☰ Menu

Legal and benefits advice

Diversity Voice offers a range of advice to migrants including benefits advice, Social Housing advice, Habitual Residency Test (HRT) support and Right to Reside (R2R) help.

Our website: http://www.diversityvoice.com/en/information/legal-advice.html contains information and links to downloadable useful forms for non UK nationals and benefits forms.

Habitual Residency Test

If you come to the UK from abroad and want to claim certain benefits, you must meet the conditions of the habitual residence test (HRT). You will be asked a series of questions to make sure that if you're planning to claim benefits, you've a legal right to be in the UK and that you're intending to settle here for the time being.
The test applies to British citizens returning to the UK after time abroad, as well as people coming to the UK from other countries.
The right to claim benefits depends under what terms you've been allowed to enter the UK. This is called your immigration status. If you have limited rights and are subject to immigration control, you may damage your chances of being allowed to stay in the UK if you try to claim benefits. If you are in any doubt about your immigration status, you should always seek specialist advice first.

Supporting Service in Somerset

Somerset County Council has funded a project through Diversity Voice for the current year. The project will support parents with children who access early years settings and failed the Right to Reside (R2R) Test and the HRT. This test stops parents accessing social security benefits. Central Government has introduced new rules for R2R and HRT, which might lead to a situation where a family, although exempt from R2R and HRT, due to the complicated legal process, might not be able to provide enough evidence. We will provide support to meet parents with an interpreter when necessary and support an appeal process with advice about what they should do in the meantime.
We are very pleased to be able to promote our support for Early Years providers and schools in Somerset. To access our service the referral must be done by their early years provider by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with contact details, description of the problem and contact details of the family. Diversity Voice will get back to the referee within 10 working days.

Government rules relating to HRT:

• From 1 January 2014 all EEA jobseekers have had to wait for 3 months before being able to receive income-based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). They have to provide evidence of being employed during this 3 months period and earn around £156 weekly.
• After 3 months, jobseekers will also have to take a harder, more robust Habitual Residence Test (HRT) if they want to claim income-based JSA. If they pass the HRT, EEA jobseekers will then only be able to get JSA for 3 months. After 3 months, only those who have a job offer or compelling evidence that they have a genuine chance of finding work will be able to continue claiming.
From April 2014 new EEA migrants have not been allowed to claim housing benefit while they receive income based JSA. For Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit (CTC) there are exceptions to the three month residency rule covering people who:

• Usually live in the UK and were receiving CTC but moved abroad for less than 1 year
• Had lived in the UK for three months but moved abroad for less than 1 year
• From 9 February 2015, EEA nationals who have an existing claim to income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) made before 1 January 2014 will now also be subject to a genuine prospect of work assessment (GPoW). Diversity Voice hopes to run further R2R and HRT training sessions in the future at various venues. For information or to register an interest, please email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .