High Court rules asylum seekers with additional care needs can access support from local authorities - Refugee Council
April 18, 2002

High Court rules asylum seekers with additional care needs can access support from local authorities

There has been a further High Court decision in relation to disabled asylum seekers accessing support from local authorities in three separate cases involving the London boroughs of Lambeth and Enfield.

The cases found that under Section 21 of the National Assistance Act, local authorities do have a duty to provide residential accommodation to destitute asylum seekers who have needs other than those arising solely from destitution.

The three asylum seekers in these cases had different disabilities. One is in the advanced stages of HIV, one has limited mobility and additional mental health problems and another has very limited mobility.

Last year a judicial review and subsequent appeal ruling, LB Westminster v the National Asylum Support Service, ruled that where an asylum seeker’s needs lie beyond destitution and are sufficient to warrant an additional service from the local authority, the local authority has a duty to support them. This latest ruling found that this did not need to be reproved. It is still possible that the Westminster case will be heard in the House of Lords in June.

Further information

Read a Refugee Council statement on the judgement

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