EU Settlement Scheme - Important information 2021

Any eligible EEA National who has not applied to the EUSS by the deadline will be unlawfully present in the UK and therefore unable to continue to live, work and claim/continue to claim benefits. Benefits they are receiving could stop and, if working, they could lose their job.

What is the EUSS?

The EU Settlement Scheme was introduced to protect the rights of those EEA Nationals (and certain family members) who took up residency in the UK before the end of the Brexit transition period.

EEA Nationals (and their qualifying non EEA family members) are eligible for EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status if they were resident in the UK by 31st December 2020: they can apply to the EUSS up to 30th June 2021 - known as the ‘grace period’.

If they were resident in the UK by 30th December 2020, and can show they have been resident for five or more years they are given Settled Status.
If they were resident in the UK by 30th December 2020 but cannot show that they have been in the UK five years they are granted Pre-settled Status.

During the grace period

If they are given Settled or Pre-settled Status they retain their rights to live, work and study in the UK.

  • If they have Settled Status they can claim benefits without having to prove anything other than ‘actual’ habitual residence.
  • If they have Pre-settled Status AND a ‘Right to Reside’ (eg as a worker, with retained worker status, permanent residence, family member of one of these, derivative rights) they can claim benefits so long as they are ‘actually’ habitually’ resident. 
  • During the grace period if they have neither Settled nor Pre-settled Status but have a Right to Reside they can claim benefits so long as they are ‘actually’ habitually’ resident. 

From 1st July 2021 things change

EEA Nationals (and their qualifying non EEA family members) who have not been granted either Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme will no longer be able to rely on their previous rights to live, work and study in the UK.

This means that to claim benefits / continue to claim benefits, they must have been granted full Settled Status, or have Pre-settled Status with a ‘Right to Reside’.

Does this mean someone's benefits could just stop?

Yes. For instance where an EEA National without an EUSS status is currently in receipt of Universal Credit, then they will cease to be entitled to it from the beginning of the Monthly Assessment Period in which 1st July falls: it may end immediately or if later they will have been overpaid from that date.

If they do not have Settled or Pre-settled Status they will be ‘unlawfully present’ in the UK. They will lose their right to work and so could lose their jobs; they may even be required to leave the UK.

What about those who are getting Universal Credit, have applied to the EUSS, but are still awaiting the outcome on 1st July?

Where someone has applied to the EUSS before 30th June 2021 but has not yet had the outcome, then on 1 July 2021 their entitlement to Universal Credit should continue but might be suspended. If they are granted Settled or Pre-Settled Status then it should be reinstated without a gap in their entitlement. But those entitled should apply to the EUSS as soon as possible to avoid any risk.

Do all EEA Nationals need to apply by the 30th June deadline?

Some EEA nationals will have been in the UK since before their country of nationality joined the EU, and many of these will have been granted “Indefinite Leave to Remain” under the immigration rules at the time. They will continue to be lawfully present and entitled to benefits.

Everyone else, including children, needs to apply to the EUSS (if under 18 the parent/ guardian will apply for them).

What about EEA Nationals with Permanent Residence Status?

Some people with Permanent Residence (PR) Status may well believe that they do not have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme – but they do. PR status will no longer confer any rights to live work, study or claim benefits in the UK from 1st July 2021.

We can help - Contact our Income Team for more information and help. Telephone 0300 303 9848