Social Security Benefits: EU Nationals

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 27th January 2015.

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Photo of Mike Weatherley Mike Weatherley Conservative, Hove

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government has taken to gain greater control over the type and amount of benefits paid to EU nationals who reside in the UK but are not in employment.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

Over the last year, the UK Government has introduced a number of restrictions to benefits which are designed to ensure that our welfare system focusses support towards those who have come to the UK and are contributing to our economy.

Since December 2013 EEA nationals have had to take a stronger, more robust Habitual Residence Test (HRT) if they want to claim income-related benefits. If they pass the HRT, EEA job seekers must have been living in the UK for three months before they can claim income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. If they satisfy these requirements, they are only able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance for three months.

From 1 April 2014 new EEA job seekers have been unable to access Housing Benefit, even if they were in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance.

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