SSAC report on removal of entitlement to housing benefit for EEA claimants

The Social Security Advisory Committee has expressed concern about the Government withdrawal of HB to some EEA claimants from April 2014. In response, the Government comments:

The best option for those EEA migrants who are unable to find work, who lack savings or support networks and who are at real risk of ending up destitute is to return home. There is a London reconnections service, funded by the Greater London Authority, and run by the homelessness charity, Thames Reach, which helps vulnerable rough sleepers from the EU return home. Local authorities themselves may help reconnect those who are destitute as an alternative to rough sleeping. Further, the Department for Communities and Local Government has funded a voluntary sector led 'Before You Go' awareness campaign in home countries about the dangers of coming to the UK without appropriate support such as a job, accommodation or some money in case there are short-term difficulties. This is run by the homelessness charity, Passage.'

A survey of local authorities has been carried out

and the Government suggests:

The survey shows that most local authorities have been working to prepare their staff and systems, and many have been active in ensuring that affected claimants and their families have accurate information about the changes. Local authorities recognise that this policy and the associated processes are in the early stages of implementation and are keen to communicate fully and work closely with DWP as the policy progresses.'