Ukrainian nationals can claim benefits as soon as they arrive in the UK

They may need help to complete forms and understand who can support them to access financial help. 

They may be eligible for:

  • Universal Credit: a payment for people who are old enough to work, to help with living costs if on a low income. The individual could be working (including self-employed or part-time) or be unemployed.
  • Pension Credit: a payment to help with living costs if over the age of 66 and on a low income. 
  • Disability benefits: a payment to help with other costs if there is a long term physical or mental health condition or disability.
  • Child benefit: a benefit for parents or legal guardians, paid every four weeks at a rate of £21.80 per week for the oldest child and £14.45 per week for each additional child. You can usually claim child benefit if you are the parent or guardian of a child or children under the age of 16 (or under the age of 20 if they stay in approved education or training).

A Ukrainian national is eligible to claim Council Tax Support where they are liable for the Council Tax charge i.e. renting a host's second property.

Universal Credit (under state pension age of 66 years old)

Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs for people on a low income under state pension age. It can also help with the cost of renting a property.

Apply for Universal Credit

If you have questions about how Universal Credit works you can speak to Universal Credit, tel: 0800 328 5644 or call Citizens Advice Help to Claim, tel: 0800 144 8 444.

For your guests, here is a translated step by step guide on completing a universal credit application form on YouTube.

Your guest will normally be expected to look for full-time work to receive Universal Credit. If there are physical or mental health problems that make it difficult to work, your guest should submit a fit note from their GP and ask for a Work Capability Assessment. Guests should also tell their work coach about any childcare or other caring responsibilities.

Benefits for guests at retirement age (66 or over)

If your guest is at retirement age (66 or over) they may be eligible for:


If your guest is responsible for a child or a young person who is under the age of 20, they may also be able to claim Child Benefit.

Working age disability benefits

If a guest has a disability, they may be able to claim a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Disability Living Allowance is also available to support children with a disability.

If caring for someone, an application for Carer's Allowance may also be appropriate.

Setting up a bank account

To receive Universal Credit and other benefits, your guest will need to open a bank account. They can open a bank account by visiting any bank. They'll need to have documents that show their identity, immigration status and address. Many banks now will create an account for Ukrainian refugees without an address.

In order for a guest to set up a bank account, they must;

  • be 18 or over and a temporary UK resident

They will also need to provide their identity through:

  • a full or provisional Ukraine driving licence (it must have a photo of you on it)
  • any national identity card, except those issued under the UK ID Card scheme
  • a residence permit, registration certificate or document certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office or the UK Border Agency to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  • a Biometric Residence Permit issued by the UK Border Agency

Identity documentation should be in date and in the name of the applicant applying for the account. It is strongly recommended that your guest has a valid email address and phone number, in their name, to make it easier for the bank to communicate and for them to access online banking.

Job Centre Plus

If you or your guests need more help to find out which benefits you can apply for. Across the district, there are job centres located in Alton, Bordon & Havant. To find out which one you can visit, please visit here: Job Centre Plus.

Contact your local Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice East Hampshire offer ongoing support and advice for you and your guest(s). They provide face to face appointments across the district in Alton, Petersfield and Whitehill & Bordon and can answer any questions you may have around – benefits, income advice, debt advice, universal credit.

Opening times and locations can be found on the Citizens Advice website

You and your guest(s) can self-refer through the online referral form, give them a call on 080 8278 7901 or pop to your local office.