Muslims are eligible for the Windrush Compensation Scheme too — here’s how
If you have heard about the Windrush Compensation Scheme, but thought it was only open to people from the Caribbean, you would be mistaken. The scheme is actually open to people from any country that settled lawfully in the UK before 1988.
That means people from countries like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan could be entitled to compensation if they lost out on things like jobs, housing and healthcare because they didn’t have the correct documents to show their legal status in the UK.
It’s possible the name could be misleading for people from outside the Caribbean, who don’t realise they are also eligible to apply for support.
“Windrush compensation is available to people of all ages and nationalities, who suffered losses because they could not prove their right to live in the UK,” said Azar, a Windrush Outreach Engagement Officer at the Home Office.
“Some children, grandchildren and close family members may also be able to claim compensation, and you may also be able to claim on behalf of a relative who has died,” he added.
Why people should apply
The Windrush Compensation Scheme was improved in 2020. Compensation starts at a minimum of £10,000 and can go up to £100,000 or more. There is no limit on the total amount of compensation available, and no end date for the scheme.
The Windrush Help Team is encouraging people to apply even if they don’t have the correct paperwork or they can’t prove they suffered losses.
“The Windrush Help Team will consider a wide variety of evidence and can provide advice on documents to show your date of birth or arrival in the UK, and your lawful status,” says Azar.
“They can also put you in touch with a free independent adviser for more help with your claim.”
If a person isn’t happy with the amount offered, they are entitled to have the offer reviewed by another team in the Home Office and then by an independent adjudicator.
Immigration status unaffected by application
Cases are dealt with confidentiality and sensitively by the team and applications do not affect the immigration status of you or your family
And people can apply for support even if they are based overseas, although the process is slightly different.
Despite concerns that receiving support or compensation can take time, Azar says it’s easier than people think and the team makes decisions as quickly as possible.
“If you are worried about applying due to language, disability, mental health or for any other reason, the team can provide extra support," said Azar.
"If you need help completing the application form, the Help Team can also put you in touch with a free independent adviser.”
How to apply
Applications made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme are free.
To learn if you’re entitled to compensation, or even if you’re unsure of the documents you need, visit: https://gov.uk/windrushhelpteam. You can also call the FREE helpline 0800 678 1925 for assistance.
If you’re applying from outside the UK, you must use the online application form.