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Supporting Ukraine

Team Devon working together to provide safe 'Homes for Ukraine'
Ukrainian: Партнери Devon працюють разом, щоб забезпечити безпечні домівки для українців
Russian: Партнеры Devon работают вместе, чтобы обеспечить безопасные дома для украинцев

Essential information for Ukraine guests

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Introduction

Cover of UK Government welcome pack, "Welcome! Guide for Ukrainians arriving in Britain" The UK government has published a welcome guide for Ukrainians arriving in Britain.

The Red Cross has produced advice for Ukrainians arriving in the UK, with translations available:

In Devon, we are working with partners to develop guidance for Ukrainians arriving in Devon. Information is being updated on this page and elsewhere on this website as it becomes available.

Money and support

On arrival

There is a one-off £200 payment for each guest. This will be paid directly to you by your district, city or borough council.

More information will be published here as soon as it becomes available.

Open a UK bank account

You will need this to receive money from the government – we call these ‘benefits’.

There is a range of banks, and you can choose one that suits you best. There are also online-only providers which you can use.

To open a bank account in the UK, you usually need to show proof of your identity such as a passport, immigration status, driver’s licence or recognised identity card. You also need proof of a permanent address.

The government is working with major banks to find a solution to enable you to open accounts without the usual permanent address requirement. Several UK banks already have a system for opening accounts where you do not have a permanent UK address.

Welfare support from government - benefits

Benefits are monthly payments from the state to support you with living costs, such as travel and food.

Ukrainian guests can access Universal Credit, a benefit, as soon as they arrive in the UK. Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs.

Apply for Universal Credit on the UK government website.

If you have questions about how Universal Credit works you can call:

0800 328 5644 to speak to Universal Credit Full Service
0800 144 8444 to speak to Citizens Advice Help to Claim

Ukrainian guests are also eligible for:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Child Disability Living Allowance
  • Carers Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance

Those who meet the criteria are eligible for the contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseekers Allowance. Ukrainian nationals do not need to go through certain checks, such as the Habitual Residency Test, which will speed up any claims they make.

Visit GOV.UK to find out more and apply.

National Insurance number

Everyone over the age of 16 has a National Insurance number and you will need one if you are planning to work.

Apply for a National Insurance number.

Health services

Information about all National Health Services (NHS) in the UK can be found on the NHS website.

We have provided more detailed local guidance on this website, under Accessing healthcare services.

Register with a doctor (GP)

You can register with a doctor – commonly known as a general practitioner or simply GP, as soon as you arrive in the UK. It is free and you do not need proof of address, immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

A GP can offer medical advice, provide a diagnosis and prescribe medicines. They might be your first point of contact for many physical and mental health concerns.

Getting medication

If your GP wants you to take a particular medication, they will give you a prescription that you will
need to take to your local pharmacy or chemist.

Pharmacies are often located near a GP surgery but you can also use the NHS website to find your nearest pharmacy.

You usually need to pay for a prescription but the NHS website explains who can get free prescriptions.

Find a dentist

You are entitled to NHS dental care. In some circumstances, this can be free of charge. Find out who is entitled to free dental treatment.

You can search for a dentist at How to find an NHS dentist.

More information about NHS dental services.

Education and childcare

Apply for a school place

The government has published guidance for families arriving from Ukraine on how to apply for a school place and childcare in England, in English and Ukrainian:

How do families arriving from Ukraine apply for a school place and childcare? / Як родинам, що приїжджають з України, подавати заяви на отримання місць у школі та допомоги з оплати послуг з догляду за дитиною?

You (or your host family) can apply for a place for your child(ren) at a school in Devon once you arrive. However, we recommend that you do not rush to place a child in school, but instead allow time for children and young people to settle and recover.

Please do not rush to set up places before children and young people arrive.

You are able to choose which school/s you wish to apply for but it is not guaranteed that your child will get a place at that school. We would encourage you to find out a bit more about the schools in your area – and you can visit them if you want to. Your sponsor should be able to tell you which school is nearest to where you will live but you can also look at a map of schools in Devon.

The school year in England starts each September so you will need to complete what is known as an ‘in-year’ application. You can find out more about in-year school applications here.

Once you have decided which school/s you want to apply for you can complete an online application. You will need an email address in order to create an account.

If you need help with the application process, or you would like advice about schools with vacancies, please contact the School Admissions Team by email at admissions@devon.gov.uk or call 01392 383829.

Support for young people

The Refugee Education UK website provides advice and support to help young refugees access education.

Childcare services

You can get help with the cost of childcare depending on your circumstances. Read our information about paying for childcare to see what you could be entitled to.

Our Family Information Service can offer support with finding childcare in Devon.

Finding a job

You have the right to work as soon as you arrive in the UK. You need to be 18-years-old to work full time.

The UK government website provides a range of information to help you with finding a job.

If you want to talk to someone about finding work or claiming the benefits you may be entitled to, you can visit your local Jobcentre Plus. Pinpoint Devon provides a list of the Jobcentre Plus offices in Devon.

Your rights and safe working

Once employed, your rights as a worker are protected by UK law.

Some rights take immediate effect, some are conditional on how long you work. You should expect the following from your employer. These are your employment rights.

You are entitled to:

  • be paid the National Minimum Wage
  • rest breaks and time off work
  • paid holiday
  • an itemised payslip
  • fair and legal deductions from your wages
  • a safe working environment
  • sick pay
  • a copy of your terms and conditions

You can read more about your rights as a worker in the UK. The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority protects vulnerable and exploited workers. They have more information about your rights in Ukrainian and Russian and have a helpline if you need to report any problems.

Report problems with an employer to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority by calling 0800 432 0804

Modern slavery

Slavery is a word for when one person obtains or forces another person to work for them against their wishes. Unfortunately, slavery does happen in the UK.

If you wish to report any concerns, call the UK Modern Slavery and Exploitation helpline on 08000 121 700 or report online. There are Ukrainian and Russian translators available. You can find more information on the Unseen (unseenuk.org) website.

Community services

In Devon, we have a website called Pinpoint Devon that provides lots of information about the community services and support available in the county.