I am an EEA citizen, what public funds or services can I access?
- I arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 and have not made an application to the EU settlement scheme
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, will have the same access to public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) as accessed before 31 December 2020 up until 30 June 2021.
To secure your right to live and work as well as maintain access to services beyond 30 June 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before this date to secure their immigration status and gain Pre-Settled or Settled Status.
- New arrivals to the UK on or after 1 January 2021
EEA nationals who arrived after 1 January 2021 to visit the UK will be subject to a No Recourse to Public Funds condition. This means visitors will be excluded from accessing public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance).
- EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with a work visa under the Points-Based Immigration System
All EEA citizens arriving in the UK to work under the new points-based immigration system (PBIS) will have No Recourse to Public Funds (meaning no access to benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) in line with non-EEA migrants.
Unless the individual has Indefinite Leave to Remain, they will not have access to public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance)
iii. EUSS Family Permit
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who join family members (family relationship must have existed before 31 December 2020) will potentially have access public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) and services (healthcare, education [school and college]) protected up until 30 June 2021.
We encourage individuals who enter the UK via the EUSS family permit, if they wish to remain in the UK as a resident, to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled status within three months of their arrival as this will secure your legal status as a resident as well as the aforementioned access to public funds and services beyond 30 June 2021.
c. I have pre-settled status
A recent Court of Appeal decision in the case of ‘Fratila and Tanase’ has decided that EU nationals with Pre-Settled Status can access public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance).
The Department of Work and Pensions have appealed this decision (February 2021) and the case is now due to be heard in the Supreme Court. The case will be expedited, due to the importance of the issues. At present individuals with Pre-Settled status will for certain means tested benefits have to establish a ‘Right to Reside’. This is based on the now defunct EEA Regulations and is determined by whether or not the person was or is a worker, jobseeker, self-employed, self-sufficient or a student under the previous Regulations.
To access some services, you may be asked to evidence your Status; individuals should create a ‘share code’ which acts as digital proof of your immigration status. This shared code can be viewed by authorities (for example, DWP), shown at ports of entry or viewed by employers, proving an individual’s immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. To create this code online and need your passport/national ID card number, date of birth and mobile number or email address- all details must be the same as those used when you made your application to the EU Settlement Scheme for your status. You can create a share code on the government’s website.
Any questions? Please email CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk
- I have Pre-Settled Status and have been refused access to benefits, what should I do?
You should take the following steps:
- If you have failed the habitual residence test in a claim for means-tested benefits (including Universal Credit), you should apply for a ‘revision’ of the decision (mandatory reconsideration) if you have not done so already. If this mandatory reconsideration is refused, you should appeal against this decision.
- If you have been refused a mandatory reconsideration you should immediately appeal against the decision to the first-tier tribunal, relying on the Fratila Court of Appeal decision. These appeals may need to be stayed until the outcome of the Supreme Court decision.
For further assistance with applications, please contact the Coventry Independent Advice Services.
If you already have an appeal pending, then Coventry Law Centre can represent you at your appeal. Please contact the Welfare Benefits team. Find out more about the Law Centre, including how to contact them, on their website.
d. I have settled status
Individuals with Settled Status have Indefinite Leave to Remain and therefore can access public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance). Entitlements for individuals with Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status also include access to healthcare, education, student finance and state pensions.
You may be asked to evidence your Settled Status; individuals should create a ‘share code’ which acts as digital proof of your immigration status. This share code can then be viewed by authorities (for example, DWP), shown at ports of entry or viewed by employers, proving an individual’s pre-settled immigration status. You create this code online and need your passport/national ID card number, date of birth and mobile number or email address- all details must be the same as those used when you made your application to the EU Settlement Scheme for Settled Status. You can create a share code on the government’s website.
If you have Settled Status and have been refused access to public funds or services, please contact the Coventry Law Centre who can offer free advice and guidance.
e. I have submitted my EU Settlement Scheme application and have not yet received a decision
Individuals who have submitted their application to the EU Settlement Scheme have access to public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) until they receive a decision.
To demonstrate that you have submitted an application to the EU Settlement Scheme and are awaiting a decision, you can show relevant authorities an email with your ‘certificate of application’ (you should have received this automatically when you submitted your application) or, your Unique Application Number generated via email upon submission of your application to the EU Settlement Scheme.
- How long till I receive a decision on my EU Settlement Scheme application?
Once you have submitted your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, a Home Office decision maker will review your application. Waiting times for a decision vary, some take a few days others may take months.
If you have been waiting longer than 6 months, since the date of submitting your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, please contact CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk for free support, advice and guidance. Coventry Law Centre, with your permission, may be able to check your application to see if there is an outstanding query or request for further documentation or, in some cases, liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to resolve any issues.
f. EEA Nationals and Use of NHS
Use of the NHS is based on having ‘ordinary residence’ in the UK. If you have Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status you will be able to continue to use the NHS normally.
Individuals who were lawfully resident in the UK as of 31 December 2020 who have not yet registered under the EUSS will be able to continue to use the EUSS normally until 30 June 2021, during the ‘grace period’. Beyond 30 June 2021, proof of status under the EUSS may be required to continue to access the NHS. This is another important reason to ensure that all those eligible to register under the EUSS do so.
If you do not apply by 30 June 2021, you could lose your right to access free healthcare. If your application under the EUSS is still pending you will still be able to access free healthcare.
- Irish citizens (who do not have to apply under the EUSS) living in the UK will continue to access healthcare in the UK on the same terms as a UK resident
- Students who began their courses before 31 December 2020 can still use their EHIC card to access the NHS but must apply to the EUSS by 30 June 2021 if their course extends beyond that date
- Those moving to the UK beyond 1 January 2021 (unless they are eligible for an EUSS Family Permit) will be ‘subject to immigration control’. This means that they will have to pay the relevant Immigration Health Surcharge (HIS) for the appropriate visa. Those that are coming to the UK as a visitor will not be charged but will need to have appropriate health insurance although all individuals are eligible to access emergency treatment.
For further information see: