Project Q&A

Why is this project running?

‪Using EU based rights to claim welfare benefits is often not at all straightforward – whether it is claiming equal treatment for a national benefit, or trying to get contributions in different EU countries to be taken into account, or trying to claim a benefit from one country while residing in another. Bureaux often see EU migrants who face various obstacles in accessing benefits. This can result in migrant poverty and social injustice.

What will you be doing?

‪I plan to work in Ripon CAB to take on cases involving EU benefit claims, and conduct a study of the administrative processes we go through in helping the client get what they want and pursuing their best interests. I will document administrative obstacles to claims, which might include language issues, extra evidential burdens, and the degree of administrative co-ordination between different national benefit offices.

What are the safeguards?

‪I will naturally be working within all the Citizens Advice policies and principles, including confidentiality – so findings will all be anonymised – and my work will be supervised and cases checked. The study has received ethical approval from both the Economic and Social Research Council, and the University of York. The project will be explained to any prospective clients who will receive information and consent forms.

How are you qualified?

‪I have been working and volunteering in CABx at various times for the last eleven years, and I am a specialist academic researcher in EU social law.

What are the outputs?

‪Hopefully the project will provide a genuinely useful, specialist advice service for the clients. The study findings will be presented to decision makers and policy makers; the findings will also help me put together an ‘advice toolkit’ for CAB advisers to use in tackling different stages of EU migrant benefit claims.

How can we contact you?

‪To suggest a referral please email Ripon CAB – advice@riponcab.cabnet.org.uk with ‘EU rights referral’ in the subject heading. Please do also email me with any questions at charlotte.obrien@york.ac.uk.