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Who is eligible for support, why it’s being paid and how much has been given

The Windrush compensation scheme, which was launched in April 2019, is a scheme to compensate people who may have suffered losses from not being able to show they had a right to live in the UK.

It stems from the 2018 Windrush scandal, which saw people face a range of issues around right to live in the UK, including being wrongly detained, or even deported, and denied legal rights.

More than £62m has already been paid out in the scheme across 1,681 claims, according to the Home Office in its most recent update, which was released on 21 June.

The scheme, and the adjacent documentation scheme, will be open as long as it is needed. However, a lawyer who designed the compensation scheme has warned the slow payouts will mean more Windrush victims will die without receiving money they are owed.

Who is eligible for compensation?

Those eligible for compensation under the scheme include:

  • people who came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1972
  • people whose parents or grandparents came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973
  • people who came to the UK from any country before 31 December 1988 and are now settled here
  • people who are the close family member of someone eligible to claim and have had significant losses themselves

People can also make claims if they are representing the estate of someone who would have been eligible.

How much compensation has been given out through the scheme?

In the most recent Government update, which covers the start of the scheme through until the end of May 2023, £62.72m has been paid across 1,681 claims.

That averages out at just over £37,300 per claim. But the Government has listed “example cases” that show people receiving up to £120,000.

It also stated a further £12.29m has been offered to an unmentioned number of claimants, which is waiting to be accepted or is being reviewed (those applying for compensation can ask for the offer made to them to be reviewed if they’re dissatisfied).

How many people are eligible for the scheme?

It’s not clear how many people are eligible for the scheme but thousands of people have received valid documents through the adjacent Windrush documentation scheme.

Much more people have been granted documentation than have been paid compensation. While the most recent figures show 1,618 people have been granted compensation, a total 16,228 people have been issued with documentation proving their right to be in the UK.

Most of them are from Jamaica (3,416), with another 2,067 from other Caribbean countries and 2,319 are from India.

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