Housing benefit advice for EEA nationals
From 1st April 2014 new rules have been introduced for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals on Housing Benefit or those wishing to claim Housing Benefit in the United Kingdom. Housing Benefit may not be payable for anyone who is deemed a ‘workseeker’ and eligible for Job seekers allowance (JSA) which is income-Based.
Protections are in place for those on housing benefit prior to 01/04/14 on this basis and for those that have a good recent history of work / are involuntarily unemployed and are deemed to have ‘worker status’ during a temporary absence from employment.
Different rules apply if one partner in a couple is a UK national and advice should be sought on benefit entitlement in this instance.
EEA nationals moving from one local authority to another, e.g St Edmundsbury to Breckland or Mid-Suffolk will be treated as making a new claim and will not be protected. Housing Benefit may not be paid on the new property and tenants should seek advice ahead of any move.
These rules are open to interpretation and case law will develop as they are implemented. It is a complex area and Havebury’s Benefits Advisors may be able to help with any queries you have on 01284 722120.