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EU Citizens and the right to UK benefits: Part 1: The EU Settlement Scheme

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By Karen Dunn, Specialist Welfare Benefits Team, Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke on Trent   This article was primarily in response to questions arising from a Rough Sleeper Team query.  However the EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals if they can satisfy the stated conditions. There are no official figures for the number of EU migrants sleeping rough.  A Crisis report in 2018 stated that migrants (including non-EU), “clearly make up a significant proportion of the rough sleeping and wider homeless population across Britain but there are significant gaps in the data collected or published”. Of those seen rough sleeping in Greater London in 2018/2019, just under half were UK nationals (fullfact.org/online/immigration-homelessness/). Causes of EU migrant homelessness are complex and varied, for example: zero hour contracts; earnings below NMW; exploitative employers; unscrupulous landlords; sweeping welfare cuts and, not uncommonly, erroneous DWP decisions when Social Security legislative issues such as the right to reside and the habitual residence test are in play.  We have had instances where even when someone has been given Settled Status the DWP are unlawfully applying the habitual residence test and not awarding benefit. If you, or someone you are supporting is homeless or is… Continue Reading

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