Settled Status & Benefits
In ECAP’s experience the DWP are regularly denying benefits to EU/EEA migrants, even when they are entitled under the benefits rules. “Hostile environment” practices are plunging many EU citizens into a desperate situation where after many years working in the UK they are left penniless when they need support. ECAP is fighting several such cases at present.
Now the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has publicised a new legal route for such claimants to obtain the support they need and to which they are entitled. Successfully applying for “settled status” gives EU/EEA citizens access to benefits on the same basis as UK citizens. Crucially, achieving settled status is significantly more straightforward than achieving “permanent right to reside”, the previous way to achieve benefits parity with UK citizens. “Settled status” requires living in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period for 5 years in a row, without the need to meet further qualifying conditions related to employment etc.
EU/ EEA citizens who have been denied benefits due to the DWP’s interpretation of right to residence, and who have now gained “settled status”, should make a new claim for Universal Credit, presenting their “settled status” situation as evidence of qualification.
To read more check out the page Settled Status