If you choose to come back to this country (and are not deported officially) after spending many years living abroad you may not be able to receive benefits immediately. If this is your situation please let us know and we will give you more information. British citizens who are deported or expelled back to the UK after serving a prison sentence are entitled to claim benefits. 

All claims should be made as soon as possible after arriving back in the UK. It is important to do this so that you do not lose entitlement to benefits. In all claims, you will need to make it clear that you have been deported after serving a prison sentence, and you may be required to disclose the offence for which you were convicted. A refusal to disclose this information will delay payments, and may prevent you from being considered eligible for benefits. You will also be required to provide evidence that you were deported (as opposed to coming back to the UK of your own choice), so remember to keep any deportation papers or documents issued to you on release.

Welfare benefits can be claimed by those who are looking for work or unable to work through illness or disability. They provide you with money to meet basic living expenses. They are paid to you regularly (normally monthly or fortnightly), and they are paid directly into a bank account. The amount and type of benefit you apply for will vary depending on your circumstances. To guide you through this process you can call the Freephone helpline 0808 172 0098. We have also produced an information sheet which looks at the type of state financial assistance ex-prisoners may be able to access on return to the UK.

You can also download our Guide to Benefits this is a basic guide to how to make a benefit claim. You may also find our FAQ page helpful to answer specific questions.