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4 April, 2022 Open access

Housing benefit for those affected by the war in Ukraine and for those providing support through the Homes for Ukraine scheme

New guidance issued to local authorities administering housing benefit

New guidance has been issued to councils in relation to housing benefit for those affected by the war in Ukraine and for those providing support through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

In Housing Benefit Circular A4/2022, the DWP provides guidance to local authorities on the support being provided to people impacted by the war in Ukraine, including changes to the habitual residence test made by the Social Security (Habitual Residence and Past Presence) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.344/2022), advising that -

‘From 22 March 2022 the following cohorts will be exempt from the HRT (for all income related benefits):

  • Those with a right of abode in the UK, including British nationals and non-British nationals with pre-existing leave in the UK who left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022 and were resident in Ukraine immediately before 1 January 2022.
  • Anyone granted leave either under or outside the Immigration Rules who left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022 and were resident in Ukraine immediately before 1 January 2022.

In addition, while the DWP advises that further guidance will be issued at a later date about the impact of the Ukrainian Family Scheme on existing housing benefit claimants, in relation to the Homes for Ukraine scheme and the impact on housing benefit of hosting a Ukrainian, the DWP confirms that -

The DWP also provides further information in a series of 'Key housing messages' and questions and answers on housing support costs in Annex A of the guidance.

NB - the guidance was originally published in error as LA Welfare Direct 4/2022 before being removed from the LA Welfare Direct webpage and published as Housing Benefit Circular A4/2022.

Housing Benefit Circular A4/22 is available from gov.uk