The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) has engaged with HMRC to resolve delays experienced by EU citizens when obtaining National Insurance documentation.
The IMA received a number of complaints from European citizens who were having problems accessing social security in their home countries in a timely manner. Complainants were experiencing difficulties in obtaining a Statement of National Insurance Contributions from HMRC, a key document for EU and EEA EFTA citizens when applying for benefits.
The IMA was concerned that this issue had the potential to prevent a large number of EU and EEA EFTA citizens from claiming benefits to which they were entitled. In response to the complaints, the IMA launched a pre-inquiry investigation.
HMRC responded proactively to the investigation without the need for a full inquiry and developed a solution to the issue. A recovery plan was introduced to reduce the backlog which has ensured HMRC is back operating at its standard service level agreement.
Pam Everett, Director of Operational Delivery at the IMA said:
“I am pleased that HMRC responded proactively to our engagement to ensure the matter was resolved quickly and to limit the impact on people’s lives.
“The IMA is clear that public bodies must protect the rights of EU citizens and we will act where we identify systemic issues that could prevent rights from being upheld.
“But we can only take action if we receive sufficient information, and therefore we would encourage citizens who feel their rights aren’t being upheld to report a complaint to us.”
EU and EEA EFTA citizens residing in the UK and Gibraltar can report a breach of their rights via the IMA’s website.