Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
FOI Reference: FOI/202300372222
Date received: 18 August 2023
Date responded: 13 September 2023
Request for Information 1: Any policy documents, guidelines or regulations that would explain how benefits/social assistance is to be paid in the event that a claimant is homeless or becomes homeless.
Request for Information 2: Any guidance on if this differs for calculating habitual residence for non-nationals in cases of homelessness
Response to your request
Request for information 1:
We have interpreted “to be paid” to mean making a benefit application and receiving payment should an award be made. The Scottish Government has a published approach to homelessness, which is available to view here:
A person identified as homeless or at risk of homelessness is a category of vulnerable person. Internal operational guidance is available for “clients who need extra support” a copy of which has been attached.
Information is contained within the decision making guidance which is published on the Social Security Scotland website, which is available to view here:
In addition there are a number of methods by which a client can be paid, internal operational guidance in relation to this has been attached.
Request for information 2:
We have interpreted “non-nationals” to be anyone living in the UK / Scotland who does not hold UK citizenship. I can confirm that there is no difference in our assessment of habitual residence between UK nationals and non-UK nationals, who are living lawfully in the UK. Habitual residence has been defined by Courts rather than in legislation. To be considered habitually resident in any place, a person must satisfy two conditions:
The individual’s nationality has no impact.
Social Security Scotland is committed to publishing responses to requests. The Scottish Government also publishes responses to requests. You can view the responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.