to the services that help keep children safe. You can call 020 8314 6660 or email mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk.

Adults or practitioners can make a referral to our Adult Social Care team. Our social care team for adults provides an advice, information and assessment service to those in need. You can call 020 8314 7777 or email gateway@lewisham.gov.uk.

Useful contacts and resources

It may be possible to have your no recourse to public funds restriction lifted if your circumstances change and you are experiencing financial hardship. The Home Office is required to take into account the impact of any restriction on the welfare of children in particular. Find out more information about how to apply.

Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network can provide information, support and advice to people subject to NRPF. You can email info@lrmn.org.uk or call 020 8694 0323. Find out more information about Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network.

Citizens Advice also offer advice on immigration issues and claiming financial support. You can call their freephone advice line on 0800 231 5453 or make an online referral.

You can use the NRPF Network's web tool to find more information about the law covering NRPF entitlements and the rights of individuals and families.