This information is further to Richmond Councils Information Page for Ukrainian Nationals.
It is to add some quick guidance, answer Frequently Asked Questions and other Local guidance .
We will update this page frequently, and highlight any changes/additions HERE
If you have some helpful information/guidance/work arounds that would benefit others – please send these to us using the form at the bottom of this page. There are also dedicated forms for Ukraine nationals, or those supporting under Homes for Ukraine + Family Visa schemes.
What to do first
- Persons arriving under the “Homes for Ukraine” scheme are eligible for a £200 interim payment from the Local Authority whilst claims for benefits/work is organised. – please see the council Website for further Information.
This payment (and the thank you payment) is not available under the “Family” Scheme.
- National Insurance Numbers – To work or claim benefits in the UK you need to have a National insurance Number. If you are going to make a claim for benefits this will also act as your national insurance Application (see below). If you are not going to claim any benefits, you will need to register for a national Insurance Number – This can take around 12 weeks. But you can claim Benefits and begin work whilst awaiting your NI number (see below).
- Bank Accounts – it is best to open a UK bank account as soon as possible (and this will be needed for Benefit Claims). Most Highstreet Banks and some online Banks are offering quicker routes and more support for Ukraine Nationals – you should ask for a “Basic bank Account” in the first instance as this is the account that is easier to be granted under the schemes. It may be helpful to have anything that has an address on it, including if your sponsor attends with ID and proof of address.
- If you have not already done so as part of your application to come to the UK, you should apply for your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) as soon as possible.
- Familiarise yourself with the Governments “welcome pack” which has information on your rights, the processes to follow for your continued stay in the UK, and other useful information.
- Both the “Homes for Ukraine” and “Family” schemes allow you to work in the UK.
There is specific for Employers to check your eligibility, and the changes to the rules for Ukrainians (and their family members)
- Both the “Homes for Ukraine” and “Family” schemes allow you to rent property in the UK. For private rental properties there is specific guidance for Landlords to check e, and the changes to the rules for Ukrainians and their family members).
- You are also automatically eligible for housing advice/assistance through the Local Authority (Council) under housing and homelessness. They can assist you in finding accommodation and will give further advice around your rights to housing. You can see more about Housing services on their website here.
Please note that it is very unlikely that you would be housed/housed quickly into social housing in Richmond as their is very few properties available at any time and quite a large list of residents needing accommodation.
Benefit Checks – WE HAVE OUR OWN BENEFIT CHECKER, WHICH WILL HELP YOU SEE WHAT YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO. When starting this, choose either “British National” or “EU national with settled status / Indefinite Leave to Remain) – any queries, keep your reference number and get in touch.
- Both the “Homes for Ukraine” and “Family” schemes allow instant access to all UK benefits (without meeting existing residence requirement)
- Capital Limits – The Government have stated that Properties owned in Ukraine will be assessed as having a £0 Value as their “real world value” – so owning a property would not put you above the capital threshold.
Any other savings or assets will be assessed on an individual basis, again looking at their “real world value” including accessibility.
- Universal Credit – This is the main benefit to claim for you if you are below Pension Age. If you live with a partner, and at least 1 of you are below pension age, you will need to make a joint claim.
We are seeing evidence of issues verifying Identity online through UC – if there is an “Online Claim”, when you get to the section on ID Verification – Click “I cannot do this online” and you can arrange an in-person appointment.
If their will be issues managing an online claim (ie. Language), or somebody being able to manage their claim themselves in any way – speak to our Specialist help to Claim Service who can walk through the options and help with any claims/issues.
- Pension Credit –
- Child benefit – You can claim child benefit for any child aged under 16, and from 16 up to 19 if they are registered and attending certain education.
An Original Passport must be provided for this if there is not a UK Birth Certificate; but you can backdate a claim for up to 3 months. We would advise making BRP application ASAP to get your documents processed so you can make a claim for Child benefit.
- Personal independence Payment / Disability Living Allowance / Attendance Allowance – you usually have to have an National insurance number for this process to start – If making a claim before your NI number is issued or have claimed a different benefit first – let them know that you are claiming an NI Number already. If you have not applied for a NI number, or another benefit first – this will start your application for an NI number (If the claim-line says you need an NI number – tell them they need to send you a “Clerical Form” – they will check this with their supervisor who will organise this to start your NI application).
- Help with Housing Costs – Rent is not claimable for housing provided under the “Homes for Ukraine” scheme. BUT, after your initial stay, if you are housed by the Local Authority or have sourced your own private rented accommodation you can claim help towards rent costs through universal Credit (Housing benefit if you – and any partner – are over State Pension Age.
You are eligible for Housing costs under the “Family” scheme through Universal Credit (or housing benefit if you (and partner) are over State Pension Age. – but there are rules around eligibility for this if you are renting from a family member – Speak to Our Help to Claim team for further advice on either of these.