Fear as letters warn people they could lose pensions and benefits

Letters have been sent to people across the country warning them that they may lose their pensions, benefits and access to the NHS.

But while the letters have spread fear and anxiety about financial hardship – and the inability to get medical help – the Home Office’s official warnings have been sent to people for whom they are not applying.

The letters are intended to warn EU citizens of the upcoming deadline for applying for settled status after Brexit

But some have been sent to British citizens, reports The mirror.

The letter warns people who have received it that if they are by age 30, they will lose their state pension, free access to the NHS, benefits and the right to work.

The information that this does not apply to British citizens only appears on the second page of the letter.

One grandmother said, “The Home Office made a mistake in sending me the letter. I am not confident that they will stop doing another and stop my benefits. “

The “threatening letter” has been sent to many even though they are British citizens

Former Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “All of this fear could have been avoided if only the Home Office had checked its own databases.

“The Home Office has issued British passports to everyone affected by this mistake. All it had to do was check its own data to see who owned one. “

The German-British dual citizen Maike Bohn, co-founder of the3Million, which campaigns for the rights of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom, had one of the letters even though she received British citizenship in 2018.

She said: “It’s about the Home Office sending terrifying letters and not excluding those who naturalized decades ago.

“It is not in the spirit of the“ friendly ”new Home Office that we have been promised. Many people were frightened by these letters, and rightly so. “

The chairman of the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said: “This is ridiculous. I can’t understand why this should happen. But when mistakes happen, they should be corrected. “

The Home Office did not want to say how many letters were sent. They went to those who were born in Europe and have not enrolled in the program, regardless of their current nationality.

Many have been here for decades – including some older retirees.

Up to 600,000 settlement requests are still pending. Five million EU citizens have already successfully applied for a branch.

Immigration Secretary Kevin Foster said, “In order to reach as many people as possible, there may be some instances where these letters are being sent to recipients who are naturalized as British citizens.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are using every possible channel to encourage anyone who may need to apply for and be eligible for the EU settlement system.

“In order to reach as many people as possible, a small proportion of the cases have been sent to someone who is naturalized as a British citizen or has already applied to the EUSS. In these cases, the letter makes it clear that there is no need for action.

“There have been more than five million statuses and we ask everyone who is eligible for the EUSS to contact us before the deadline on March 30.

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