Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions
Legislation does not permit the amount received to be reduced, but support can be withdrawn if the Home Office has reasonable grounds to believe that the supported person or his dependant has:
- Committed a serious breach of the rules of their collective accommodation;
- Committed an act of seriously violent behaviour whether at the accommodation provided or elsewhere;
- Committed an offence relating to obtaining support;
- Abandoned the authorised address without first informing the Home Office;
- Not complied with requests for information relating to their eligibility for asylum support;
- Failed, without reasonable excuse, to attend an interview relating to their eligibility for asylum support;
- Not complied within a reasonable period, (no less than 10 working days) with a request for information relating to their claim for asylum;
- Concealed financial resources and therefore unduly benefited from the receipt of asylum support;
- Not complied with a reporting requirement;
- Made or sought to make a further different claim for asylum before their first claim is determined, in the same or a different name; or
- Failed without reasonable excuse to comply with a relevant condition of support.
The credit checks and requirement to show documentary evidence of any other possible forms of financial or in kind support prior to receiving asylum support means it is not common for support to be withdrawn in practice. Where it does happen, the most common reason is as a sanction for breach of conditions of support, for instance being absent from the accommodation or allowing others to stay in it. New guidance for caseworkers on assessing destitution was issued in 2019.
The risk of destitution is assessed when a decision to withdraw asylum support is taken. Destitution is defined as a person ‘not having access to adequate accommodation or unable to meet their essential living needs now or in the next 14 days.’ As described in Forms and Levels of Material Reception Conditions, refused asylum seekers on cashless support (Section 4) are in practice on lesser conditions than those pursuing a first claim who are on Section 95 cash support.
Asylum seekers can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support) in London against a decision to withdraw their support. On application the Home Office sends travel tickets to attend the hearing.
No emergency measures have been applied in reception centres due to large numbers of arrivals, though as mentioned in the section on Types of Accommodation, there has been some overcrowding and use of hotels to deal with the oversubscription.
Home Office Assessing Destitution, November 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/37mQlLg
 Section 103 IAA 1999.