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Info pages on Housing and Money 

Information pages written by advocates working with the project. 

Have a question we haven't listed - email us

Child Maintenance for people without an NI 


It is possible, even though when you call they say its not, there’s a non NI paper system where they can send you 


To start the claim call: 


Child Maintenance Options 

Telephone: 0800 0835 130 

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm 

Saturdays, 9am to 4pm


They’ll talk with you about arrangement options. If you decide to use the Child Maintenance Service, they’ll give you a reference number and explain how to apply.


If you apply to the Child Maintenance Service


You’ll need to give information about you and your family, for example:

    • details about the child you’re applying for - including the full names of their mother and father

    • your National Insurance number

    • your bank account details, if the Child Maintenance Service needs to collect and pass on payments



The application fee is £20.

You will not have to pay this if:

    • you’re a victim of domestic violence or 

    • under 19 years of age, 

    • or in Northern Ireland.


Call 0800 171 2345 with your application reference number to make an application, best to call Tues, Wed or Thurs morning- it gets busier the later  you call. You will need a bank account, but can use a friend if needed. Tell them if your a victim of DV at the start of the call.


When we called firstly we were told there was no paper based application, and mum must have an NI. They checked with the manager and restated this alleged fact. 


I called back and spoke to another worker, who also said you cannot make an application without an NI, asking her to check with the manager she advised to call the exceptional case handling team, 0800 232 1938, who have a clerical database, but they can only take a progressed application, they cannot start it, advised to get an NI from the Home Office. 


Calling the exceptional case funding team, we were advised that the initial team (0800 171 2345) must take the application as normal, they won’t be able to verify identity, but they need to raise the incident to the ECH gateway, its a policy decision that needs to be done paper based, but legally they must process these applications. 


Questions they ask as part of the application include: 


  • Type of visa your here on

  • Date you arrived in the UK

  • How long can you stay  / what’s time of your leave to remain

  • What type of housing are you in

  • Are you working

  • Are you registered with a GP

  • UK bank account

  • Did you apply for an NI and get refused, we said not possible to get an NI, rather than it was refused

  • Phone number 


Then it moves to the next stage - they then sent papers for signing to mums house, and we are waiting for the support from dad to start. 

If you have  issues in Birmingham with housing call:

Main Housing number 0121 303 7410

Council Repairs 0121 303 1111

Homeless Team 0121 675 4628

Benefits Service 0121 464 7000

Temporary Accommodation 0121 675 5531

If you need to complain, or comment compliment Birmingham City Council click HERE

Coventry City Council 02476 834 024 

  • Pregnant and in asylum support?                   

  • Claimed asylum and have a Pre-action protocol letter pending for JR but refused  asylum support?

  • Living in overcrowded council accommodation?  

16 Days of Activism

We are part of the Rosa led #16daysofActivism action thinking what needs to change to tackle gender based violence.


Rosa, the UK fund for women and girls wrote a blog about this, access it here saying their grantees work tirelessly with women and girls across the UK who are victims and survivors of gender-based violence, so for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, we asked them: what big-picture changes need to happen to tackle the problem in the UK?

For Baobab the big picture is about change to the system structure to make seeking protection, or migrating abroad a clear process women can navigate. This will mean that they aren't left in exploitative situations relying on others for basic needs.

We have started making some transition image processes from a more complex document into the asylum, refugee to citizen journey, to try to help women to understand, our contribution to the 16 days of activism is to publish Part 1, we are going to get this translated into different languages. 

Recently granted the right to remain? 


If  you have been in asylum support, Migrant Help help under the AIRE contract, with their move on program, done in partnership with Reeds find out more info here. 

In Birmingham there's RMC and the Local Authority Asylum Seeker and Refugee Liaison Officer to help too. 


Moving on from Asylum Support or Social Service accommodation getting granted the right to remain means that the next 6 months will be difficult. 


Citizens advice gives a good summery of finding a new home, working, claiming benefits, opening a bank account online. 

The Red Cross help with help if your left without benefits for essental food for up to 6 weeks. 


Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau - they can help you with benefits and housing, and can also put you in touch with local charities, English language schools and community groups.


Refugees, asylum seekers and people with discretionary leave and humanitarian protection

 If you are a new arrival please click here for information more relevant to you.


  • Are you a refugee or asylum seeker?

  • Special arrangements for asylum seekers

  • What documents might you be asked for?

  • What are your rights to housing and benefits?

  • What about your family members?


Advising refugees, asylum seekers and people with discretionary leave and humanitarian protection

 If you are a housing adviser please click here for information more relevant to you.


  • What are the housing and housing benefit rights of refugees, etc?

  • What about their family members?

  • Discrimination against refugees and others with leave

  • Benefit problems

  • Local connection

  • Problems with asylum support accommodation


Move on pack offers basic advice to people living in the Leicester area on how to obtain housing and benefits once you have received a positive decision on your asylum claim from the Home Office. It does not tell you everything you need know and you may need to seek further advice and assistance.  Relevant for people in most parts of the UK. 


  • Move-on checklist 

  • Claiming benefits 

  • Applying for a National Insurance Number 

  • Bank accounts 

  • Finding housing 

  • Setting up home 

  • Finding work 

  • Adult education 

  • Children’s education 

  • Applying for travel documents 

  • Family Reunion 

  • Other Organisations 


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