25th March, 2022
The Government expect thousands of Ukrainian refugees to start arriving in the UK this week. It claims 9,500 family members of people in Britain have been issued visas under the Ukraine Family Scheme – with many more likely to follow in the coming months, as around 150,000 British families have offered to provide accommodion in their homes.
Emergency legislation has been laid, allowing Ukraine refugees to claim Universal Credit & PIP. Government Ministers have promised, DWP staff in Jobcentres, will be on hand to provide help with applications and their search for employment. The new legislation exempts claimants from the usual requirement of passing the “habitual residence test” which ordinarily requires a wait of up to three months before awards can be made.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said people “fleeing the unimaginable horrors in Ukraine to seek safety here” should get the support and help they need “from day one to move forward in their lives immediately”. But, various support agencies have criticised the fact, they, like other UC claimants, can expect a wait of 5 weeks before the 1st payment, although they will be able to take out an advance, repayable by monthly deductions from their ongoing award.
The scheme, as designed, should provide assistance for up to three years, during which families should also be able to access, as well as benefits, healthcare, employment support, education, and English language tuition.
UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd