Can I claim help with my housing costs 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 Government has removed access to housing costs for European Economic Area (EEA) jobseekers even if they can get universal credit. 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 may be able to receive housing costs through universal credit, they will not be able to claim housing benefit.
All EEA jobseekers that wish to make a new claim for Jobseekers Allowance or Housing Benefit must now claim universal credit, including the following:
- UK and Irish Republic nationals
- EEA nationals working in the UK who are subsequently made redundant
- 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 will continue to be able to receive both until they migrate to universal credit.
UK nationals coming back into the country after a long period of time will have to claim universal credit, they may have to prove their habitual residence before housing costs are paid through universal credit. For example, if someone had bought a house in the UK or signed a 12 month tenancy agreement, this could show their intention to stay in the UK.
Last updated: 16/06/2022, 09:57