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Continued support from the council

If you are an asylum seeker and you have care needs, your local council has a duty to provide you with accommodation and support. You will probably be classed as having a need for care if you find it difficult to do everyday tasks like shopping and eating without help. If your asylum claim fails, this support should continue until you leave the country.

Will the council continue to support me?

If you have care needs, the council's duty to support you will not end just because your claim for asylum has been rejected. This means that if you were being supported by the council while you were an asylum seeker then this support should continue until you leave the country - as long as you follow all the instructions you are given about returning to your home country.

How can I access support?

If you are not already receiving support and accommodation from the council but you think you need care because you have difficulty managing day-to-day tasks, you should contact the council about having your needs assessed. For more information on getting your needs assessed and the kind of support the council will provide, read the section on asylum seekers with care needs.

Can the council refuse to support me?

You should be aware of the fact that the council won't have a duty to support you if you only need care because you are destitute. This means that your need for care must be the result of an illness or disability rather than poverty or hardship.

In other words, if you only need help with day-to-day tasks because you are weak or depressed after living on the streets, or because you are stressed out at having no money, then the council won't be able to provide you with care. Instead you should make an application for section four support.

If you think the wrong decision has been made about your case and you really need care and support then you should consider challenging the local council's decision or making an official complaint. The Scottish Refugee Council (SRC) or Citizens Advice will be able to give you advice on how to do this.

What if I am an EU national?

Generally, you won't be able to get support from your local council if you are a citizen of an EU country or if you have leave to remain in an EU country.

The council will only support you as an EU national if not doing so would result in your human rights being breached. The council has a duty to make sure your human rights are protected. This includes making sure that you are not treated in a degrading or inhuman way.

As a result, if the council won't provide you with support because you are an EU national, and this means that you can't manage essential tasks such as eating or washing, you might be able to argue that the council has not protected your rights.

For instance, if you are in a wheelchair and the council refuses to support you, you might end up either destitute or in unsuitable accommodation. If this meant that you couldn't manage to get to the toilet or that you were in a lot of pain, this might be seen as a breach of your human rights. The council would then have a duty to provide you with appropriate accommodation and support.

For further advice on what to do if you think your human rights have been breached by the council you should contact your solicitor or the Scottish Refugee Council.

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