Under the terms of the Brexit deal, people in the UK from Europe have until the end of June to apply for post-Brexit residency
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More than 100,000 Europeans living in the UK face losing access to crucial benefits from next week as the deadline to apply for post-Brexit residency kicks in.
That means those who claim support such as PIP and Universal Credit could find they no longer qualify for financial aid, despite still living and working in Britain.
Under the terms of the Brexit deal, people in the UK from Europe have until the end of June to apply for post-Brexit residency.
Applications for the settled status regime, under which longstanding European residents are given indefinite leave to stay in the country, close on June 30.
However, one in six of the total number of EU citizens who claim benefits, as well as those of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, have not applied for settled status, according to an investigation by The Times.
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Settled status is given to those who have been living in the UK for five-years or more.
Those who were living in the UK before Brexit but had been here for less than five years are given pre-settled status, but will become eligible to apply for settled status if they stay.
It is understood that there are about 820,000 European benefits claimants living in the UK, of whom about 130,000 have not applied for settled status.
Of the group yet to apply, about 70%, or more than 90,000, are currently in receipt of Universal Credit.
A minister told The Times: “The Home Office needs to get a grip of this, and quick, otherwise we could have a total disaster on our hands.”
A government source told the publisher that after letters encouraging people to apply were sent out in recent weeks, the figure had fallen to about 70,000 outstanding claimants.
Maike Bohn, a co-founder of the3million, a campaign group for European citizens in the UK, called the numbers “shocking”.
A government spokeswoman said that it was “working hard” to identify claimants who are unaware they could lose their entitlement on June 30.
For more information visit Turn2us or call the charity’s helpline: 0808 802 2000.
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