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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Windrush Schemes Factsheet – February 2024

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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.

As the Scheme passes five years since launching, it has made significant progress in paying compensation to those who suffered a loss because they could not show they had the right to live in the UK. Wide ranging process and policy improvements have been made as set out below. As at the end of February 2024, over £83 million had been paid in compensation and over 84% of claims had received a final decision. There is no cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded overall.

The Scheme has reduced the time to allocate a claim for a substantive casework consideration, from 18 months to under 4 months. The 4-month period includes all essential eligibility checks, together with a Preliminary Assessment to make an initial payment of £10,000 wherever possible. This reduction has enabled a pilot of a single casework process to be implemented, responding to feedback that stakeholders and claimants welcome a named Decision Maker to be allocated at the earliest point possible in the process, as soon as eligibility for the Scheme has been confirmed.

We continue to listen and respond to feedback from affected communities and stakeholders about how the Scheme operates and its accessibility. We are determined to support as many affected people as possible to encourage them to come forward, ensure they have the correct information on whether they may be eligible and necessary guidance to support their application.

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 GOV.UK

On 11 April 2024, the Home Office published the latest set of data on the Scheme, which covers the period to the end of February 2024.

The total amount paid to claimants through the Scheme has increased to over £83 million.

£83.73 million has been paid across 2,307 claims. The statistics also show that over 84% of claims have had a final decision.

During the month of February, the Home Office paid out more than £3.6 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 Group (formerly We Are Digital).

If you need help filling in the claim form, the Windrush Help Team can put you in touch with a free independent adviser at We Are Group, or you can 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

Since the launch of the Compensation Scheme in 2019, we have continued to listen and respond to feedback from affected communities and stakeholders to ensure people receive the maximum compensation they deserve.

In 2020, we introduced an early payment of £10,000 to people as soon as we identify they are entitled to an award. We also raised the value of awards under the impact on life category at every level, with the highest increasing from £10,000 to £100,000.

In 2021, we launched a package of support to help those making, or who have already made claims on behalf of a relative who has passed away, to obtain the legal documentation required to process their claims. We also removed the end date of the scheme to ensure no one is prevented from making a claim if they are eligible.

In 2021 and August 2022, we published new claim forms, developed in consultation with stakeholders, that are easier to complete.

In August 2022, we broadened the homelessness category and removed the cap to ensure people are compensated for the full period they were homeless.

We also introduced a fourth ‘Living Costs’ category for close family member claims for costs incurred whilst supporting someone who lost their employment or benefits because they were unable to prove their immigration status.

In October 2023, we made changes to the Loss of Access to Employment category so that people who secured further employment before their status was resolved will continue to be compensated if their new earnings were less than the value of their monthly employment award. The period we will compensate for will now normally continue until 3 months after their status is resolved. This will mean some people will be compensated for longer periods and receive more money.

We also removed the requirement for children and grandchildren of Commonwealth citizens settled in the UK before 1973, who were born in the UK or arrived in the UK before the age of 18, who are British citizens and were automatically British citizens or citizens of the UK and colonies at birth, to have been continuously resident in the UK since their birth or arrival. This change has also been made for children applying to the Windrush Documentation Scheme.

Since February 2024, processes have been in place so that where individuals were unable to work because they could not demonstrate their lawful status in the UK, their National Insurance record is corrected so their State Pension entitlement is not affected. We are also reviewing the current exclusion within the rules of compensation for private and occupational pensions.

Changes are always applied retrospectively, and we notify individuals who are affected by the changes to let them know what this means for them. Please note, we are conducting an internal review of all claims where an award for Loss of Access to Employment has been paid or offered to identify those who benefit from the changes. We will write to those who do benefit in due course with an additional offer of compensation. People who do not benefit can contact the Help Team to request the reasons for this if they wish.

We remain open to making further improvements and will continue to engage regularly with stakeholders and applicants.

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.

Over 16,800 people have been issued with documentation confirming their status or British citizenship up to Quarter 4, 2023.

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.

  Q4 2023
Jamaica 3,508
Caribbean 2,128
Pakistan 200
India 2,509
Bangladesh 163
Ghana 165
Nigeria 481
EU 4,843
Rest of world 2,898

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 2024, is £373,790.54.

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 2024, the VPT has provided support to 2,463 individuals.

Community Engagement Fund

On 1 August 2023, the Home Office launched a £150,000 Community Engagement Fund. The aim of the 2023-24 Community Engagement Fund is to support charities, community, or grassroots organisations to raise awareness of the Windrush Schemes and gain insights from communities affected by Windrush, particularly around barriers to applying for the Windrush Schemes.

The application process closed on 30 August. The Home Office has reviewed the applications against the criteria published in the ‘Guidance for Applicants’. Sixteen organisations were successful, and funding has now been awarded to the 16 diverse groups and organisations, who applied for grants of between £5,000 and £10,000, to assist their engagement with individuals and communities about the Windrush Schemes.

All organisations are on target to complete their projects by the end of March 2024, in raising awareness of both Windrush Schemes. They have continued to provide monthly feedback which reports the wide range of activities delivered to raise awareness of the Windrush Schemes and have provided insight on the communities affected.

The details of the successful Community Engagement Fund organisations are available on the GOV.UK website, where you can find a summary of the projects.

Community Engagement Fund 2023 to 2024: grant-funded projects - GOV.UK (

The team have visited a number of events in London, Peterborough, Liverpool, and Manchester.  The team has been impressed to see the diverse methods of raising awareness. The aim of the Community Engagement Fund is to bolster efforts to reach as many individuals as possible, who may be eligible to apply for documentation to confirm their status or for compensation.

The funding supports activities and events to provide individuals with information about eligibility criteria, guidance on the application process, and to address any misunderstandings about what the Schemes cover.

The successful bidders have demonstrated how they will reach communities and individuals within and beyond the Caribbean community, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, and India. This follows feedback from Wendy Williams’ progress update, which said more needed to be done to identify and reach out to wider affected groups.

Through the Fund, the Home Office will build on insights and learnings, already taken from the previous Windrush Community Fund, to understand why some individuals may not yet have come forward to apply for documentation or compensation and how best to encourage eligible individuals to apply for both Schemes.

Amounts offered and paid month by month to Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants up to the end of February 2024

Month Cumulative amount paid Cumulative amount offered
Feb-2023 £57.88m £68.61m
Mar-2023 £59.97m £70.87m
Apr-2023 £61.74m £72.37m
May-2023 £63.54m £74.73m
Jun-2023 £66.70m £76.91m
Jul-2023 £68.53m £77.96m
Aug-2023 £70.78m £79.71m
Sep-2023 £72.43m £80.78m
Oct-2023 £73.66m £82.13m
Nov-2023 £75.39m £83.63m
Dec-2023 £77.40m £85.36m
Jan-2024 £80.26m £88.22m
Feb-2024 £83.73m £90.08m


  • 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 2024

Pay range Number of claimants offered Number of claimants paid
Zero Entitlement Claim 3919 N/A
From £0.00, less than £10,000.00 5 5
From £10,000.00, less than £30,000.00 1306 1336
From £30,000.00, less than £50,000.00 584 520
From £50,000.00, less than £100,000.00 326 310
From £100,000.00, less than £150,000.00 98 86
From £150,000.00, less than £200,000.00 26 24
From £200,000.00, less than £250,000.00 14 14
From £250,000.00, less than £300,000.00 10 10
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.
  • The number of zero entitlement claims recorded in this table may not reflect the numbers in the Transparency Data release, as a claim may receive an uplifted payment on review.

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