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Benefits and Financial Support for Ukrainians

Financial matters under the Homes for Ukraine scheme can be confusing. We have made this resource to help you get a better idea of finances related to the scheme. It is important that before you arrive in the UK, you understand what financial support is available through the scheme. We have also made a guide to help you better understand the cost of living in the UK.

Financial Support for Ukrainians

When you arrive, the Local Authority in your area will provide you with a £200 initial cash payment while you wait for your bank account and benefits to be processed. 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 provided as a pre-paid card.

The first step is to set up a bank account in the UK

You will 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 will 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.

Understanding Benefits in the UK

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 be processed.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefits system for anyone of working age in the UK to help with living costs. You will be able to access this for as long as you need, and if you are eligible to do so.

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is a benefit system for anyone over the working age in the UK to help with your living costs.

Other benefits

Depending on your current situation, you may also be eligible for other benefits in the UK.

Click here to understand more about which benefits are accessible to you.

The amount you receive from any benefits system will be dependent on your income. You will need to update the Government on your income during your time in the UK. You will be eligible for these benefits if you are living in the UK and meet the income requirements. This means that if/when your sponsorship ends, if you do not have the financial means to move into your own accommodation, you may be able to access additional benefit support from your Local Authority. Keep in mind that what you receive may be limited by the benefit cap in the UK.

FAQs on Financial Matters for Ukrainians

What financial support does my host receive?

Sponsors are offered a £350 ‘thank you’ payment a month from the Government for the first 12 months. This increases to £500 once the guest has been in the UK for 12 months, in order to help sponsors who are able to continue hosting for longer. This includes when a sponsor or guest has been rematched, even if it is the sponsor’s first time hosting.

For sponsors hosting an individual(s) on a 36 month visa, they will be eligible to receive thank you payments for up to 36 months. For sponsors hosting an individual(s) on an 18 month visa, they will be eligible to receive thank you payments for up to 18 months.

Will my hosts help me financially?

Your host will have no obligation or responsibility to support you financially. Some may wish to do so, but this will be their individual choice.

Can my hosts ask me for money?

Your host cannot charge you for any rent while they a hosting you. If at any point the hosting arrangement changes from sponsorship to one where rent is charged, then the position will be different, and charge of rent will be included in your formal tenancy agreement.

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 for a more comprehensive report of costs in your area.