Rahul Sharma

Habitual residence test

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The Habitual Residence Test is the criteria used by the United Kingdom to determine eligibility for welfare benefits such as the Employment and Support Allowance, the Jobseeker's Allowance, Pension Credits, and Housing Benefit. The test was introduced in 1994. It required close ties to the United Kingdom and intention to settle in the UK. It was revised in May 2004 to include a ‘right to reside’ requirement, based on directives of the European Union regarding right of residence. Provisions regarding right to reside include conducting business, working or looking for work, being a student, or having sufficient resources to be self-supporting.

European Commission objections

In May 2013 the European Commission after a long dispute with the UK over the matter decided to take a case to the European Court of Justice with respect to denial of welfare benefits to European citizens who fail the test. The Commission alleges that the UK test does not conform to European directives. The UK, which, on the basis of failure to pass the test of right to reside, rejects over half of the applications of European Union citizens to the UK for benefits, has announced it will contest the matter.

References

Habitual residence test Wikipedia


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