What are Public Funds?

Close-up of hand inserting coin in piggy bank
The term ‘public funds’ has a specific meaning in immigration law and does not include all services funded by public money. 

It is important to know that the NRPF condition only applies to public funds included in the Home Office’s list (see below).

A person whose status in the UK is subject to NRPF isn’t allowed to access any of the ‘public funds’ in the list. However, this also means that the same person can access publicly funded support not included in the list, for example, Scottish Legal Aid Board-funded legal aid, free school meals, early learning childcare support, or access to most NHS services.

Financial support from local authorities under social work or children’s legislation would also not be included as a “public fund” by this definition in immigration law. 
Although local authority housing help can not be accessed, people may still be able to apply for help with social housing or in the private rental sector.

‘Public funds’ for the purposes of Immigration Rules are:​

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income related employment and support allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Social housing and homelessness assistance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • A Payment made from a Welfare Fund under the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015 (including Scottish Welfare Fund)
  • Working Tax Credit

The following benefits administered by Social Security Scotland are also classed as ‘public funds’ for immigration purposes:

  • Adult Disability Payment
  • Carer’s Allowance Supplement
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Child Winter Heating Assistance
  • Funeral Support Payment
  • Job Start Payment
  • Scottish Child Payment
  • Winter Heating Payment

Information taken from Version 19 of the HM Government briefing on Public Funds from October 2023

Examples of funds which are NOT Public funds:

  • Bereavement Support Payment
  • Guardian’s Allowance (if in receipt of Child Benefit)
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • State Pension
  • Statutory Parental Payments
  • Statutory Sick Pay