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Credits backdating

The groups of people eligible for income support has been squeezed in recent years with the introduction of employment and support allowance and the lone-parent changes, but refugees who are learning English in order to find employment remain an eligible category.2Until recently, it was rare to find someone who met the criteria, as the course must start within the first year of coming to the UK and the average time taken for an asylum decision was far longer.3Decisions are now being made more quickly, however, and although the majority are negative, it is possible to find someone granted refugee status within a year of arrival in the UK.If the refugee can find a suitable course learning English for more than 15 hours a week, s/he is entitled to income support for up to nine months while attending the course.

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See our 'Child tax credit for young people aged 16 or over' page for more details of when you can claim tax credits for a young person.Mark Willis examines the rights of refugees to claim benefits and the problems that can arise.Recent developments in the benefits system and the asylum process mean that refugees face fresh challenges in securing the support they need to build a new life in the UK.A refugee, however, is only legally and technically a person who has been recognised as such by the UK government under the 1951 Geneva Convention.The distinction and terminology can be important because there are special benefit rules that only apply to 'refugees'.The first three types of leave are usually given for a time-limited period of up to five years, and it is very important that an application for extension is made before the leave expires.

The previous status is retained pending a decision on the application.1Note that people who receive a positive decision on their asylum application are often referred to as, or consider themselves to be, 'refugees', even if they are granted one of the other statuses above.

If the only child/children on the claim are born on or after 6 April 2017, the family element is no longer included.

Back to the top This section of the site gives a brief overview of the basic conditions child tax credit.

The following two elements make up a CTC award: This element is included for each child on the claim born before 6 April 2017.

For children born on or after 6 April 2017, a child element is only included if you are only claiming for less than two children – generally, if the child born on or after 6 April 2017 is the 3rd or subsequent child on the claim, no child element will be included for them unless one of the exceptions applies.

This will, as it was surely intended to do, ease the transition to a new country and promote integration and employment prospects.