Hello and a very happy new year! Welcome to my January blog. This month, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight a very important issue that could have a significant impact on claimants of Universal Credit: the EU Settlement Scheme.
The EU Settlement Scheme has been formed by the Government as a result of Brexit. In short, anyone who has immigrated from the EU, EEA or EFTA must apply to the scheme to reconfirm their immigration status. It’s free to apply and, if your application is successful, you will receive either settled or pre-settled status. Both of these statuses will allow you to live in the UK after Brexit has taken full effect.
If you are an EU, EEA or EFTA citizen, you must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, regardless of your current immigration status. If you don’t apply, there is a very real chance that you will lose access to NHS treatments, be unable to work in the UK and be unable to claim welfare benefits, including Universal Credit. If you are claiming Universal Credit currently and do not apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, there is a real possibility that your claim will be suspended or closed.
The deadline to apply is currently December 2020.* Although that may seem like plenty of time, it can take up to a month for your application to be processed. You could also be asked to provide additional information, which could cause your application to be delayed.
Due to this, I strongly advise that you apply to EU Settlement Scheme as soon as you can.
If you need help with your application, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We’re working closely with Manchester-based charity Europia, who offer free, personalised advice on completing your application.
Having to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme may feel daunting, but I want to emphasise: you are very welcome here. Myself and my colleagues at Southway are always here and will do all we can to ensure you can access the services and support you need.
Get in touch
If you have any queries about the EU Settlement Scheme and Universal Credit, please do not hesitate to contact me or send a Facebook message. You can also drop into the reception at Southway and ask to arrange an appointment.
If you have any questions about Universal Credit, or any topics you would like me to cover in future blogs, please let me know by getting in touch!
*Amendment: As of the 29th January 2020, it is my understanding that the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme has been moved to 30th June 2021. Despite this, I still advise that you begin your application as soon as possible, to ensure peace of mind.