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EEA nationals and family members

European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family members will be eligible for benefits when they have obtained settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and are habitually resident in the UK. They do not also need to show that they are exercising a European right to reside. 

An EEA national who has not obtained settled status would need to show that they are exercising a European right to reside on a particular basis in order to qualify for benefits. This includes a person who has obtained pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. 

An EEA national will be eligible if one of the following applies: 

  • They are exercising the right to reside as a worker or person who has retained their worker status 
  • They are exercising the as a self-employed person or person who has retained their self-employed status 
  • They have acquired a permanent right of residence   

The family member of an EEA national who is exercising a qualifying right to reside or who has retained their right to reside, for example, following a divorce or the death of the EEA national, will also be eligible. 

A person will be eligible if they are the primary carer of a child, who is in education and whose parent is an EEA national who has worked in the UK.

A person who is exercising a right to reside as a jobseeker, may be able to claim income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance for a short period and benefits for their child (Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit). They will need to have been living in the UK (or Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man) for three months in order to qualify for these benefits. 

If a person is only exercising a right to reside on the basis that they are self-sufficient person, a student or their family member, or is the primary carer of a self-sufficient child, then they may be able to claim benefits for their child (Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit).

An EEA national will not be eligible for means-tested benefits if one of the following applies: 

  • They are not exercising a right to reside
  • They have an initial right of residence 
  • They are exercising a right to reside as a jobseeker and are applying for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit 

A person who has a derivative right to reside as a Zambrano carer (the primary carer of a British citizen, usually a child), will not be eligible for means-tested benefits. They will not qualify for Child Benefit, unless one of the exceptions applies, as set out in the Home Office guidance: Public funds

Terms

Zambrano carer

Person who is required to be resident in the UK as the primary carer of a British child or dependent adult in order to enable that child/adult to live in the UK.

Habitually resident

Resident in a country/ area for an ‘appreciable period’ (usually of one to three months but can be shorter), with the intention to settle.