CASE STUDY: Supporting Families – the Z Family Case study

When a person comes through our doors, it’s hard to tell at a first glance the level of support that they will end up needing from us. Our very experienced senior advisers know how to ask the right questions and find out exactly how they can support individuals and families.

So was the case of the Z family, who were relatively newly arrivers here when they 1st came to us in June, they had been in the country for only a few months. The couple have 4 children dependent on them and a few more adult ones living in the same house. When they came to us they didn’t have any support or benefits, he was working cash in hand, she was unemployed, so as the adult children living with them, who just arrived in the country. They were struggling to pay rent and other bills.

In the past, they tried to apply for child benefit, through an accountant who, not knowing the rules, didn’t managed to get them these rightful benefits and they payed for their services as well.

We immediately applied for child benefits and started supporting Mr. Z and his eldest son in finding legal employment through our peer mentoring program. Our child benefit application was successful.

The eldest son, shortly managed to get a job in construction for him and his younger brother, but unfortunately it was through an umbrella company which was retaining extra fees from his wages. He received advice from our employment rights adviser, and equipped with all this information, the son and his youngest brother managed to easily get another job, a better payed one and stay away from dodgy umbrella companies.

After it became possible, we also applied for child tax credit, application which was successful as well.

In the end, the same peer volunteer mentor who helped the eldest son into employment, supported his new wife into finding a job as well.

Moreover, 3 members of the family were enrolled into our free English classes.

Regarding benefits, we managed to get them £4200 in child benefits, payed backdated, and 100/month onward, and almost £5000 in tax credits for 6 months, and 400/month for the rest of the financial year. Now all the adult members of the family are in legal work, and they moved into a bigger house.

Mr. Z, who is very grateful for our help, said: “you were our main support here in London, we couldn’t have done it without you” and the eldest son added: “What you do for people is truly essential and special, I don’t know how to thank you for this.”

Good advice makes a big difference in people’s lives, and we are always happy to help, call us at 020 8741 1288 to find out how we can assist you!

What is the new settled status and what you need to do about Brexit?

On December the 8th, the UK government and the EU reached an important step in the negociations for exiting the EU regarding citizens rights . How does that affect you?

For now, you don’t need to take any action.  There will be no change to the status of EU citizens living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU.

Moreover, the Home Office says that: “No EU citizen currently living here lawfully will have to leave the UK when we leave the EU. There will be plenty of time for people to apply for and receive their new residence status after the UK leaves the EU. “When is the UK leaving the EU?The proposed date is 29 March 2019, but the date is not settled yet.

What do Eastern European citizens need to do?

For now, nothing, but after 29 March 2019, all EU citizens will need to apply for “settled status”, a document that will attest your right of living in the UK.

When do you need to apply? 

People will have time to apply for settled status after Brexit takes place. There is no need to apply immediatly after 29 March, 2019, there will be a period of 2 years when you will be able to do that. However, if you have 5 years of living in this country at that date, we will reccommend to apply soon after the date. If you don’t have 5 years of residency in the UK at 29 March, 2019, but you will have arrived in the country before this date, you will be allowed to wait until you get these 5 years, and then apply.

People who come into the UK after 29 March 2019, will be subjected to different new immigration laws, which we don’t know for now.

The UK governemnt has promised that the process will be a simple one, easier than the current permanent residency one, and that it will cost aprox. £70.

What happens if you don’t apply?

If, after 5 years of residency, you don’t apply, you will have be living in this country illegally, and you will be risking to be removed or deported.

What will happen to my family members left in my home country?

You will be able to bring your core family members (parents, children) to live with you in the UK, after Brexit.

What about welfare benefits?

EU citizens will be entitled to the same welfare benefits that they are entitled now, after Brexit.

How long are you allowed out of the country after you get settled status?

You will be able to live and come back as you wish, however, if you leave the UK for more than 5 years, you will lose the status.

What do you need to apply for the settled status?

We don’t know yet, the Home Office hasn’t released the information for now.

Please be aware that the negotiation process is not over yet, and things might change. If you have any questions, please call us at: 020 8741 1288 or email us at