News has reached us at NL Towers (or lock-up – see image at bottom of page) from a regular reader/correspondent, Simon Marciniak, of an interesting and potentially important s 204 homelessness appeal decision on the ambit of Regulation 6(2)(a), Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/1003. That regulation says that:
A person who is no longer working shall not cease to be treated as a worker for the purpose of paragraph (1)(b) if – (a) he is temporarily unable to work as the result of an illness or accident.
So, if you are otherwise ineligible and not a worker, but temporarily unable to work due to illness/incapacity, you are treated as a worker and, therefore, eligible. In Samin v Westminster CC, Central London CC (July 2011), Mr Samin worked for a short period, was then on JSA and was then treated for PTSD from 2007, from when he was unable to work. Westminster found him not eligible, as we understand it, because he didn’t fall within Reg 6(2)(a) on the basis that he was not ill when he gave up work and because his illness was not temporary. HHJ Mitchell quashed that decision, finding that Reg 6(2) operates when a person is no longer working, ie if the illness happens after the applicant lost his job and even if the illness was unrelated to his work; and that he was bound by the decision in FB v Secretary of State for Work  UKUT 447 (IAC) to find that temporary in para (a) meant not permanent. This is the first time that FB has been applied to a homelessness eligibility decision, as foreshadowed by the suggestions in our note of its significance for housing and benefits. But it’s “only” a County Court decision, so don’t get too excited.