Financial matters under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme can be confusing. We’ve made this resource to help you get a better idea of finances related to the scheme. It’s important that before you arrive in the UK, you understand what financial support is available through the scheme. We’ve also made a guide to help you better understand the cost of living in the UK.
When you arrive, the Local Authority in your area will provide you with a £200 initial cash payment while you wait for your bank accounts and benefits to process. If you are coming as a family unit, each member of the family will receive £200, no matter how old they are. This is paid in cash or as a pre-paid card.
You’ll need to open a bank account as soon as you arrive. The Refugee Council have put together a comprehensive guide to help refugees navigate opening a bank account. Although you will not be granted refugee status, it will still be useful.
To set up a bank account, you’ll need to use your host’s address. They are already aware of this, so it is likely that they can support you with the process.
In the first month of arriving, you will be able to apply for benefits. This will be Universal Credit for people under the age of 66, and Pension Credit for anyone over the age of 66.
Keep in mind that benefits can take 6-8 weeks to process.
Universal Credit is a benefits system for anyone of working age in the UK to help with your living costs. You will be able to access this for as long as you need it, and as long as you are eligible to.
Pension Credit is a benefit system for anyone over the working age in the UK to help with your living costs.
Depending on your current situation, you may also be eligible for other benefits in the UK.
The amount you receive from any benefits system will be dependent on your income. You’ll need to update the government on your income during your time in the UK. You’ll be eligible for these benefits if you are living in the UK and meet the income requirements. That means, that if when your sponsorship ends, you do not have the financial means to move out, you may be able to find extra benefits support from your local authority. Keep in mind that this may be capped by the benefits cap in the UK.
Your hosts will be able to receive a £350 thank you payment for every month that they host you, for up to 12 months. They will not be able to charge you any rent for the duration of your stay.
Your hosts have no obligation or responsibility to support you financially. Some may wish to do so, but this will be their individual choice.
Your hosts are not able to charge you for any rent while they a hosting you. If they choose to let you stay with them after 12 months, they will be able to ask you to contribute to rent, but this is dependent on everyone.
Your hosts can, however, ask you for a contribution towards utility bills. You can have a look at our guide on utility prices across the UK to have a better idea of what this could look like. You can also look on numbeo.com for a more comprehensive report of costs in your area.