MORE people were receiving support while attempting to claim asylum in Dudley in September than a year earlier, figures show.

While awaiting a decision, asylum seekers are unable to work but can be entitled to financial assistance and accommodation through what is known as 'Section 95' support.

Home Office figures show 396 people in Dudley were receiving such support as of the end of September – up from 303 claimants in September 2021.

Across the UK, 101,000 people were receiving some form of asylum support at the end of September, up 46 per cent from the same time last year.

This included 58,000 people receiving Section 95 support, up from 46,000 the year before.

Recent refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan receive different forms of support and are therefore not included in these figures.

The Home Office figures come as a leading refugee charity predicts the Government will struggle to commit to its pledge to clear the backlog in asylum applications by the end of next year.

The Refugee Council, a campaign group for refugees, said the Prime Minister "had offered little in terms of concrete steps" to clear the backlog, adding that it is concerned the commitment will not be delivered.

Tamsin Baxter, executive director of external affairs at the charity, said: "As the number of people waiting for a decision grows, so does the number of people left in limbo, unable to work and dependent on the Home Office for accommodation and financial support."

Across the West Midlands, 6,950 people were receiving Section 95 support at the end of September, up from 5,789 in September 2021.

Meanwhile, 2,348 asylum seekers have been resettled across the region through various schemes since 2014.

The Home Office said it is working on clearing "legacy cases" from before the end of June, which was when the asylum processing system was changed.

It said the new Nationality and Borders Act means it can now differentiate claims based on whether people arrived in the UK through "legal or illegal routes".