Tens of thousands of EU citizens whose applications to stay in Britain were rejected may have been wrongly paid benefits, it has emerged.
A data error meant European nationals who were turned down for settled status after Brexit continued to receive payouts to which they weren’t entitled.
The Home Office, which was responsible for the mix-up, has said it will contact those affected following reports the Government will look to recoup the cash.
It is feared many of the almost 150,000 EU citizens who were refused the permanent right to remain in the UK may have continued to get the cash.
European nationals who were eligible for benefits before Brexit had to successfully apply for “settled status” to keep their payments.
Between June 2021 and April last year the Home Office did not update its visa database to flag the 146,148 people whose applications were rejected.
Their files were labelled as “pending” within the system, meaning those who did not immediately appeal their decision continued to receive benefits.
Officials said this was done because the Brexit deal meant they had to protect the rights of people who wanted to dispute the outcome of their case.
The revelations came in a letter to the Home Secretary written by the Brexit rights watchdog and seen by the PoliticsHome website.
Read more via The Telegraph/ PoliticsHome