No Recourse Fund FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is No Recourse to Public Funds?

The No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) rule is a legal restriction imposed by the Home Office on people subject to immigration control preventing them from accessing most forms of welfare benefits and social housing. Breaching this rule can put a person’s current or future right to be in the UK at risk. Over 60% of our service users are escaping gender based abuse and are subject to an insecure immigration status and NRPF.

Who can apply to the No Recourse Fund?

The No Recourse Fund (NRF) is open to all statutory and non-statutory organisations addressing Violence Against Women and Girls to assist a survivor with NRPF to cover rental and subsistence costs.

Priority will be given to those survivors who do not currently have an established route to settlement or financial support, although in some circumstances bridging support will be available to those who are otherwise eligible for the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC), asylum support, local authority or other state assistance.

Individual survivors are not able to apply for this fund.

How do I apply for the NRF?

The process is very simple, you can go to our website, download the application pack, complete the form and equalities sections, very clearly and submit as directed along with any other relevant information requested.

Please complete all sections as comprehensively as possible and if you don’t have information on costs then you can still submit the form and get back to us.

Please note that Southall Black Sisters do not run a refuge and does not have any accommodation to offer. You will need to provide or find safe accommodation for the survivor. Ring our helpline if you need advice and help to do so.


Referral Pathways


The SBS NRF can provide support to survivors in London or across the UK.

However, we may refer London agencies to our delivery partners if relevant. These delivery partners also have access to funding to run a regional or local NRF.
For UK based support please also check Support for Migrant Victims Scheme for our lead partners in specific regions and contact them directly as advised.

Please note, we will only be able to cover rent and subsistence funding via the NRF. The delivery partner will remain responsible for advice, advocacy, and any other appropriate support where available.



How long does it take to get a decision?

Decisions on applications are made on a rolling basis. We aim to reply within a 24-48 hour turnaround, although we are not a 24-hour service.

Please remember to date your application and funding support can be given from the date of application if relevant.

Which survivors are eligible for the fund?

Survivors escaping domestic and gender based abuse who have no other pathway are eligible for the NRF.

The NRF is a ‘last resort’ fund which means that it will only be available in circumstances where all other avenues of financial support including local authority support and support via the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC) have been exhausted or are non-existent. Bridging support can be provided if there is evidence of unavoidable delays in accessing these alternatives.

What if I have children?

The NRF is open to all victims including children across the UK. However, for children, agencies are expected to access options under Sec 17 under the Children Act 1989 where social services are required to support children.

Bridging Support is available for clients who are otherwise eligible for other assistance.

What does the NRF offer?

Funding support is assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, the NRF can offer the following support:

  • Safe accommodation rental costs for up to 12 weeks. There will also be discretion to award additional weeks.
  • Weekly subsistence payments

Please note, we will only be able to cover rent and subsistence funding via the NRF. The delivery partner will remain responsible for advice, advocacy and any other appropriate support where available.

What happens if costs exceed the fund?

If the costs of support exceed the funding ceiling offered then these will need to be covered by the referring organisation.

Can I give your details to the survivor?

The NRF does not directly deal with survivors or service users. Please do not pass over our details.

Can the NRF be used to pay rent arrears? Can we pay private landlords?

This fund cannot be used to pay rent arrears or to support private rented accommodation.

How do we claim back the money for the fund?

Payment is made in arrears against monthly invoices.

What happens if the survivor moves to a refuge or other accommodation, can these services invoice SBS directly?

This has to be agreed between all the parties.

We are a small organisation, and what if we cannot afford to pay in advance?

The NRF is unable to pay costs in advance and need proof of expenditure to claim money from the funder before we can release payments to the referring agency. Please be assured that we will refund you as agreed.

What information do I need to provide in the application form?

Please answer all questions as comprehensively as possible as well as complete the Equalities Form and submit as directed along with any other relevant immigration documents if they are available.

What happens afterwards?

At the end of the funding period, you and the survivor will need to complete an Outcomes Evaluation survey.

The referral agency will need to submit the completed Outcomes Evaluation Survey and comply with any other monitoring requirements as a pre-requisite for receiving the funding.

How do we use the Outcomes Evaluation information collected?

SBS uses the information anonymously to help advocate for changes in legislation or policy which will assist migrant women escaping domestic abuse and subject to NRPF restrictions.

Is there further information?

If you would like to talk to someone to discuss eligibility or obtain more details or clarification, or to make a complaint or suggestions, please email: [email protected]

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