The report, entitled The costs of destitution, is based on analysis conducted by the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and commissioned by the British Red Cross. The analysis looks at the costs and benefits of extending the move-on period for new refugees to move away from Home Office support from 28 days to 56 days.
Some of the key findings of the report:
- The current 28 day period is not long enough for new refugees to move onto mainstream benefits or find new accommodation.
- The 35 day wait to receive a first Universal Credit payment is not compatible with the 28 day move on period and prevents new refugees from accessing Universal Credit.
- While there are safeguards within Universal Credit to ensure claimants are not left without support, these are often not accessed by refugees, who are often unaware that they are eligible or cannot receive them because they don’t have a bank account.
- Local authorities are given a 56-day period to work with households at risk of homelessness under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, but the 28 day move-on period does not give councils the same amount of time for new refugees.
- Extending the move-on period to 56 days would have an overall financial benefit of between £4 million and £7 million each year, including £2.1 million to local authorities as a result of lower use of temporary accommodation, and up to £3.2 million as by reducing rough sleeping.
The report is available to download below. For more information on the British Red Cross’ research on the move-on period, visit their website here.