Windrush scheme: support in urgent and exceptional circumstances
The Home Secretary announced on 11 October that there may be some urgent and exceptional cases where it would be right to consider whether individual circumstances mean a payment can be made to those from the Windrush generation before a compensation scheme is in place.
This policy sets out the circumstances when these payments might apply.
Letter dated 19 March 2019 from Home Secretary Sajid Javid to Chair of Home Affairs Committee Yvette Cooper confirms that, by the end of January 2019, the Windrush Vulnerable Persons Team had made 258 referrals to the DWP in relation to fresh claims and reinstatement of benefits, with 191 individuals given advice and support on issues relating to housing.
In relation to support in urgent and exceptional circumstances, Mr Javid says that, in the period to the end of January 2019, there were 48 requests for support of which seven had been decided - two were approved and five were declined.
Immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, has apologised to the Windrush generation after about 500 private email addresses were mistakenly shared with recipients of a mailing list for the compensation scheme.
Regrettably, in promoting the scheme via email to interested parties, an administrative error was made which has meant data protection requirements have not been met, for which the Home Office apologises unreservedly.
This occurred in emails sent to some of the individuals and organisations who had registered an interest in being kept informed about the launch of the compensation scheme, which included other recipients’ email addresses. Five batches of emails, each with 100 recipients, were affected. No other personal data was included.
A recall was commenced as soon as the problem had been identified. The Departmental Data Protection Officer has been informed and an internal review will be conducted to ensure this cannot happen again. The Department has voluntarily notified the Information Commissioner’s Office of the incident.
Citizens Advice has announced that it is launching a new service funded by the Home Office to help people applying to the government’s Windrush compensation scheme - the service will start in some areas of the UK on 15 April 2019 and will be fully rolled out by the end of April -
New regs just out ...
The Legal Aid (Financial Resources and Contribution Orders) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI.No.894/2019)
Provide that payments made under or in connection with the Windrush Compensation Scheme will be disregarded for the purpose of calculating entitlement to civil and criminal legal aid and any liability for contributions to legal aid.
And new guidance on the new legal aid regs:
Further to our rightsnet news stories on Windrush-related issues .... from today’s Guardian:
The government is expected to introduce new regulation to prevent members of the Windrush generation losing out on the financial support they are entitled to, after fears that claiming compensation could lead to a loss of benefits.
In response to the threat of legal action, officials have stated in internal documents that regulations will be introduced “in due course” to ensure those currently receiving means-tested benefits do not lose out on them if they get compensation payouts over the Home Office’s “hostile environment” rules.
However, despite the documents seen by the Guardian, no new regulations have yet been published, meaning continued uncertainty for those who might be affected.