Human Trafficking & Exploitation

Humanitarian Protection

EU Exit


Hong Kong Welcome Hub

Scotland's Demographics

No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)

Gypsy/Traveller Work

Causes of destitution

For some people who are subject to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) rules, the risk of destitution while they are in the UK is low, because they are working or have another form of financial support, such as savings or assistance from family, which meets their needs. However, the cost-of-living crisis threatens to increase poverty, inequality and destitution. This will disproportionately affect people with NRPF and other groups at increased risk of destitution and homelessness.

For people on the lowest incomes and those with insecure immigration status as well as others with additional vulnerabilities, NRPF restrictions place them at risk of severe poverty and rough sleeping. This is because they can’t access welfare support, local authority housing or homelessness services in times of need.

The people who are most at risk of destitution can also be vulnerable because of other factors. This includes people who have applied for asylum; people living in an informal arrangement where they have no tenancy agreement; people with limited support networks; and people whose status is dependent on another person (e.g. a spouse or dependant visa).

Destitution can happen at the point someone becomes entitled to access public funds, due to delays in access to support. This might be when someone is granted refugee status, as they have limited time to move on from their asylum accommodation and support, or when someone on a route to settlement has their NRPF condition lifted in recognition that they are at imminent risk of destitution.

Understanding risk factors and how they impact people’s lives is essential for designing policies and service interventions that can prevent, mitigate or resolve destitution.

You can read the Ending Destitution Together strategy here.