City, town and village > Social > How Do Social Benefits Work in the UK?


How to apply for benefits in the UK

The UK government supports its citizens to ease the pressure of raising children, paying for education, or starting over in the case of refugees. It offers an array of programs that enable UK nationals to enjoy state kickbacks that make life a little easier. Here’s a list of some of the financial benefits you can access if you are a UK citizen or a refugee taking asylum in the country.

How to apply for  benefits in the UK

Child Benefit

The child benefit is a weekly or monthly stipend from the government to help offset expenses for children under your care. This money is sent to parents and guardians of children below 16 years. You can get this funding for children under 20 years, but only if they stay in approved education or training institutions.

Guardians interested in receiving these benefits can apply online. You can choose to apply on the website or download the forms and fill them out offline. Attach original copies of the child’s birth certificate, travel documents, adoption certificate, bank statements, copies of your identification details, and any other relevant documents. Submit your application, post it or email it to the appropriate individuals for processing. It may take up to 16 weeks to complete your application.


Working parents have a challenging time finding the right place to leave their young ones, so the government assists parents and guardians by providing childcare and sourcing the most affordable childcare centres for children of varying ages.

When applying for childcare, you must provide information about your working hours, the child’s age, disabilities, and birth dates. The service is available for children between 3 and 4 years. You can get 15 hours of free childcare if your child is two years old. However, this depends on particular circumstances. Parents can get childcare for children under 18 if they apply for:

  • • Help while studying
  • Universal credits
  • • Tax credits
  • • Tax-free childcare

Student Finance

A student finance loan is a provision given to undergraduate university students to help them pay their tuition fees. Eligible students should be studying a qualifying course or be in a qualifying university. They should also be Wales, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, and Scotland nationals or members of the EU.

You must apply if you have a confirmed university to join, not later than nine months after beginning the course. You should provide your UK passport, EU settlement scheme code, or non-UK passport to authenticate your identity. Students can apply online after setting up an account. A successful application takes up to 6 weeks to process.

Housing Benefit

If you have a low income, you’re unemployed, or you are claiming state benefits, a housing benefit comes in handy to help you offset your rent payment. You are only eligible for this benefit if you’ve reached the state pension age or live in temporary, supported, or sheltered housing.

You can apply for this benefit through your local council or as part of your pension credit claim. You should contact the pension service to claim if you opt for the pension credit route. Both options are available online, and you should have an account before commencing the application process.

Refugee Integration Loan

The refugee integration loan is a stipend given to individuals taking asylum in the UK to pay for necessities like rent, household items, and training or education. This fund is available to people above 18 years old, are refugees, have humanitarian protection, or are dependents of a refugee or a person with humanitarian protection.

You can receive between £100 - £500 if you apply alone and between £100 - £780 if you apply with your partner. You can repay the loan six weeks after receiving the first payment. Applicants must provide their biometric residence permit, home office reference number, bank or building society account details, and national insurance number.

You can also read:

- How to Get Disability Benefits

- How to Apply for Bereavement Support