We are determined to put right the terrible injustices faced by some people from the Windrush generation and the wider Commonwealth, which happened under successive governments.
The Windrush Scheme ensures members of the Windrush generation can get the documentation they need to prove their right to be in the UK, free of charge. Find out about the Windrush Scheme and how you can apply for a document to prove you can live and work in the UK, here. Once you have received your documentation, you might want to check if you are eligible to apply for compensation.
Windrush Compensation Scheme
The Windrush Compensation Scheme was launched on 3 April 2019. You may be able to claim compensation if you suffered losses because you could not show that you had a right to live in the UK.
The Windrush Documentation Scheme and the Windrush Compensation Scheme will remain open as long as they are needed, so no one is prevented from making a claim because a deadline has passed.
To claim compensation, please check that you are eligible to make a claim. You will be eligible and can make a claim if:
- you came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973
- your parents or grandparents came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973
- you came to the UK from any country before 31 December 1988 and are now settled here
You will also be eligible and can make a claim if you are:
- the close family member of someone eligible to claim and you have had significant losses yourself
- representing the estate of someone who would have been eligible.
- if you are eligible, you must then show that you are entitled to compensation. You will be entitled if you have suffered impacts or losses because you could not show that you had a right to live in the UK, under the terms of the Scheme
You should complete all sections of the claim form and provide us with as much information as possible about how being unable to show your right to live in the UK affected you. This will ensure we are able to award you the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
We will review Home Office records and will work with other Government Departments and statutory bodies to help gather and check the information you have provided as part of your claim.
Further details on how to apply to the Windrush Compensation Scheme can be found at Apply to the Windrush Compensation Scheme: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
On 06 April 2023, the Home Office published the latest set of data on the Scheme, which covers the period to the end of February 2023.
The total amount paid or offered to claimants through the scheme has increased to over £68.27 million.
£57.13 million has been paid across 1,520 claims and a further £11.13 million has been offered, awaiting acceptance, or pending review.
The statistics also show that over 60% of claims have had a final decision.
During the month of February, the Home Office paid out over £1.5 million in compensation.
Compensation payments are made as quickly as possible, but each person’s claim is deeply personal and deserves to be processed with the utmost care and sensitivity so that the maximum payment can be made to them.
Individuals must accept their offer of compensation before it can be paid, or, if they are dissatisfied, they can ask for a review. This is first through an independent internal review (Tier 1) and, if someone remains dissatisfied, through an independent review by the independent Adjudicator (Tier 2).
For those who do need support, the Home Office has funded an organisation to provide free, independent claimant assistance to individuals for the duration of the Scheme, We Are Digital.
If you need help filling in the application form, the Windrush Help Team can put you in touch with a free independent adviser at We Are Digital or call them directly on 0808 196 8496.
You can also call the Windrush Help Team for free.
Telephone: 0800 678 1925
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Improvements to the Compensation Scheme
The Home Office keeps the Compensation Scheme under constant review, to make sure that everyone receives the compensation they deserve.
In December 2020, following feedback from the Windrush Cross Government Working Group, members of the Windrush generation, community leaders and those affected, we overhauled the compensation scheme so people can receive significantly more money, more quickly and this had an immediate beneficial impact.
Within six weeks of making the changes, we had offered more than we had in the first 19 months of the scheme.
Changes included raising the value of awards for impact on life at every level, so everyone is paid more in this category, with the maximum award increasing from £10,000 to £100,000 (with options for even higher awards in exceptional circumstances).
Changes were made in August 2022 to further maximise compensation payments, including changes to homelessness and for close family members. Every close family member who suffered an impact can now receive a minimum of £10,000. They can now also claim compensation for costs incurred whilst supporting someone who lost their employment or benefits because they were unable to prove their immigration status.
Changes made to the Homelessness category, include the removal of the cap, and removal of the requirement to demonstrate physical or mental health impacts due to homelessness. These changes ensure people are compensated for the full period they were homeless.
Example cases of people who have received compensation:
- Ms T had difficulties travelling. When returning to the UK from a holiday, they were challenged at the airport when she produced her Jamaican passport and was issued with a 2 month Leave to Enter stamp. In 2018 Ms T applied for documentation, which was granted within 2 months. Ms T applied for compensation and was paid £20,000.00.
- Mr A was detained on two separate occasions for an inability to demonstrate status. In 2018, Mr A applied for documentation which was granted within 5 months. Mr A applied for compensation and was paid over £120,000.00.
- Mr H was stopped at the airport when returning to the UK from a business trip and detained for over an hour. In 2018, Mr H applied for documentation which was granted within 2 months. Mr H applied for compensation and was paid over £40,000.00.
- Mr C’s employment was terminated due to an inability to demonstrate status. In 2019, Mr C applied for documentation, which was granted within 5 months. Mr C applied for compensation and was paid over £120,00.00.
- Mr G was suspended without pay in 2016 due to an inability to demonstrate status. Mr G’s employment ended, and he was actively seeking work but unable to continue applications due to an inability demonstrating status. In 2020, Mr G applied for documentation, which was granted within a month. Mr G applied for compensation and was paid over £22,000.00.
Windrush Scheme for Documentation
In May 2018 the Windrush Scheme was launched to ensure members of the Windrush generation could get the documentation they need to prove their right to be in the UK, free of charge.
Almost 16,000 people have been issued with documentation confirming their status or British citizenship up to Quarter 4, 2022.
Individuals from a wide range of nationalities have been granted documentation after applying to the Windrush Scheme from within the UK, including a wide range of Commonwealth countries.
|Rest of world||2,855|
Urgent and exceptional cases
In December 2018, the Home Office established an Urgent and Exceptional Payments process. The policy has a very clear purpose to provide support, including financial support, to members of the Windrush cohort who have an urgent and exceptional need, where this cannot wait for the full compensation scheme decision.
The process remains open for those who need it. The total value of the payments approved, to the end of February 2023, is £271,114.01.
But this is just one way we help those in urgent need. There is also a dedicated Vulnerable Persons Team (VPT) to provide help and advice for more vulnerable people. This service also helps people:
- with support and advice on accessing mainstream benefits
- get support and advice on housing
To the end of February 2023, the VPT has provided support to 2,117 individuals.
Community Engagement Fund
On 20 September 2022 the Home Office launched a £150,000 Community Engagement Fund. The Community Engagement Fund would provide support to charities, community or grassroots organisations to engage communities and raise awareness of the Windrush Schemes and gain more insights from communities affected by Windrush, particularly around barriers to applying for the Windrush Schemes.
Unfortunately, we have experienced delays with our internal assessment of the Community Engagement Fund (CEF) bids leaving successful applicants very little time to spend money before the end of the financial year. We will relaunch the competition soon.
Promotion of the Schemes and supporting communities
The £500,000 Windrush Community Fund (WCF) was launched in December 2020 to support community and grassroots organisations to run outreach and promotional activity to raise awareness of the Windrush Scheme (Documentation) and Windrush Compensation Scheme.
Twenty-seven community organisations were awarded monies under the two phases of the WCF. Phase one projects were completed by end of August 2022. Phase 2 projects are due to complete by Summer 2023.
Phase one groups have reached over 865,470 individuals through their activities and events and supported over 2,520 individuals in a variety of ways including signposting to additional support, assisting with Windrush Compensation or Documentation Scheme applications, sharing knowledge and addressing misinformation about the Schemes or the role of the Home Office.
The Government continues to work closely with stakeholders to ensure anyone who should benefit from the Scheme applies.
Amounts offered and paid month by month to Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants up to the end of February 2023
|Month||Cumulative amount paid||Cumulative amount offered|
- The amount awarded is subject to change if the award is revised following a review or if an Urgent and Exceptional Payment (UEP) is made.
- All data taken from a live operational system that is subject to change over time.
- The amount offered excludes urgent and exceptional and other government department payments.
Breakdown of full and final offers and payments made to Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants, up to the end of February 2023
|Pay range||Number of claimants offered||Number of claimants paid|
|Zero Entitlement Claim||1,628||N/A|
|From £0.00, less than £10,000.00||6||5|
|From £10,000.00, less than £30,000.00||816||815|
|From £30,000.00, less than £50,000.00||432||382|
|From £50,000.00, less than £100,000.00||272||234|
|From £100,000.00, less than £150,000.00||73||63|
|From £150,000.00, less than £200,000.00||14||12|
|From £200,000.00, less than £250,000.00||13||9|
|From £250,000.00, less than £300,000.00||5||*|
|From £300,000.00, less than £350,000.00||-||-|
|From £350,000.00, less than £400,000.00||-||-|
|From £400,000.00, less than £450,000.00||*||*|
Table Special Values: * indicates fewer than 5 customers; and - indicates no offers or payments in the given pay range.