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Britons fleeing Middle East violence ‘able to access benefits without delay’

British citizens fleeing the conflict in Israel and Gaza will be exempt from residency tests and able to get easier access to benefits and other services after arriving in the UK, ministers have said.

British nationals and anyone else eligible for support fleeing the region – including Lebanon and the West Bank – should be able to claim universal credit, as well as disability and child benefits, without delay.

They will also be able to access social housing and housing assistance if needed.

The Government said it was also ensuring that money paid under the victims of overseas terrorism compensation scheme would not be counted when working out entitlement to income-related benefits.

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Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We’ve been working quickly to ensure British nationals arriving from Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon can receive the support and security they need during a time of unspeakable turmoil.

“As the UK continues to step up its response to the fast-moving circumstances in the region, the regulations which come into force today will speed up access to benefits, ensuring those eligible can access the help they need.”