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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Residence issues  →  Thread

UC, HRT and Settled Status

ZBUC
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Welfare rights team (UC advice project) - Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest

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Hi everyone,

My client’s UC claim was closed a few weeks ago due to her not passing HRT, even though she has Settled Status. We immediately opened a new claim, and put in a note explaining what had happened. We quoted the DWP decision maker regulation (Memo 09/19, 7). which states that:

‘Where a claimant has been granted ILR i.e. Settled Status under the EUSS, they will satisfy the right to reside element of the Habitual Residence Test for the purposes of claiming UC.’

They seemed to have accepted this, as her account stopped displaying an ‘apply for settled status’ task, and the claim was accepted. They gave her a commitment meeting.

I went with her to this meeting, where they asked her AGAIN to give them residency documents. Sadly EU Settled Status is FULLY digitalised, so there are no documents whatsoever to show. They don’t exist. The home office does not issue them. There’s just a code to put on a website. We explained this to the work coach, and to his manager. The manager agreed with us but could not think of a way to put that in the system, since the computer only asks for documents. So they booked her in for ANOTHER HRT meeting, and said they would put in a note explaining the situation to the person doing the HRT. I asked the work coach to do this ASAP and he just put it on a sticky note and said he would do it later.

The problem is that my client has already had an HRT in her previous claimed, and failed it because they could not figure out a way to put the settled status evidence in their system. She has already explained to them how this works in the previous meeting, and also told them that their own rules say Settled Status is enough to pass HRT. They didn’t listen, and said the system could not process that.

I worry that my client will be struck in a loop with this. She’s already lost one month of payment because of them failing to apply their own rules, and she really cannot afford to lose two. Does anyone have any ideas about how to proceed?

Thank you!

Va1der
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Welfare Support Worker - Community Renewal Edinburgh

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Elliot Kent
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Va1der - 08 November 2019 12:42 PM

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/800793/adm9-19.pdf

Paragraphs 6-7

This. Some jobcentres seem incapable of understanding this new guidance. It seems to vary locally. The claimant can print off the letter which DWP then have an established process to verify.

ZBUC - 08 November 2019 11:45 AM

I worry that my client will be struck in a loop with this. She’s already lost one month of payment because of them failing to apply their own rules, and she really cannot afford to lose two. Does anyone have any ideas about how to proceed?

Why isn’t she MRing the incorrect refusals? She shouldn’t lose anything as they should be fairly easily overturned.

ZBUC
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Welfare rights team (UC advice project) - Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest

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Thanks so much for all your replies!

We’ve already put in an MR on the old claim, but still waiting on a decision - we’ll see! Everyone at the job centre seemed unsure about the MR having been received (?), but when we called they said it was under consideration.

I’m confused about para 6 on the decision makers memo:

“The HO has started issuing Settled Status notifications, which claimants can print off
from their online HO account. These notifications are not proof of Settled Status or
Pre-settled Status on their own, as they do not contain biometric information. These
notifications should be accepted from the claimant as supporting evidence, which can
be verified through HO services, using the existing HO Evidence and Enquiry stencil. “

What do they mean with ‘Settled Status notifications’? Do they mean printing off the code you get once you’ve signed into gov.uk/check-settled-status? Or do they mean the letter you get via email when they accept your settled status, which is labelled ‘THIS IS NOT PROOF OF SETTLE STATUS’?  Or something else? I will tell my client to print off both just in case, but I’m unsure how to interpret it.

Thank you so much!

Elliot Kent
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Yes you print off the letter which says, somewhat implausibly, that it is not proof of settled status with a reference number on top and then the DWP check that against HO records and everything is fine.

I have no idea why the letter says that it is “not proof of your status”. It’s not really for the Home Office to dictate what is or isn’t proof of something. It is very clearly evidence that you have a particular status and unless there is some good reason to believe it is a forgery or something, then it ought to suffice for most purposes.

Jo at the CAB in Hillingdon was having similar problems to this. so I wonder if there is just something going badly wrong in London as it seems fine up North.

[ Edited: 8 Nov 2019 at 06:07 pm by Elliot Kent ]
ZBUC
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Welfare rights team (UC advice project) - Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest

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amazing, thank you!

Jo_Smith
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Elliot Kent - 08 November 2019 06:02 PM

Jo at the CAB in Hillingdon was having similar problems to this. so I wonder if there is just something going badly wrong in London as it seems fine up North.

90% of my casework consists of dealing with HRT failures and I have supported quite a few clients with complaints about JCP staff refusing to accept this poorly phrased letter clients get from EU Settled Scheme, staff looking for passport stamps or vignettes, settled status holders failing HRT, MRing claim closures, rinse and repeat. I have a set of printed Memo ADM 09/19 copies and ensure clients take it to HRT appointment with them. Sometimes it works…

Home Office does not know how DWP works in terms of evidence, DWP does not know what Home Office does, real people are left in utter misery.

Having discussed this informally with other CAB Help to Claim folks, it does appear that London is experiencing more than its fair share of settled status issues. But then decision makers are not based here and London has high concentration of EU nationals. Funny thing is, I have not yet seen any German, French or Benelux settled status claimants.