Date of Screening: 31/08/2022
Screening Outcome - Full EQIA recommended: No
The Social Security (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 make amendments to the Social Security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (“the 2000 Regulations”). Amendments are required to ensure that the 2000 Regulations operate in line with the new immigration system from 1st January 2021.
Under the new immigration system, European Economic Area (EEA) migrants arriving from 1st January 2021 will be treated in the same way as migrants from the rest of the world. This means they will be classified as a Person Subject to Immigration Control (PSIC), and therefore will typically have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) for 5 years. However, nationals of 25 EEA Member States which are signatories to the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance (ECSMA) and the European Social Charter (ESC) and nationals of Turkey and North Macedonia could still be able to claim Housing Benefit (HB) and State Pension Credit (SPC), despite the NRPF condition due to provision in domestic legislation. It is therefore proposed to amend the 2000 Regulations to ensure that nationals from these 25 Member States and Turkey and North Macedonia are not able to access HB and SPC (if they have NRPF). This would not affect current claims.