Housing benefit for EEA Jobseekers
Can I claim housing benefit if I am an EEA jobseeker?
The Government wants to protect the UK's benefit system and discourage people, who have no established connection or who have broken their connection with the UK, from migrating here without a firm offer of employment or imminent prospect of work.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Home Secretary announced their plan to remove access to housing benefit for European Economic Area (EEA) jobseekers even if they get income-based jobseeker's allowance.
Therefore the benefit regulations state that from 1 April 2014, all EEA jobseekers have to wait three months after which they have to take a habitual residency test with the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP). If after the test they have gained 'worker status' then they can claim housing benefit.
There are some EEA jobseekers that are excluded from this measure:
- UK and Irish Republic nationals
- EEA nationals working in the UK who are subsequently made redundant and claim jobseekers allowance
- EEA workers/self-employed
- EEA jobseekers who are already in receipt of income based jobseekers allowance and housing benefit at the time the reform came into effect
If UK nationals come back into the country after a long period of time, they have to prove their habitual residence before housing benefit is paid. For example, if someone had bought a house in the UK or signed a 12 month tenancy agreement, this would show their intention to stay in the UK.
Last updated: 27/02/2017 11:38