Migrants' Rights and Entitlements - COVID-19 GUIDANCE
COVID-19 Response Planning: Supporting Migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds
COSLA have produced a new framework to assist local authorities and their partners to support people with NRPF during the COVID-19 pandemic. It sets out the legal basis and other considerations for providing support during the response phase of the pandemic, with a specific focus on people with NRPF who are roofless/rough sleeping, or vulnerable from a safeguarding perspective
Funding to prevent destitution during COVID-19
Further funding has been made available to six organisations supporting people subject to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). You can read more about this here.
Self Isolation Support Grant
The Self-Isolation Support Grant is a new grant of £500. In the majority of cases it will be offered through the existing Scottish Welfare Fund, administered by local authorities in Scotland. It will also be available for people with No Recourse to Public Funds under Public Health regulations.
To be eligible for the Grant, you must:
- have been told by the Test and Protect Service to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- be employed or self-employed
- be unable to work from home, and lose income as a result of self-isolation
- be in receipt of, or have been awarded but not yet received a payment of:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit and/or
- Pension Credit
· You may also be eligible for the grant if you are on a low income and have No Recourse to Public Funds.
These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus.
The Self-Isolation Support Grant does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by the Test and Protect Service.
You can receive the Grant more than once if you are asked to self-isolate on more than one occasion, as long as these do not overlap.
Applications can be made at any point during the period when you are told to self-isolate.
If you are not eligible for the Grant, you may still be able to receive a Crisis Grant from your local authority through the existing Scottish Welfare Fund or, for people with no recourse to public funds, you may be able to access other support depending on your circumstances.
To apply, you will need to provide:
- a notification from Test and Protect asking you to self-isolate
- proof of receipt or award of one of the qualifying benefits
- a bank statement and
- proof of employment or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
You may also be asked you to provide other information to confirm you are eligible.
Once all the information has been verified, you will receive a letter telling you the outcome of your application. Payment should be made within three working days of the application being verified.
You can read the full guidance here.
Letter from Local Government Associations to Home Secretary on NRPF
On 08/04/2020 COSLA together with three other Local Government Associations wrote to the Home Secretary on issues with NRPF and COVID-19.
In the light of the current crisis, the letter called for the following solutions:
- ‘NRPF’ condition should suspension so that all migrants living in the UK can access benefits and public services.
- Habitual Residence Test suspension so that EU migrants do not need to prove their ‘right to reside’ in order to access benefits such as Universal Credit
- Lift of NHS charges.
- Any additional measures designed to support the UK population should equally apply to everyone regardless of their immigration status.
In addition, COSLA is calling for the removal of the Scottish Welfare Fund from the list of ‘public funds’ as part of our long-standing call for the removal of NRPF conditions for the most vulnerable people in our communities. The Scottish Welfare Fund is increasingly being used as a key mechanism by which the Scottish Government channels emergency resources to local communities at this time. Removing it would assist us in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis across Scotland’s communities.
The full letter can be accessed HERE
Updated on 25/11/2020