Guinean National, PSS and ex Partner

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    Good morning, just hoping for views please… I have received the following enquiry from our CAB

    1. Mr A was granted pre settled status 24/09/2019 as a family member of an EEA national with a permanent right to reside at that time. Following an application to the “European Union Settled Scheme” on they were granted limited leave to remain in the UK under “Appendix EU” to the Immigration Rules. Their residence card shows: Work permitted; Leave to remain.
    2. Their wife is Italian, they married in Feb 2019, but separated in Nov 2019 (not yet divorced). In 2021 their wife returned to live in Italy and they continued to live and work in the UK on their own. They do not know where their wife is now or if she has settled status.
    3. They worked full time throughout the period from the time they arrived in UK, until they were dismissed on 14/2/2023. They were living in rented accommodation and contacted Citizens Advice for help with their employment issues.
    4. From 6/4/2023 they were unable to work due to injuries resulting from a criminal assault. The assault resulted in their hospitalisation and lost the sight in their left eye so have not been able to work since that date. They were still employed and received SSP from XX, until they dismissed Mr A on 6/6/2023 as being unfit to work as a driver. They are awaiting a date for an operation to remove their eye.
    5. They suffer from severe depression and anxiety. This started when their wife and daughter moved back to Italy in 2021, but the psychological trauma they suffered consequent on the assault has made their anxiety and depression more severe and this has led them to be unable to work. When the depression is really bad they don’t move from their bed. This happens at least 2 or 3 days a week. Sometimes its 5 days or all week. They are receiving treatment from Talking Therapies. The attack happened in a pub, they were was attacked by a stranger. Now they are anxious when people are around. They are scared of being attacked again and worry about losing their other eye. They don’t feel safe. They won’t go out unless someone will go with them, they are scared inside.
    6. Following the assault, the Police were involved, and they moved Mr A from their home and re housed them (in a hotel) as a vulnerable, at-risk person.
    7. The Council then took over responsibility from the police for housing them, initially in temporary accommodation paid for by housing benefit. and on 31/7/2023 they have were permanently housed in Registered Social Landlord (RSL) accommodation.
    8. The criminal case in respect of the assault is ongoing, the police have recently told them they are still collecting evidence.
    9. Mr A receives ESA Conts in the support group and limited charitable help in the form of food and fuel vouchers and some limited help from friends. Their resources are insufficient to cover their rent and other basic needs and they are extremely worried about losing their accommodation due to their rent arrears. They applied for PIP in October 2023 and are waiting for the health assessment.
    10. Their claim for Universal credit was rejected because they could not show a right to reside. Citizens Advice are helping Mr A to appeal this decision on the basis of destitution and following the appeal court decision in SSWP v AT we are hopeful that the appeal will be successful. The decision may however be stayed and delayed if the secretary of state seeks permission to appeal SSWP v AT to the Supreme Court.

    I have so many questions having spent most of the morning on this one so far..

    1 – The former partner, was on HB back in 2019 but never declared Mr A to be living with them
    2 – The former partner was on HB and so I have details of their employment but no detail on settlement as ended before Withdrawal date. we believe has moved back to Italy.
    3 – Can I use the data provided by former partner, to support a claim for benefit for HB from Mr A, even though he was not named on the benefit claim and I have nothing from her to say he was ever her partner?
    4 – Was the HB claim paid correctly on the basis that he had pre settled status and was in employment – does he have to rely on his ex Pt for the HB to be payable for the period in TA?
    5 – The relationship broke down and a domestic violence order was made against Mr A so it will be unreasonable to seek to contact ex PT for information or for Mr to have her address although as they appear to have a child, that may be slightly more complicated.

    I am very concerned that we have paid incorrectly on the HB if UC have refused but also, as the resident is now unable to work, but cannot also claim the benefit to pay the rent, he is again at risk of destitution and possibly becoming homeless again so keen to see if I can confirm the HB position at least.

    If you have made it this far, thank you for bearing with me – any and all advice welcome!

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