Over the past two months, SIFA Fireside (a charity working in Birmingham to improve the lives of homeless people) has spoken to five Irish people who have been incorrectly advised by the DWP that they are not entitled to benefits for 3 months.
They are all Irish citizens and range in age from 21 (a couple) to 62 years of age. The latter had slept on the streets for 8 weeks having received this advice before he came to SIFA. Habib, a welfare rights solicitor from Central England Law Centre, has corrected this and advised the team/clients that they are entitled as soon as they claim due to rules surrounding the common travel area.
SIFA Fireside is now using this information to prevent further people being made homeless. As recently as two weeks ago, a man facing homelessness was refused by his prospective landlord who had been on the phone to the DWP for an hour and had received this incorrect advice. SIFA provided the correct advice and the man avoided homelessness for the weekend and on an ongoing basis .