Windrush generation will not lose benefits after compensation payouts, government confirms. Claimants given compensation will still get support, documents show, but uncertainty remains
The government is expected to introduce new regulation to prevent members of the Windrush generation losing out on the financial support they are entitled to, after fears that claiming compensation could lead to a loss of benefits.
In response to the threat of legal action, officials have stated in internal documents that regulations will be introduced “in due course” to ensure those currently receiving means-tested benefits do not lose out on them if they get compensation payouts over the Home Office’s “hostile environment” rules.
However, despite the documents seen by the Guardian, no new regulations have yet been published, meaning continued uncertainty for those who might be affected.
Lawyers have expressed concern that people from the Windrush generation entitled to compensation because of their treatment by the Home Office could be “punished twice” under the current benefit rules and have called on the government to announce the changes publicly.
As the current rules stand, some could lose means-tested benefits payments if they benefit from the Windrush compensation scheme announced last month.
Solicitor Jane Ryan from Bhatt Murphy, who is representing several Windrush people, said: “Windrush claimants have already suffered as a consequence of the discriminatory hostile environment policies; they should not be placed in a worse position for seeking redress. It is welcome that the Home Office has clarified its position but until the regulations are public there remains a risk that Windrush claimants supported by means-tested benefits will be unfairly treated. The government needs to publish the regulations as soon as possible.”
There are some parallels with the Grenfell compensation scheme where DWP came under pressure to allow survivors to continue to access benefits irrespective of payouts.