Social Security Benefits: EU Nationals

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether an EU national granted settled status in the UK is classified as having a right to be habitually resident for the purposes of applying for (a) universal credit and (b) other benefits.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many EU nationals have been refused universal credit in the last 12 months on the grounds that they have not demonstrated a right to be habitually resident.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Eligibility for income-related (means-tested) benefits, such as Universal Credit, depends on a person’s immigration status in the UK. Claimants must be exercising a legal right to reside and be habitually resident before they are eligible to claim. This is assessed through the Habitual Residence Test (HRT).

EU nationals who have been granted settled status (indefinite leave to remain) by the Home Office will satisfy the legal right to reside element of the HRT. All claimants, regardless of nationality, must also demonstrate that they are factually habitually resident in the UK in order to be eligible to claim UC. In general, a period of 3 months residence is sufficient to meet this requirement.

For certain non-contributory benefits, such as Personal Independence Payment, an individual must also satisfy the Past Presence Test (PPT), which requires them to have been present in Great Britain for 104 weeks out of the previous 156 weeks.

Information on the nationality of those refused Universal Credit within the last 12 months is still being analysed, not readily available, and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

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