The Home Office continues to make basic and avoidable mistakes which can push people into poverty. The complex nature of immigration and benefits law can lead to issues for non-specialists, and can result in people like Daryush building up debt and remaining in poverty through no fault of their own.
Daryush came to the UK in 2000 and was granted Limited Leave to Remain (LLR) in 2012. In 2019, after completing seven years LLR, he was eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain and made his application in time with his solicitor. Unfortunately, this was refused by the Home Office decision maker who, in error, applied a 10-year rule for LLR. His solicitor applied for a Judicial Review of this decision, meaning Daryush’s leave continued until a decision was made. This has been successful but unfortunately, the Home Office still hasn’t changed its decision and granted Indefinite Leave to Remain.
While waiting for this decision, Daryush’s working hours were reduced and in September 2019 he applied for Universal Credit, with the help of his housing association’s Welfare Rights Officer (WRO). The claim was refused because the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) decision maker didn’t realise Daryush had continuing Leave to Remain. Unfortunately, because the WRO wasn’t sure of the law, no mandatory reconsideration or appeal was submitted – instead a new Universal Credit application was made and was refused on the same basis. Daryush’s rent arrears were building up throughout this time.
Positive Action in Housing helped Daryush put in late mandatory reconsiderations for both refused Universal Credit claims, and to make a new Universal Credit claim working with his immigration solicitor, with clear evidence of his continuing Leave to Remain. We have also provided Daryush with grants to keep food on the table and his gas and electricity debts low, and helped set up an arrangement to pay his rent arrears.
When I thought there was no one there to help, you knew what to do and helped me focus on my rights.