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This can be complicated and specialist help may be needed from the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre While supported by the Home Office, asylum seekers are generally housed in furnished accommodation.

Once they are granted refugee status, they may be offered a tenancy on the same or similar basis, including a substantial charge for furniture.

In many cases, families may also be under exceptional pressure due to their previous experiences, harassment, health problems or disabilities.

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People who have had a positive decision on their asylum application should be eligible for a community care grant as refugees are specifically mentioned several times in the Social Fund guide.6In this context, the term 'refugee' is not defined, so it should be used in its wider sense to include people with humanitarian protection and other forms of leave.

In most cases, they will be will be setting up home permanently for the first time in the UK, usually as part of a planned programme of resettlement with the support of an organisation such as the Refugee Council.

In these circumstances, a claim for employment and support allowance may be more appropriate.

This needs to be explored sensitively, especially as the person concerned will have already been required to go over these details repeatedly with the immigration authorities.

Although the furniture charge can be covered by housing benefit, the subsequently high rent means that people may find it very difficult to meet the charge if they move off benefits into low-paid work.

To avoid this trap, it is important that people are given the option to rent unfurnished accommodation and apply for grants or loans for furniture (see below).This will, as it was surely intended to do, ease the transition to a new country and promote integration and employment prospects.Note, however, that this only applies to someone who has been recognised as a refugee under the Geneva Convention, and not to someone with humanitarian protection or other leave.Most refugees and others granted leave to remain are directed to the nearest Jobcentre Plus office to claim jobseeker's allowance (JSA).Many refugees, however, have suffered torture or violence resulting in physical disabilities and mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress.If a claim for JSA is pursued, the initial interview and the drawing up of a jobseeker's agreement are particularly important, and an interpreter should be provided if necessary.

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