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Benefits for resettled Ukrainians

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hkrishna
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Welfare rights worker - CPAG in Scotland, Glasgow

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New factsheet on our website covering the very basics of benefit entitlement for resettled Ukrainians, plus impact on hosts:

https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/resources/factsheet/benefits-resettled-ukrainians

Does have slight Scottish slant but most info is relevant UK wide. Please share.

CHAC Adviser
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Useful summary thanks!

clive
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Hello
Really good thank you

There are two schemes. The Homes for Ukraine Scheme which is a DLUHC led scheme, and the Home Office fast track visa scheme for family members.

1. Can I ask if the rules you describe for the “resettled Ukrainians” are the same for those under both schemes?

2. I know that the impact on the benefits etc of the Home for Ukrainians Scheme host is different to the impact on the family member ‘host’

It would therefore be useful to include/explain the differences between the 2 schemes

Thank you

Clive

hkrishna
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clive - 30 March 2022 04:41 PM

Hello
Really good thank you

There are two schemes. The Homes for Ukraine Scheme which is a DLUHC led scheme, and the Home Office fast track visa scheme for family members.

1. Can I ask if the rules you describe for the “resettled Ukrainians” are the same for those under both schemes?

2. I know that the impact on the benefits etc of the Home for Ukrainians Scheme host is different to the impact on the family member ‘host’

It would therefore be useful to include/explain the differences between the 2 schemes

Thank you

Clive

Good question Clive.

The changes cover both schemes. For the HRT, reg 9(4) UC Regs for example is amended by reg 3 SI 2022/344 to add:

“(zc)a person in Great Britain who was residing in Ukraine immediately before 1st January 2022, left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion which took place on 24th February 2022 and—

(i)has been granted leave in accordance with immigration rules made under section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971; or

(ii)has a right of abode in the United Kingdom within the meaning given in section 2 of that Act;”

So I think that covers the fact track HO visas as they will be granted ‘in accordance’ with the IR.

But a further at first odd amendment is made to the HRT, which for UC amends reg 9(4)(e) as follows:

“(4) In sub-paragraph (e), omit the words from “where that leave is” to the end of that sub-paragraph.”

What that does is exempt anyone granted LTR outside the rules, rather than just specific categories as before, so would I think cover those under the DLUHC scheme.

Same amendments are made to the HRT for each of the MTBs of course.

The amendments providing exemptions from the PPT and hab res requirements for disability and carers benefits other benefits are worded slightly differently but have the same effect of covering both schemes:

“(f)leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom granted under or outside the immigration rules or a right of abode in the United Kingdom within the meaning given in section 2 of the Immigration Act 1971 where the person—

(i)was residing in Ukraine immediately before 1st January 2022; and

(ii)left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion which took place on 24th February 2022.”

The Scottish benefit amendments are worded almost identically to the above amendments to HRT or PPT so also cover both schemes.

For child benefit the 3 month living rule exemption is worded more generally and so covers both:

“left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion which took place on 24th February 2022, providing that person was residing in Ukraine immediately before 1st January 2022.”

So yes, all covers both DLCHC and HO schemes for resettled Ukrainians.

Elliot Kent
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The “Ukraine Family Scheme” and “Homes for Ukraine Scheme” have both now been incorporated into the Immigration Rules Appendix Ukraine Scheme as of yesterday.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-ukraine-scheme

It will be noted that the end result in both cases is a grant of 3 years leave without an NRPF condition, so for benefits purposes it isn’t likely to be significant which scheme the claimant has relied on or whether that leave was granted before or after the Ukrainian schemes were incorporated into the Immigration Rules.

Henri makes an interesting point about reg 9(4)(e) which perhaps has wider consequences beyond the situation in Ukraine. It does now appear to be that anyone whose leave is granted outside of the rules is exempt from the HRT, rather than before when it was just certain categories of leave outside of the rules.

hkrishna
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Elliot Kent - 31 March 2022 11:18 AM

The “Ukraine Family Scheme” and “Homes for Ukraine Scheme” have both now been incorporated into the Immigration Rules Appendix Ukraine Scheme as of yesterday.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-ukraine-scheme

It will be noted that the end result in both cases is a grant of 3 years leave without an NRPF condition, so for benefits purposes it isn’t likely to be significant which scheme the claimant has relied on or whether that leave was granted before or after the Ukrainian schemes were incorporated into the Immigration Rules.

Henri makes an interesting point about reg 9(4)(e) which perhaps has wider consequences beyond the situation in Ukraine. It does now appear to be that anyone whose leave is granted outside of the rules is exempt from the HRT, rather than before when it was just certain categories of leave outside of the rules.

Thanks Eliot.

I’ve been discussing the significance of the ‘outside the rules’ amendments With Rebecca Walker (main author of our Migrants Handbook and the WBTCH residences rules chapters) - the worry is that DMs won’t understand what type of leave is now covered by that exemption if it is not specified in the regs and so will at least require good DWP guidance covering what it means, which also relies on it being read. Equally claimants and advisers will need to know who is covered by it.

clive
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Thank you both for the answers and information. Really useful

I’m now wondering if the DWP are going to (wrongly) demand a NINO before paying UC.  I’m aware of the CPAG test case and advice: https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/legal-test-cases/national-insurance-numbers-and-universal-credit

Am I needlessly worrying in advance? Proactive concern?

hkrishna
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Sure I saw something suggesting that they were going to put measures in place for Ukrainians like they did for the Syrian Resettlement Scheme. where they of course managed to get everything done at record speed and during one visit to the Jobcentre. However, wouldn’t raise your hopes too much.

BC Welfare Rights
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https://www.gov.uk/guidance/move-to-the-uk-if-youre-from-ukraine says that if you apply for UC you will get a NI no. if your UC claim is successful. See also https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/18169/

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Thanks for this Henri, it’s proven useful already.

Andrew Dutton
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At a meeting yesterday, a DWP rep was very insistent that Ukrainians were not ‘refugees’ but ‘evacuees’.

Is there any significance to this?

Elliot Kent
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A refugee is a specific status referring to somebody who has specific rights and protections under the Refugee Convention. It seems to have been decided by the Government not to use the term ‘refugee’ in relation to people fleeing Ukraine perhaps in an effort to avoid the implication that the Convention would apply. Instead a new type of right of residence has been created which avoids this.

It may be possible for Ukrainians to apply for asylum (and therefore refugee status) although the position is a bit unclear. There is further material on this here: https://freemovement.org.uk/can-ukrainians-take-refuge-in-the-uk-immigration-concessions-and-asylum-policy/

Vonny
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Does anyone know how resettled Ukrainians will be treated under the Council Tax reduction scheme in Wales.  I cannot see any amendment regulations to include them.

Thanks

[ Edited: 8 Apr 2022 at 01:27 pm by Vonny ]
Vonny
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How will capital limits work, obviously a Ukrainian who owns their own home in Ukraine cannot realise any capital from this at present, but who will this be treated by UC which does not always make sensible decisions.  Also if their are savings in an account in Ukraine, how will this be treated?  What evidence will people be excepted to provide?

UB40
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I should imagine the Ukrainian property decision will not be consistent among DMs unless there is a lead by senior managers.

Valuation of capital
49.—(1) Capital is to be calculated at its current market value or surrender value less—
(a)where there would be expenses attributable to sale, 10%; and
(b)the amount of any encumbrances secured on it.

(2) The market value of a capital asset possessed by a person in a country outside the United Kingdom is—
(a)if there is no prohibition in that country against the transfer of an amount equal to the value of that asset to the United Kingdom, the market value in that country; or
(b)if there is such a prohibition, the amount it would raise if sold in the United Kingdom to a willing buyer.
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111531938

hkrishna
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Vonny - 08 April 2022 01:16 PM

Does anyone know how resettled Ukrainians will be treated under the Council Tax reduction scheme in Wales.  I cannot see any amendment regulations to include them.

Thanks

Been on leave for a couple of weeks but not spotted any amendments to CTR schemes in either England or Wales yet to exempt resettled Ukrainians from the HRT. As far as I can see (and as noted in the factsheet) only Scotland has amended it’s CTR regs.

Would be up to Welsh Government to amend the Welsh scheme. In the meantime, if any resettled Ukrainians failed HRT for CTR in Wales (or England), might need to argue that there is a strong settled intent and as such any appreciable period of actual residence needn’t be very long to pass HRT - eg https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/pdfs/cmmr_upload/cis/cis130497.doc.