HomeRulesEmploymentBenefitsEntitlement › Benefits and Prison Guide
Benefits and Prison: Your Entitlement

Being sent to prison or remand changes your entitlement to benefit payments. Find out what happens to benefits while in prison and how it may affect your family.

The information in this section explains what happens to your money if you go to jail. You can also find out what happens to your pension if you got to prison in United Kingdom.

Your Benefits When On Remand or in Prison

As a rule, your benefit payments and your entitlement to them will change or stop while in prison. It can apply if you, your partner, or your child:

  • Go into custody while awaiting a trial – called ‘on remand’.
  • Get sent to prison (or an institution for young offenders).

There are several different types of prison sentences. The Tax Credit Office need to know about any changes affecting tax credits. So, you must inform them if you get sent to jail.

Note: If you get imprisoned you will lose your eligibility to claim the State Pension in the United Kingdom.

In most cases, your benefits will get suspended or completely stop if you go to prison or on remand. A benefits adviser can help you suspend or close down the benefits that you can no longer claim.

Partner or Child in Prison or on Remand

Benefit payments can also be affected if your partner or your child goes to prison or is on remand. Thus, you must inform the particular department that pays your benefits.

The relevant Benefits Office would then confirm whether:

  • It will affect your claim to get certain welfare benefits.
  • You have entitlement to claim other benefits and allowances.

Note: You do not always lose your entitlement to benefits while your partner is in prison. Even so, you must still meet the qualifying conditions in your own right.

Benefits in Prison Help Guide

Benefits that Stop

As a rule, your benefits will stop or get suspended if you go to prison. Prisoners, and anyone on remand, may have their benefit stopped or discontinued.

Child Benefit

In most cases, people who get incarcerated can continue to claim Child Benefits. But, there are several key rules for claiming Child Benefit while in prison or on remand.

Council Tax Exemption

Prisoners, and those on remand, do not count as an adult living in a property. Read further information on how prison affects Council Tax exemption and reduction.

Housing Benefit

You may continue receiving Housing Benefit while in prison. In some cases, you can make a claim the first time you get sentenced or go on remand.

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

The guide explains the rules for prison and Support for Mortgage Interest. In fact, it is not available but the partner of a prisoner might be able to claim SMI instead.

Tax Credits

As a rule, you would not qualify for tax credits while in prison or on remand. Even so, you would need to report any changes that affect your tax credits to the Tax Credit Office.

Benefits in Prison and When on Remand in United Kingdom