Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Search
Newsletters: June 2021

June 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to our latest newsletter - bringing you right up to date with useful welfare benefit information. 

In this issue find out more about:

  • EUSS closing date looms - what next?
     
  • Did you know - some non-EEA Nationals can apply to the EUSS?
     
  • 320,000 EEA Nationals still awaiting a decision - what happens to those still awaiting a decision on 1st July?
     
  • New EEA National flowchart - to help you work out which 'protected' EEA Nationals can claim UC.
     
  • Check out our new EEA National workshops
     
  • Untidy Tenancies Latest - no solutions (sorry!), but you may find our new Briefing useful.
     
  • PIP awarded to UC claimant - could they be entitled to the Transitional SDP Element?
     
  • Mixed age couples - Wrongly advised to claim UC - if Pension Credit is still in payment, can anything be done?

     
  • Your chance to WIN £50 for your local FOOD BANK and a box of chocolates for you!
EEA Nationals - act now or miss out!

The deadline for EEA Nationals to apply to the EUSS is fast approaching - so what happens if they don't apply in time?

The Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is open to applications from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and family members, who were resident in the UK before 1st January 2021.

The main EUSS application deadline is 30th June 2021.

From 1st July 2021, eligible people who haven’t applied to the EUSS (even if they have an outstanding late application under consideration, i.e. made on or after 1st July 2021), will not have a lawful immigration status in the UK.

This will have significant implications for their entitlements in the UK, i.e. no right to work, rent, access welfare benefits, have a bank account or driving licence.

Where a UC claimant has not yet confirmed their EUSS status, the DWP will be contacting the Home Office to see if one has been granted or not (it is unclear whether the Home Office will confirm pending applications). If they have not yet applied to the EUSS then any UC award will be brought to an end in line with the current guidance.

NEWS FLASH: The Home Office announced on 23rd June that EEA citizens living in the UK who have failed to apply to the EUSS by the deadline will be issued with a 28 day notice telling them to apply or risk becoming unlawfully present. We are assuming that this is effectively giving EEA Nationals a 28 day extension to apply without having to provide good reason. The Immigration Minister has started that 'citizens who have failed to apply to apply by the deadline would not have their benefits cut off from 1st July'.  We assume that this concession will only apply during this 28 day period.

NOTE: Due to the complexity of the rules, ever changing guidance and government announcements in this area, this information is subject to change.

Click here for a useful Parliamentary Briefing
Did you know?
Some Non-EEA Nationals can apply to the EUSS

You have all been working hard to ensure that EEA Nationals know they need to apply to the EU Settlement scheme by 30th June 2021 to get Settled or Pre-settled Status, ensuring their continued right to live and work in the UK and to remain entitled to UC and other benefits.

In limited exceptional circumstances some people may be allowed to apply after 30th June 2021 – but this is at the discretion of the Home Office.

(Remember Settled Status gives entitlement to benefits; those with Pre-settled Status must also show they have “Right to Reside" eg being a worker, retaining their worker status, permanent residence, family member of an EEA national with a qualifying right to reside, certain derivative rights.)

BUT you may have tenants/residents/clients who are not EEA nationals themselves but who can, and must, apply to the EUSS to retain their rights. And these will be harder to find.

Example 1: family member of an EEA national

Juan, a Spanish national is your tenant. He has a Right to Reside as a worker and has been granted Settled Status.

His wife Juanita, Colombian has been living with him for 3 years. She has “Limited Leave to Remain” on a spouse visa with “No Recourse to Public Funds”.
She has the right to apply to the EUSS as the family member of an EEA national. 

If Juanita applied to the EUSS and was given Pre-settled Status she would be able to claim UC if they were to separate (but remained married) as she could “piggyback” on his Right to Reside (so long as he still had one) as his family member.

If she didn’t apply to the EUSS in time and so was unable to get Pre-settled Status, then although her Limited Leave to Remain would protect her right to live in the UK, she would be unable to claim UC.

Therefore applying to the EUSS now may enable her to claim UC in the future.

Example 2: “Zambrano carers”

Ginika, Nigerian, has a 5 year old son, Freddie, who is a British citizen because his father is a British citizen. 

Unfortunately his father abandoned them when Freddie was 3 years old and Ginika has been struggling to cope as she has “No Recourse to Public Funds”. 

They have been placed in temporary accommodation because they were homeless and at risk.

Under the “Zambrano carer” derivative right rules Ginika currently has a right to live and work in the UK as the sole carer of a British child. But will lose this unless she applies to the EUSS.

Although she is not an EEA national nor the family member of an EEA national, she is entitled to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme because the judge in the relevant case (“Zambrano”) case ruled that such situations came under EEA law. 

A Zambrano Right to Reside does NOT of itself confer the right to claim UC and other benefits.
However if she can show she has been continuously resident in the UK for 5 years she will be granted Settled Status and will then be eligible for benefits on that basis.

It is vital that people in this position know to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

NOTE: This can be complicated and there may be other factors to consider so someone in this situation should seek immigration advice from a registered immigration adviser: https://www.gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser

NOTE: Applications to the EUSS by people with derivative rights (including Zambrano carers) have to be on paper rather than online, by contacting the EU Settlement Resolution Centre: 0300123 7379; EUSettlementresolution@homeoffice.gov.uk


What can you do?

It isn’t too late to help - although 30th June is nearly here many of these people will hopefully be allowed a late application.

A couple of ideas you could consider:

Rather than just targeting the EEA nationals you are aware of, try a “scattergun” approach – send information about the deadline to apply to everyone. 

Many will not know they are “Zambrano carers” – if you are aware of single parents who are Non EEA Nationals, contact them directly by phone or text to explain the scheme –  and why it is so important. You will need to establish whether their child is a British citizen.

320,000 EEA Nationals still awaiting a decision....

What happens to those who have applied to the EUSS but are still awaiting their decision on 1st July 2021?

Official statistics showed that in May  320,000 people are still awaiting a decision on their status – Settled Status for those who can evidence that they have been in the country for more than five years and Pre-settled Status for those in the country for fewer than five.

The future borders and immigration minister, Kevin Foster, urged those who have not applied to do so by 30th June, promising that rights would be protected for those in the backlog.

We have already confirmed that someone who has applied to the EU settlement scheme by the 30th June deadline, but has not had a decision by then, will have their rights protected until their application is decided,” he said.

This means that where the EEA National can:

  • Prove* that they have made an application to the EUSS before 1st July 2021 and are still awaiting the outcome, and
  • Had a 'Right to Reside' as at 11pm on 31st December 2020, i.e. were working, or had retained worker status, or a derivative right to reside etc.

then the rules that applied during the 'grace period' will apply. Therefore, as long as they have a current 'Right to Reside' they can continue to receive / make new claims for benefits.

* Whilst the application under the EU Settlement Scheme is pending, applicants would normally receive a Certificate of Application (COA).

Please see our new flowchart for more information.

NOTE: Due to the complexity of the rules, ever changing guidance and government announcements in this area, this information is subject to change.

 New Flowchart
Which EEA Nationals that were living in UK by 31st December 2020 can claim UC from 1st July 2021.
Click here for flowchart
Need to know more?

Book onto one of our online Workshops:

EEA Nationals and Lettings from a Benefit Perspective
Wed 21st July, 9.30am -12.30pm

The Benefit Rules for
EEA Nationals
and Risks to Rental Income

Thurs 12th August, 9.30am - 12.30pm  

click here to find out more...

Untidy Tenancy / Absent Joint Tenants 

The DWP still seem to be struggling with how best to ensure a UC claimant who has an untidy tenancy / absent joint tenant has their Housing Costs Element based on the full 100% of their eligible rent.

Their own Guidance is confusing - for the claimant, for the landlord and also (it would seem) for the DWP.

We explore this topic in our new Briefing.

If you have any information you would like to share about untidy tenancies / absent joint tenants - please email us: info@housingsystems.co.uk

Click here for the Briefing
Awarded PIP after moving on to UC?
If a UC claimant is:
  • Awarded Daily Living PIP, and
  • The PIP is awarded from a date before their UC award started, and
  • They were in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, or Jobseekers Allowance which ended less than a month before their UC started,
then it is well worth a look to see if they may be entitled to have the Severe Disability Premium included in the ESA, IS or JSA award and if they are, whether that means they are also entitled to the Transitional SDP Element in their UC award.

If they are, they could see their on-going UC payments increase and receive a lump sum backpayment.

It does not matter how far back the PIP award goes. However, there are different rules for entitlement to the Transitional SDP Element - depending on whether the UC award started before or on / after 27th January 2021.

We explain more about how these different rules work on the website.
Click here for more information
Test how much you know about the TSDPE - click here
Want to know more?

See our new:

Transitional SDP E-Learning

If you don't already subscribe to our
E-Learning suite then you can still undertake this course on a pay-as-you-go basis for just £24.00
click here to find out more...
Mixed Age Couples - wrongly advised to claim UC?
 

Misadvised to claim UC but Pension Credit still in payment?

We have heard of several cases of ‘protected’ mixed age couples, on Guarantee Pension Credit, who have tried to claim HB but have been incorrectly told that they had to claim UC instead.

If they have already made a claim for UC, but their PC is still in payment – is there anything that can be done?

The advice depends on what has happened so far! The Regulations do not allow someone to receive Pension Credit if they have 'an entitlement' to Universal Credit. It is generally accepted that having an entitlement to a benefit in the Regulations means actually receiving it, i.e. having an award.

Already received an award of UC?

If the mixed age couple have already been awarded some UC, they have become UC claimants and that means they will have lost their protection.

They might also want to complain to the office that misadvised them and request compensation for their financial losses (PC and HB).

Nil entitlement to any UC?

If they have reached the end of their first UC Monthly Assessment Period, but their income is too high for them to be entitled to any UC, and their Pension Credit is still in payment, then we think they could argue that they are still a ‘protected’ mixed age couple who are allowed to make a new claim for HB.

Withdrawn their UC claim?

If they have withdrawn their UC claim before the end of the first Monthly Assessment Period, we think their Pension Credit should not be affected. They will not have been entitled to any UC, so they should not be excluded from entitlement to PC.

Does this work if the mixed age couple are still receiving Housing Benefit (SPC rules) and want to claim Pension Credit?

We don’t think so…

They way the Regulations work for HB are different. As soon as a claim for UC is made (as long as the basic conditions are met, e.g. age, savings, not a person with no recourse to public funds etc) then any existing award of HB is terminated (Reg 8 of the UC Transitional Provisions Regs 2014). So without either HB or PC, they would not be a ‘protected’ mixed age couple.

 

Click here for more information
Spotlight on
Mixed Age Couples


Book onto our online Workshop:
Tues 6th July, 1.30pm - 4.30pm

click here to find out more...

Your chance to
win £50 for your local food bank and a box of chocolates for yourself!

 
Every month we give you the chance to win £50 for your local food bank.  

Congratulations to Kaitlin from Angus Council who won our May quiz! A £50 donation was made to Angus food bank.


Why not enter our competition and possibly win a donation for your local food bank? The winner will be selected at random and can nominate a food bank of their choice to receive a £50 donation from us, and they will receive a box of chocolates for themselves.

To enter this month's competition, just email your entry to us by Friday 16th July 2021 for your chance to win.

This month's competition question:

Rahul (67) and his wife Saira (62) made a claim for Universal Credit when Saira went part time at work. Rahul has health problems and gets PIP daily living and mobility, and he has been told he should request a Work Capability Assessment.
What should the DWP do?

A: Explain that as he is pension age they cannot put him forward for a Work Capability Assessment.
B: Request a fit note from him, forward him for a Work Capability Assessment and apply a work allowance to Saira's wages.



Find the answer on this page: click here

And email your entry to: info@housingsystems.co.uk
Want to know more about:

Our Online Training?

We have Workshops, E-Learning courses and Blended Learning courses - all written and presented by experts, designed especially for people supporting social housing tenants.
Click here for more info.

Why not follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn?

Keep yourself up to date and find out what we're up to!

Twitter
LinkedIn

Using the links in the newsletter
Remember when clicking on a link in this newsletter you may need to have logged into our website using your username and password.

If you have forgotten yours - please email us and we will send a reminder:
info@housingsystems.co.uk


Not a member yet? Would you and your colleagues find information like this useful? Then contact us for more details about becoming a member: info@housingsystems.co.uk.
Click here to login to website
Twitter
Website
LinkedIn