Homes for Ukraine - Finance, employment and benefits

Ukrainians will receive a six month entry stamp on their passport. This entry stamp is evidence of their right to work, rent, study and claim benefits in the UK. Within six months, Ukrainians will need to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit.

Bank accounts

To open a bank account, guests will usually need to show proof of ID such as passport, biometric residency permit, driver’s licence, or recognised identity card. Some banks ask for proof of address although this is not required by law - the government is working with them to encourage them to relax this requirement.

Several banks confirm how they can support and open a current account:

Charging rent

You should not charge any rent. We appreciate people’s generosity and do know that there will be costs associated with helping, and so the Government is providing an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more household (subject to the accommodation they have). This will be paid to you from North Northamptonshire Council.

The ‘thank you’ payment is limited to one payment per residential address. You will continue to receive payments for as long as you sponsor somebody and for up to 12 months. This payment will be made in arrears.

The UK government is ensuring ‘thank you payments’ do not affect benefit entitlement and will remain tax-free. Prior to payment, checks will be carried out which will include a visit to your home by North Northamptonshire Council officers.

Council tax discounts

Council tax discounts will not be affected if you sponsor and host a Ukrainian household in your home.

The government offering £350 a month ‘thank you’ payment to all sponsors will not affect any council tax discounts.

Benefits and work

The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs. The government has confirmed that people fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the UK can claim benefits immediately (without taking residency test) and will be able to take up employment.

If a customer is struggling to make a claim online, there are experts ready to help refugees at your local job centre:

  • Kettering
  • Corby
  • Wellingborough
  • Rushden

Benefits that can be claimed include:

  • Universal Credit: Payments for those of working age, to help with your living costs if you’re on a low income. You could be working (including self-employed or part time) or be out of work. Ukrainian refugees will be able to access Universal Credit immediately i.e. they will not need to undertake an Habitual Residency Test (HRT)
  • Pension Credit: Money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age which is 66 in the UK and on a low income
  • Disability benefits: Money to help with additional costs for those who have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • Carer’s Allowance: Money if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week
  • Child Benefit: Money to help with the cost of raising a child.

Housing benefit

The sponsorship scheme assumes no rent will be paid.

Where someone wishes to rent privately, or when the sponsorship ends, guests will have access to public funds and will be able to rent a property like anyone else. If they need to, they’ll be able to be claim the housing part of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.

The government has useful information on renting a property.

Last updated 06 June 2022