The No Recourse to Public Funds condition needs to be suspended by government so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive support during the Coronavirus crisis.
No recourse to public funds (NRPF) is a condition applied to those staying in this country with a temporary immigration status. Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is set as the general threshold for permitting migrants to access public funds. Migrants who are here without leave are also subject to no recourse to public funds. This means they have no access to the majority of welfare benefits, including Universal Credit.
During the debate on the impact of Coronavirus on black, Asian and minority ethnic people, Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, highlighted the plight of these people.
A million people with no recourse to public funds can’t access the universal credit. Apparently, there is a form on the .gov.uk website to make an application to waive this condition. However, the request could take about two months to get a reply. “If you are destitute you can’t wait two months” he said.
“This condition must be suspended by government during the Coronavirus crisis” he added.
Mr Timms also paid tributes to community organisations including Malayalee Association of the UK, Tamil Sangam, Ibrahim Mosque etc for their efforts and contribution to help vulnerable people in the community. Malayalee Association was also featured on BBC showing long queue of people to collect free food during the height of the pandamic. They were distributing kits containing dry food on Mondays and cooked food on Fridays every week from just after the start of lockdown.
The Local Government Association, which represents councils, has also requested the removal of NRPF condition. A high numbers of people with NRPF condition have been approaching councils for support during the pandemic following loss of employment. The suspension of the NRPF condition would enable people to access welfare benefits, which could prevent them from becoming homeless.
To listen to Mr Timms speech click below and log on to the BBC iplayer. (Fast forward to 3:22)