The Benefits of the EU Settlement Scheme

The new European Union Settlement Scheme under the government of the UK stipulate that EU nationals currently residing in the UK or arrives into Britain prior to the conclusion of the implementation or transition (31st December 2020) will need to submit applications for either settled status or pre-settled status. The EU Settlement Scheme will continue to accept applications till June 30, 2021. Request for the new status which should be done online will only becomes compulsory by the 1st of July 2021.

The real meaning of the EU Settlement Scheme with some benefits

The EU Settlement Scheme which is abbreviated as EUSS offers you benefits; 

  • You and the members of your family will be allowed to continue to live as well as work in the United Kingdom
  • This means that you are qualified to have access to public services like schools and healthcare, pensions and public funds
  • It gives you eligibility to submit applications for UK citizenship, if you so desire and meet the criteria.
  • For the submission of application for settled or pre-settled status, a biometric passport will be required and you submit online via the government’s new app.
  • Anyone who wishes to apply on-line will have access to the EUSS application process from March 30, 2019. You can also apply by post, or even with support from several nominated support centers in the UK.

Criteria for eligibility

  • It is either you are an EU national or a non-EU family member of a European Union national. This is inclusive of individuals with British permanent resident documents. 
  • Irish nationals and individuals with indefinite leave to enter or remain have no need to apply, except if they wish to.
  • You need to be already living in Britain by 31st of December 2020. Eligibility for settled status is for individuals who have been living in Britain for more than five continuous years. Eligibility for pre-settled status is for individuals who have been living in the UK for a period less than five years.
  • Applicants must not turn out be a persistent or serious criminal or a threat to the security of the country.

Family Members

The EU Settlement Scheme stipulates that family members must not be from the European Union; they can come from any location around the world, in such cases, they are called non-EU citizen family members.

Family members of Qualified European Union nationals

Non-EU family members who are already resident in Britain by December 31, 2020 will be qualified to submit applications for the EU Settlement Scheme. If you have close family members who are not resident in Britain by December 31, 2020, they will be eligible to join you anytime in the future, provided the relationship still exists. The rights of children either born or adopted after December 31, 2020 will be protected.

Individuals from the European Union or EEA (European Economic Area) who are residents in the UK might be able to lay claim to some benefits. The EEA covers all European Union countries and others like Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. People from Switzerland might be included in the benefits.

However, there is the need to prove certain facts about your life in the UK for every benefit you need to apply for;

  • You should prove that you have the right to lay claim to benefits in Britain – this is referred to as “right to reside”
  • That Britain, Channel Islands, Ireland or the Isle of Man is your main home and you have plans to stay – this is referred to as being ‘habitually resident’
  • You will need to meet the necessary criteria for the benefits you wish to claim – in explanation, your income is less than a certain amount or you are sick.

Individuals who have lived for more than five years in the United Kingdom and has put in their applications for settled status or those who have been granted settled status can submit application for benefits. In this case, there won’t be need for evidence of right to reside. For people who are yet to be granted settled status before December 31 2020, their benefits might stop.

Individual who are yet to be granted settled status, but have proof of right to reside in Britain can submit applications for benefits.

People who might have right to reside include; 

  • Those that are working.
  • Those whose family members are working
  • Those who recently quit their jobs and are searching for new employment.

It is usually advisable to first ascertain what benefits you are eligible for and check to see what and what are required as proof for that particular benefit. You will then know if you are eligible or not.

Individuals who are struggling to put food on their table can get benefit from a food bank, or can get help from your local council if;

  • If you are unemployed or receiving a very low income.
  • You are disabled, ill or have a dependent that you care for.
  • If you have kids.
  • You are of pensionable age or have crossed it.

Individuals who are already working and receiving some form of benefits from another EEA country might still be eligible to claim certain benefits like Universal Credit. However, you need to include the details of the benefits you are already receiving from the other country when you submit applications to get benefits in the UK. The benefits you are likely to get from the UK might be affected by the amount you are already receiving from the other country.

Individuals don’t need to prove that they have right to reside to claim benefits like; 

  • Carer’s allowance
  • Attendance allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence Payment

Your right to reside can only be used to claim benefits till December 31, 2020, after which it becomes compulsory to have settled status or your benefits stop.

Individuals are not required to pass the habitual residence test in order to claim; 

  • Child benefit
  • Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Contribution-based Support and Employment Allowance

The habitual resident test will only allow you to claim benefits till 31 December, 2020, after which you must get settled status or your benefit will stop.

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