Immigration Law Update: Benefits: Blakesley v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA Civ 141

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A claim to recover back-payments in income support in respect of the period before the A’s refugee status was established. It was common ground the claim could not succeed under UK legislation but the issue was whether the claim could succeed under international instruments.

The Court of Appeal found: "the UK is entitled to establish a support scheme for asylum seekers which is less generous than mainstream benefits, provided that it complies with the requirements of Council Directive 2003/9/EC (the Reception Directive). Successful asylum seekers receive the same welfare benefits as UK citizens as from the date when their refugee status is established. The international instruments upon which the appellant relies do not require the UK Government to make lump sum payments to successful asylum seekers representing the difference between previous asylum support and mainstream benefits."

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