Can You Claim Benefits If You Have Pre-Settled Status?

With the occurrence of Brexit, many families would be interested in learning if they can claim benefits under a pre-settled status. This is the question that we aim to answer through the content of this blog post. We will discuss the benefits that can be claimed under a pre-settled status and also discuss alternative options to seek support when individuals do not qualify for state support.

Can You Claim Benefits If You Have Pre-Settled Status?

Yes, you can claim benefits if you have pre-settled status. A pre-settled status gives you the right to reside in the UK and thus the right to claim benefits that you are eligible for. 

Individuals with a pre-settled status can apply for the following:

  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance

Meanwhile, if someone has a pre-settled status and a right to reside, they can also apply for other benefits including these:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Benefit or Child Tax Credits
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

To satisfy the requirements for a “right to reside”, one would need to prove that they are living in the UK under a worker status; whilst earning a wage of £166 per week for at least three months. Otherwise, they should have a family member living and working in the UK or they must be looking for a job. If none of these is an applicable solution due to an illness or injury that currently prevents you from working, you may have to apply with a retained worker status; while providing relevant medical evidence. 

Despite this, there are certain prerequisites to be met by claimants to qualify for these benefits. For instance, you will have to meet extra conditions to claim means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit or Housing Benefit with a pre-settled status.

If you have a disability, a health condition (mental or physical) or an illness that prevents you from performing everyday tasks, you can claim Personal Independence Payment. To claim the benefit under a pre-settled status you will also need to prove that you are habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Additionally, you should have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 out of the previous 3 years.

In the case of a disabled child, you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance on their behalf; as long as the child is also living in the UK under pre-settled status.

How Can You Claim Universal Credit If You Have Pre-Settled Status?

If you are on a low income or you are unable to work, you can apply for Universal Credit under a pre-settled status by meeting the following conditions:

  • you are on a low income or have low savings
  • you require financial support to pay your rent or mortgage
  • you are currently looking for work
  • you suffer from an illness or health condition due to which it is difficult for you to work

However, if you are over pension age, you will not be able to claim Universal Credit under a pre-settled status.

On the other hand, If you (and your partner) are of state pension age, you may be advised to apply for Pension Credit instead. Meanwhile, if you and your partner are also living on rent (in addition to being of state pension age) you can claim Housing Benefit instead. However, if only one of you is of state pension age, you can claim Universal Credit.

If you are part of a couple and both of you are eligible for Universal Credit, you should make a joint claim. Even if one of you is eligible for the benefit, you will have to declare both incomes to the DWP for financial assessment before a benefit claim is processed.

If you are 16-17 years old and seeking to claim Universal Credit, you will be eligible under the following conditions:

  • you are unable to work either due to a disability or health condition 
  • you have a young child or you are expecting a baby in the coming 11 weeks
  • you are taking care of a severely disabled person
  • you have lost your parents or you are estranged from them and can’t live with them 

If you are in full-time education or approved training or you don’t have a parent, foster parent or local authority taking care of you, you can claim Universal Credit without having to commit to looking for work.

What Support Do You Get If You Have Pre-Settled Status But Can’t Claim Benefits?

If someone (or a family) having a pre-settled status is facing homelessness or the risk of homelessness due to a lack of sufficient funds, the local council authorities can provide them with shelter and financial support.

Councils can also advise such people to apply for state benefits through the Department for Work and Pensions; as well as free childcare to meet their expenses. (if applicable).

However, there may be instances where individuals under pre-settled status do not qualify for benefits. This can either be due to a disability that prevents them from working or that they have a child (or children) to take care of. Under such circumstances, the council provides such individuals with long-term support. They can also connect them to local grants and charities that can extend financial support.

Councils can also assist with living expenses, and travel costs for school if there are children in the family as well as cover the expense of meals if children under pre-settled status do not qualify for free school meals.

Since each council makes its own decision and allocates funds accordingly, the amount of support extended and the duration for which it lasts in such cases cannot be fixed or made uniform across the board.


The above discussion helps us conclude that one may be able to claim benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment in the UK under a pre-settled status. However, to claim means-tested benefits, you would need to prove a “right to reside”, which indicates real or potential earnings that you or a family member can attain. 

FAQs: Can You Claim Benefits If You Have Pre-Settled Status?

How long do you have to live in the UK before you can claim benefits?

You should have lived in the UK for at least 5 years to claim benefits. In some cases, you will need to have the right to reside while in others you may have to meet additional conditions to qualify.

What does pre-settled status give you?

A pre-settled status is a grant to live, work or study in the UK for the next five years. While you may not be able to claim help for housing and living expenses, a pre-settled status allows you to apply for non-means tested benefits.

Can EU migrants claim benefits in the UK?

Not all EU migrants can claim benefits in the UK. you would need to be a migrant with a right to reside in the UK to be able to claim benefits such as Income Support or income-related Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA).

Does pre-settled status mean residence?

No pre-settled status does not mean residence; rather it indicates a temporary residence authorisation for anyone who has been living in the UK for less than five years and aims to progress to settled status.

How long is pre-settled status valid?

Once a pre-settled status is granted, it remains valid for the next five years. During this time, the claimant must remain in the UK for the maximum duration of the time. If they fail to do so for two consecutive years, the pre-settled status can be revoked.


Check if you can get benefits if you’re from the EU – Citizens Advice

Pre-settled status | NRPF

What support can be provided | NRPF

Universal credit: Immigration and residence conditions – Shelter England