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Does anyone know how to help?

Does anyone know how to help?

Old May 1st 2009, 11:07 am
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Default Does anyone know how to help?

10 Years ago my Aunt Uncle and two cousins who were then 11 and 10 emigrated to Turkey.

While out there my Aunt and Uncles marriage broke down and their son became extremely depressed and even violent

We went to visit 3 years ago, and found my Cousin in such a state we arranged for him to come home, (fearing his mental health) he came back with us. He had to pay his visa fines which were a few hundred pound. and after a few weeks went to live with his half brother who sorted out his benefits, disability and job seekers i think,

After a year my cousin appeared well to his brother so he took him back to Turkey. (later we realized he wasnt well, but his brother couldnt handle him)

When we visited again we found the house they were living in, with no electric no gas and no running water, cupboards were empty, the fridge hadnt been turned on for weeks as there was nothing to put in it, My cousin who is roughly 5.8 weighed 6.7 stone. My aunty was less than this and so was her daughter.

My Aunts husband had found a new woman and was actually starving them out of the country. they hadnt paid there visas and was in debt of thousands. All scared to leave the apartment incase of being arrested. he would bring them 10 lira twice a week which is equivalent to around £4 .

We arranged to pay their flights but couldnt afford to pay their visas, They went to the British Embassy and they called the passport police and asked what they should do. the passport police said they would let them back to the UK on condition that they didnt return for 5 years, or pay their fines.

They agreed to this and returned to my house.

We have been to the council and told them this they said "they cant help with our matter at all" we also have tried to claim benefits, and had an MP working on this for us, but now she has said theres nothing she can do.

We dont know what to do next, Im a single mother of a 15 yr old girl in a small 2 bed house, with 3 extra adults to feed clothe etc.. on my 16 hour a week job, this is with a 21 yr old man who is in desperate need of medical attention, (we are waiting on an appointment at the hospital for him from the doctor)

My Aunty has just found a small cleaning job and my other cousin is looking, but we dont know where to turn to next.

Can anyone help me please?
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Old May 1st 2009, 11:45 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Sorry,I really can't offer any helpful advice but just wanted to say I hope it all works out well for you and your family.Good luck.
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Old May 1st 2009, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by livinginreality
Sorry,I really can't offer any helpful advice but just wanted to say I hope it all works out well for you and your family.Good luck.
Same here.

Have you tried charities? They often fill the holes left by the official system.

Bev
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Old May 1st 2009, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by Bevm
Same here.

Have you tried charities? They often fill the holes left by the official system.

Bev
Hi Bevm

Have you made any plans as to when you will return to the U.K.? We are looking forward to our trip in July,can't wait to have a good look around,saw I nice house for sale in a place called Ilfracombe in Devon. We will be staying there at Admiral's Cottage will be there for 2 weeks then off to Paris.
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Old May 1st 2009, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

I would go and have a chat with the Citizens Advice Bureau, maybe they could give you different avenues to try and maybe put you in touch with potential non government organisations that could help.
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Old May 2nd 2009, 1:30 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by Irish Guinness
Hi Bevm

Have you made any plans as to when you will return to the U.K.? We are looking forward to our trip in July,can't wait to have a good look around,saw I nice house for sale in a place called Ilfracombe in Devon. We will be staying there at Admiral's Cottage will be there for 2 weeks then off to Paris.
We're looking at late summer now. We're feeling too lazy to rush off now, and we'll need a rental for a while there doesn't seem much point returning to a coastal area in the height of the holiday season and paying a fortune for it.

When are you going? Report on Ilfracombe. We're still open to suggestion for the perfect coastal town.

Bev
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Old May 2nd 2009, 2:57 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
10 Years ago my Aunt Uncle and two cousins who were then 11 and 10 emigrated to Turkey.

While out there my Aunt and Uncles marriage broke down and their son became extremely depressed and even violent

We went to visit 3 years ago, and found my Cousin in such a state we arranged for him to come home, (fearing his mental health) he came back with us. He had to pay his visa fines which were a few hundred pound. and after a few weeks went to live with his half brother who sorted out his benefits, disability and job seekers i think,

After a year my cousin appeared well to his brother so he took him back to Turkey. (later we realized he wasnt well, but his brother couldnt handle him)

When we visited again we found the house they were living in, with no electric no gas and no running water, cupboards were empty, the fridge hadnt been turned on for weeks as there was nothing to put in it, My cousin who is roughly 5.8 weighed 6.7 stone. My aunty was less than this and so was her daughter.

My Aunts husband had found a new woman and was actually starving them out of the country. they hadnt paid there visas and was in debt of thousands. All scared to leave the apartment incase of being arrested. he would bring them 10 lira twice a week which is equivalent to around £4 .

We arranged to pay their flights but couldnt afford to pay their visas, They went to the British Embassy and they called the passport police and asked what they should do. the passport police said they would let them back to the UK on condition that they didnt return for 5 years, or pay their fines.

They agreed to this and returned to my house.

We have been to the council and told them this they said "they cant help with our matter at all" we also have tried to claim benefits, and had an MP working on this for us, but now she has said theres nothing she can do.

We dont know what to do next, Im a single mother of a 15 yr old girl in a small 2 bed house, with 3 extra adults to feed clothe etc.. on my 16 hour a week job, this is with a 21 yr old man who is in desperate need of medical attention, (we are waiting on an appointment at the hospital for him from the doctor)

My Aunty has just found a small cleaning job and my other cousin is looking, but we dont know where to turn to next.

Can anyone help me please?
I think because you've taken over the role as social worker, your situation is not deemed 'desperate', which really it isn't. It's more a case of difficult. The system is there to provide help to desperate cases and your circumstances don't sound too bad on the surface. No one is starving, out on the street or destitute so relying on the 'system' isn't probably going to offer you a quick solution.

You sound very kind hearted and sympathetic but for everyone's benefit, you might need to toughen up a little. You've given your new family a good start and at least one has found work. You need to push them both into finding jobs, then their own roof. If they are receiving benefits, they would get some help with rent and other things so they could move out and get their own lives going on their own feet.
The young guy that needs medical help, just keep pushing that one until you get somewhere. You'll need to get tough there too.

Good luck with it all and well done for being such a kind person. Your reward will come in time I'm sure. x
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Old May 3rd 2009, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Hi thanks for all your messages, we tried everywhere,, CAB,Council,Social Security, our MP.. at the minute we are waiting on somebody from social services, he is saying we need to go to a solicitor and get a habitual residence form or something.
Im hoping its not done through a test as they have already failed that twice. But otherwise it looks like they have just got to sit tight (very tight) at my house untill they have proved they are here for good!
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Old May 3rd 2009, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

I'm having difficulty following who these three are. I'm assuming it's your aunt and her two sons.
They're all Brits? Who lived in the UK previously? Passing the HRT is supposed to be more straightforward for those returning to take up residency again. But you say the test has been failed. When? By whom? Any idea of the reasoning used, given a Job Seekers Allowance claim succeeded before and HRT would have been involved (passed) then as well?

Are you, by chance, in a "quiet" part of the country where these things are not common and rules are unknown?

If something is going wrong, then CAB should have spotted how. But then if you are in one of those quiet areas, maybe they are more used to consumer issues than welfare ones. Shelter might be a better bet.
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Old May 3rd 2009, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

My Aunty her son and daughter, sorry i thought i had made it clear.

They first did the test when we went to the Council, then again when we went to the jobcenter.

The Council said they would be offered the same test wherever they went, whether it be to claim benefits, or the home office, in which they were right.

They said it would be a matter of time, they would need to open bank accounts, register with library etc.. and show they are here to stay. He said it could take up to 6 months, But im having real trouble coping for even these 3 weeks, so thats why im here seeing if there is another way of getting them re-housed,
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Old May 3rd 2009, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
My Aunty her son and daughter, sorry i thought i had made it clear...
It probably would be to most folk. But it reminded me of one of those IQ thingies where you have to work out the relationship and I never was any good at that sort of thing.

Okay...so it really sounds like the HRT side of things is causing the problem. There are many threads here about that. The one major aspect that stands out is that Brits returning to the UK to take up residency they once had are supposed to pass the test from day one.

There are usually two reasons for HRT failings in this situation. Either those making the decisions are unaware of what is known as the Swaddling decision - that is what says Brits taking up residency again should pass HRT
or
some doubt has been created about whether someone really does intend to resettle back in the UK.

If it's the first reason, I'd expect the CAB to latch onto that. If they haven't, you should mention it.

When HRT first came in, some officials took it upon themselves to decide that residency could be said to apply after a given period. That had no legal backing whatsoever. I used to make HRT decisions in my old job from when the rules came out and for about 8 years, BTW.

It appears some still apply their own feelings rather than official guidance. Some come across the situation so rarely that inconsistencies result.

So...what might have created the doubt that the move is permanent? You mention bank accounts, joining the library. These are things I used to consider regarding intent. Before the Swaddling ruling came in, these factors would have been a consideration for everyone. Now, for Brits, they need not be. Unless there is some clear reason to doubt a stated intention.

One obvious possibility could be the previous claim you mentioned. The HRT should have been applied then. If benefits were paid, the HRT would have been passed on the basis the move to the UK was permanent. The fact that he returned to Turkey after all might make someone think the truth wasn't told before.

It's entirely reasonable for someone to have a change of plans. But it's also possible that someone making the decision might think they had the wool pulled over their eyes before. See what I mean?

Other reasons for doubt....return tickets instead of one way?

Generally, if one is arranging a new life in another country, one would sever certain ties with the place one leaves...close bank acounts, end tenancy, sell property etc and then have arranged somewhere suitable to live, open bank accounts, register with doctor....all sorts of things.

Of course, doing all these things is not appropriate in all cases. Some staff deciding these things may expect too much.

Sometimes the wrong impression is given. People have failed the test because, for example, when asked what happens if they can't find a job or a place to live, they say they'll go back home....home being the place they just left. Then it sounds more like a visit to check possibilities rather than a permanent move.

But I'm just guessing at possible problems based on my previous experiences.

Is any of this making you think "Ah yes, now that you mention it....."

The fact that your aunt now has a job should confirm that her intention has become reality. If she lived with the other two previously that might help a case that they are used to living in the same household and that's why they all came back.

I wouldn't place too much focus on the HRT being failed twice. If one department has already failed someone, that's quite likely to influence a decision by another department.

Has the desision been appealed? Quite often a decision will be changed because of an appeal without having to wait for a hearing itself. Especially for something like Brits taking up residency again and the person appealing mentioning Swaddling.
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Old May 4th 2009, 2:01 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Hi thanks for your reply.

Yes it would make sense to me but there is one difference, and that is, the fact that Visas hadnt been paid for a number of years, When they got to the Airport, Passport Police gave them a written warning saying "You must not re enter Turkey within 5 years, or pay the fine, It doesnt say how much the fine is on the paper though, but it went in to thousands. The Council have seen this letter.

Also The cousin that came back 2 years ago did in fact stay here for over a year before returning to his family, and hes not really the issue because nobody is really asking about him, its my Aunty thats trying to get re housed and claim.

I havent heard about this swaddling effect, i have just tried to google it but i cant see what it is, We have a man coming from Social Services on Tuesday I will mention it to him, is there any chance you could give me some idea what it is please?
Thankyou so much for your help
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Old May 4th 2009, 5:01 am
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

This looks to be quite informative.

It's from a different forum but it duplicates something produced by Colchester Council. Later on the same page there is also a link to a thread on BE where it's been discussed before. There will probably be links and quotes there also.

The crucial phrase is If you were previously habitually resident, and have returned from abroad, you should not fail the test. For example, if you were a British Citizen who went to live abroad and have returned to live in Great Britain.

Later on the same page is a reproduction of a minister's statement.
In its judgement in the Swaddling case, the European Court of Justice made it clear that people returning from a European Member state to re-establish ties in the United Kingdom can be treated as habitually resident on their return.

Following this judgement we reviewed the habitual residence test and decided to extend this important principle to people returning from any country overseas to re-establish ties here. These measures have resulted in fairer access to income-related benefits, while ensuring security against possible abuse of the benefits system by those with no real links to the United Kingdom


There has been some confusion over whether this was later changed to being only those returning from an EU member state. But that really shouldn't matter. There were always special rules for Turkey that allowed its citizens to claim benefits. And Turkey will be EU members soon anyway.

The HRT was brought in to prevent non Brits claiming benefits on visits to the UK. Not to prevent Brits claiming. As I said, your aunt is working...proving her intention to settle in the UK again. But all three have links here and family support.

Here's something from The Guardian.

Aside from the usual housing issues, some local authorities have schemes where they cover deposits with private landlords. Deposit Bond Scheme would be the sort of name used. It might be worth checking with your council to see if they do this. It will vary from area to area but some councils will offer this scheme even to people working.

From all you've said, I'm astonished it's been problematic. An appeal is definitely worth it. If the office feels they won't be able to persuade an independent tribunal, they'll usually change the decision.

Please post what happens.
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Old May 5th 2009, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Originally Posted by lisa444
10 Years ago my Aunt Uncle and two cousins who were then 11 and 10 emigrated to Turkey.

While out there my Aunt and Uncles marriage broke down and their son became extremely depressed and even violent

We went to visit 3 years ago, and found my Cousin in such a state we arranged for him to come home, (fearing his mental health) he came back with us. He had to pay his visa fines which were a few hundred pound. and after a few weeks went to live with his half brother who sorted out his benefits, disability and job seekers i think,

After a year my cousin appeared well to his brother so he took him back to Turkey. (later we realized he wasnt well, but his brother couldnt handle him)

When we visited again we found the house they were living in, with no electric no gas and no running water, cupboards were empty, the fridge hadnt been turned on for weeks as there was nothing to put in it, My cousin who is roughly 5.8 weighed 6.7 stone. My aunty was less than this and so was her daughter.

My Aunts husband had found a new woman and was actually starving them out of the country. they hadnt paid there visas and was in debt of thousands. All scared to leave the apartment incase of being arrested. he would bring them 10 lira twice a week which is equivalent to around £4 .

We arranged to pay their flights but couldnt afford to pay their visas, They went to the British Embassy and they called the passport police and asked what they should do. the passport police said they would let them back to the UK on condition that they didnt return for 5 years, or pay their fines.

They agreed to this and returned to my house.

We have been to the council and told them this they said "they cant help with our matter at all" we also have tried to claim benefits, and had an MP working on this for us, but now she has said theres nothing she can do.

We dont know what to do next, Im a single mother of a 15 yr old girl in a small 2 bed house, with 3 extra adults to feed clothe etc.. on my 16 hour a week job, this is with a 21 yr old man who is in desperate need of medical attention, (we are waiting on an appointment at the hospital for him from the doctor)

My Aunty has just found a small cleaning job and my other cousin is looking, but we dont know where to turn to next.

Can anyone help me please?
I know this sounds brutal, but it may be worth considering telling the council that you can no longer provide your relatives with a roof over their heads - essentially making them homeless. The council will have to act then, by providing emergency accommodation ie., B&B, not ideal, but a starting point. Some councils also have a clutch of houses available in cases of homelessness.

Good luck to you.
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Old May 5th 2009, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone know how to help?

Hi yes we thought that too but we have been advised against this as the council or anyone are not obliged to help in anyway at all.

It seems we have gone down every route possible and it is just a waiting game now. But thankyou all for your advice and il keep you posted
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