Section 4 support

Applying for support if your asylum claim has been refused

If your claim for asylum has been refused, and you do not have dependent children under 18 years old living with you, the support you receive from the Home Office will stop. In this situation you may be eligible to apply for short term support known as Section 4 support from the Home Office.

Section 4 support consists only of accommodation and a payment card called the ASPEN card. This card can be used in most shops with a card machine.

Eligibility and how to apply for Section 4

To apply for Section 4 support you must prove that you are destitute. To be destitute means that you do not have financial support or stable accommodation, for example you are staying on a friend’s sofa.

If your application for Section 4 support is refused, you can appeal against this decision, or you can re-apply at a later date. You can re-apply if your circumstances have changed or if you have new evidence to support your asylum application.

Advice leaflet on Section 4 support

Our information leaflet gives more information on requirements:

Read our advice leaflet about Section 4 support (PDF)

Read the Section 4 advice leaflet in another language

The ASPEN Card

The ASPEN card is an automated card payment system, which gets topped up every week to the value of £35. It allows you to buy items such as food, clothing and toiletries.