Criteria for backdating income support

A permitted period of up to 13 weeks may be allowed in which a claimant can look for work in his or her usual occupation, if s/he had one before coming to the UK.

If it is necessary to get qualifications accepted in the UK, this should also be stated in the jobseeker's agreement.

Once they are granted refugee status, they may be offered a tenancy on the same or similar basis, including a substantial charge for furniture.A refugee, however, is only legally and technically a person who has been recognised as such by the UK government under the 1951 Geneva Convention.The distinction and terminology can be important because there are special benefit rules that only apply to 'refugees'.The groups of people eligible for income support has been squeezed in recent years with the introduction of employment and support allowance and the lone-parent changes, but refugees who are learning English in order to find employment remain an eligible category.2Until recently, it was rare to find someone who met the criteria, as the course must start within the first year of coming to the UK and the average time taken for an asylum decision was far longer.3Decisions are now being made more quickly, however, and although the majority are negative, it is possible to find someone granted refugee status within a year of arrival in the UK.If the refugee can find a suitable course learning English for more than 15 hours a week, s/he is entitled to income support for up to nine months while attending the course.

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