PFA/ EEA changes; funding made available

A member has advised the following from DWP:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Migrants Access to Benefit Changes to Housing Benefit

In November 2013 the Prime Minister announced that there were going to be changes to the way people travelling from the European Economic Area
(EEA) would be entitled to benefits.

A project was set up to drive forward work to tackle illegal immigration and protect our benefits and public services from abuse. In early December 2013 the Prime Minister announced further measures which further impacted EEA

Nationals and UK Nationals:

 A requirement for all jobseekers, unless specifically exempted, to have been living in the United Kingdom or the Common Travel Area (CTA) for 3 months prior to claiming Jobseekers Allowance before they can be treated as habitually resident.

 A Minimum Earnings Threshold (MET) has been introduced. This
builds on an existing assessment of whether an EEA nationals work can be
deemed genuine and effective, and can therefore be treated as a ‘Worker’
rather than a ‘Jobseeker’.

 Removal of Housing Benefit for new EEA jobseekers.

Detailed guidance on this can be found in Housing Benefit Circular A6/2014.

Owing to the complexity of this change, this has resulted in the access to Housing Benefit being restricted and therefore local authorities have had to train staff and update the notifications and documentation to reflect this new legislation.

Funding to compensate local authorities for the cost of making these changes has now been agreed and two payments will be made to your authority shortly.

Housing Delivery Division


Attached is a list of the funding that will be made available to the local authorities on the 28 August 2014, this has been calculated using the standard Administration Subsidy allocation methodology. The Local Authority Associations have been consulted on this method.