July 2014 EEA Nationals & Benefits
The DWP has issued guidance on new regulations which restrict the amount of time EEA nationals can enjoy a right to reside as a jobseeker or a person retaining worker status.
From 1 January 2014, the definitions of a 'jobseeker' and a 'retained worker' are amended so that
a jobseeker is someone who has entered the UK in order to seek employment, or is present in the UK and seeking employment immediately after having a right to reside as a worker, self-employed person, a self-sufficient person or a student, and can provide evidence that they are seeking employment and have a genuine chance of being engaged; and
a retained worker is someone who has registered as a jobseeker with the relevant employment office, is in duly recorded involuntary unemployment after having been in genuine and effective employment in the UK, and can provide evidence that they are seeking employment and have a genuine chance of being engaged.
Both jobseekers and retained workers lose their right to reside after six months of claiming JSA. However, retained workers, who were previously employed for a year or more, can continue to retain worker status and have right to reside status if they can provide 'compelling evidence' that they are continuing to seek employment and have a genuine chance of being engaged. A decision maker should accept there is compelling evidence if
The claimant has a definite job offer of genuine and effective work; or
The claimant has provided evidence of a change in circumstances which indicates that it is likely that the claimant will receive a job offer imminently
The six month period for jobseekers may be spread over a number of different periods but not exceeded. Once a person has either obtained genuine and effective work, or has been outside the UK for a continuous period of 12 months or more, they will be entitled to a new six month period if they subsequently claim JSA.
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