No job and about to be made homeless


My friend left the UK to live in Turkey in 2018 to help her family. She meant to come back earlier but with COVID things changed and it is only now that she has just arrived back in the UK.

A friend of hers offered her a place to stay while she gets back on her feet with a job and accommodation but to cut a long story short things have turned sour and she will have to leave very soon.

Therefore, she will be literally homeless and jobless. She has never been in this situation before and is understandably scared. She has very little money left and doesn't know exactly what to do.

I recommended that she claims all the benefits that she can but I myself don't know anything about these either and if she is entitled to any being out the country for so long.

Would anyone be kind enough to advise on the steps that she needs to take in terms of money and housing especially with what she's entitled to and where to actually apply? Can she get emergency accommodation?

She is about 57 years of age, single and has UK citizenship. I checked her N.I. contributions and she is fully paid up with that if that helps.

Thanks very much and hope you can help.


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  • peteuk
    peteuk Posts: 1,224
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    edited 25 December 2023 at 10:55PM
    What year did she return to the Uk?  Fot JSA she will need two full years of NI payments (so currently 2021 and 2022)

    She may also need to document that they are 'habitually resident' in the UK to claim UC

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  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,798
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    Spint said:

    She is about 57 years of age, single and has UK citizenship. I checked her N.I. contributions and she is fully paid up with that if that helps.

    Thanks very much and hope you can help.

    If she is fully paid up NI then she should claim JSA or universal credit, surely being out of the country for a few years will not even be recorded by the Government.
    Help for housing is mostly for families, so that could be difficult. She must have friends/relatives that could help?
    If she can drive, getting a car would help in gaining a job and somewhere to stay if desperate.
  • Spint said:

    She is about 57 years of age, single and has UK citizenship. I checked her N.I. contributions and she is fully paid up with that if that helps.

    Thanks very much and hope you can help.

    If she is fully paid up NI then she should claim JSA or universal credit, surely being out of the country for a few years will not even be recorded by the Government.
    Help for housing is mostly for families, so that could be difficult. She must have friends/relatives that could help?
    If she can drive, getting a car would help in gaining a job and somewhere to stay if desperate.
    It is relevant because she will have to satisfy the habitual residence test, needs to prove that she intends to stay here now that she's back.

    I'm no expert though so have no idea what things they look for, how strict they are, or how one proves intention to stay.
  • peteuk
    peteuk Posts: 1,224
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    Spint said:

    She is about 57 years of age, single and has UK citizenship. I checked her N.I. contributions and she is fully paid up with that if that helps.

    Thanks very much and hope you can help.

    If she is fully paid up NI then she should claim JSA or universal credit, surely being out of the country for a few years will not even be recorded by the Government.
    Help for housing is mostly for families, so that could be difficult. She must have friends/relatives that could help?
    If she can drive, getting a car would help in gaining a job and somewhere to stay if desperate.
    My understanding is “full paid” NI means 30 yrs for a full pension, which she wont be able to draw until late 60 something.  The new jobs seekers allowance is based on the last 2-3 yrs of NI.  So it might be she has topped up her NI whilst in Turkey, but we still don't know when she returned.

    She will be able to claim UC if she can prove habitual residence.  It takes 5 weeks before the first payment is made but there is an advance that can be claimed.

    She will get UC £368.74
    Housing payment varies from LA and will be based on one room in a HMO (but by the sounds of it she will need to find somewhere and may need a deposit)

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  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,581
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    edited 26 December 2023 at 12:34AM
    Spint said:

    She is about 57 years of age, single and has UK citizenship. I checked her N.I. contributions and she is fully paid up with that if that helps.

    Thanks very much and hope you can help.

    If she is fully paid up NI then she should claim JSA or universal credit,
    I don't think JSA will be possible - presumably if she is up to date with NI contributions she has made voluntary class 2 or Class 3 contributions while out of the country, but Class 1 earned contributions from the last two tax years are needed  to qualify for JSA. 
  • peteuk said:
    Spint said:

    She is about 57 years of age, single and has UK citizenship. I checked her N.I. contributions and she is fully paid up with that if that helps.

    Thanks very much and hope you can help.

    If she is fully paid up NI then she should claim JSA or universal credit, surely being out of the country for a few years will not even be recorded by the Government.
    Help for housing is mostly for families, so that could be difficult. She must have friends/relatives that could help?
    If she can drive, getting a car would help in gaining a job and somewhere to stay if desperate.

    She will get UC £368.74
    Housing payment varies from LA and will be based on one room in a HMO (but by the sounds of it she will need to find somewhere and may need a deposit)

    As she's over 35 she'll be entitled to the one bedroom rate for her area.

    She can find out how much that is for her area, or others she's considering, using the calculator here - https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/
    (To convert the weekly amount to a monthly amount, x52 ÷12)
  • KxMx
    KxMx Posts: 10,551
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    edited 26 December 2023 at 9:35AM
    Spint said:

    She is about 57 years of age, single and has UK citizenship. I checked her N.I. contributions and she is fully paid up with that if that helps.

    Thanks very much and hope you can help.

    If she is fully paid up NI then she should claim JSA or universal credit, surely being out of the country for a few years will not even be recorded by the Government.
    Help for housing is mostly for families, so that could be difficult. She must have friends/relatives that could help?
    If she can drive, getting a car would help in gaining a job and somewhere to stay if desperate.
    Help is available for single people/couples who are homeless too.

    Her first port of call should be the local council, there probably are also local organisations who may be able to give practical help and advice regarding homelessness. 
  • Spint
    Spint Posts: 49
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    Thanks for all your help.

    She has managed to stay a few nights at an elderly couple's home through a friend which meant forking out a bit of train money as their place is over an hour away from London in a village.

    She had to come back to London today where she began her day going to an organisation in Westminster but they said that because she was previously in the borough of Haringey before she left the country, she needs to go there instead.

    She went to the advice centre in Haringey who will call her tomorrow to discuss her situation because as already mentioned here in this thread, her status in this country needs to be scrutinised.

    They did not offer her any emergency accommodation which I am finding a bizarre because she is a British citizen and simply asking for some kind of temporary roof over head for tonight, but they can't or won't help with that so it looks like she will be sleeping on the streets tonight.

    I've called numerous organisations but either I can't get through or they say she has to go to the local authority which she has already done so.

    I use to think that no matter what, the 'system' will find you place if only for one night but now I can see it's not that simple at all.

    Thanks again for all your help.

  • huckster
    huckster Posts: 4,776
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    edited 3 January at 7:02AM
    https://www.haringey.gov.uk/housing/housing-advice/rough-sleeping

    Housing supply is in a critical position at the moment. Councils do not have places required for the number of people who need to be housed.

    Your friend will need to continue attending Harringey Housing office every day until they find her somewhere that lasts more than one night.


    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • HampshireH
    HampshireH Posts: 4,400
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    Can she not stay with you temporarily even if on the sofa?
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