HC Deb 02 April 2001 vol 366 cc97-8W
Mr. Stunell

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the eligibility criteria for gateway benefits are for(a) a newly unemployed UK citizen, (b) an asylum seeker awaiting determination of their case, (c) an asylum seeker whose request to stay has been granted and (d) a discharged prisoner. [155552]

Angela Eagle

The basic conditions for a newly unemployed UK citizen to quail[...]y for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) are that they must he available for and actively seeking employment of, normally, at least 40 hours per week. Jobseekers are also required to enter into a Jobseeker's Agreement which details the steps they will take to enable them to return to work.

The Home Office is responsible for supporting and accommodating asylum seekers awaiting a determination of their case. Those asylum seekers in receipt of benefits prior to 3 April 2000 continue to be eligible to claim Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Asylum seekers whose applications are accepted and are awarded either refugee status or exceptional leave to stay are eligible for Social Security benefits in the normal way.

In general, discharged prisoners are treated in the same way as any other benefit claimant and must satisfy the eligibility criteria for each benefit claimed.