Windrush victims launch legal action over compensation delays

Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

Two victims of the Windrush scandal have launched legal proceedings against the Home Office over protracted delays in issuing compensation, asking for clarity on how claims can be expedited.

Both Henry Vaughan, 67, and Fitzroy Maynard, 55, are struggling financially while living in unsuitable bedsit accommodation. They say they are unable to begin rebuilding their lives after years of problems caused by the government’s mistaken decision to classify them as illegal immigrants.

Vaughan, who arrived in 1961 as a seven-year-old from Jamaica to join his mother who was working in a London hospital, had decades of difficulties proving that he was in the UK legally, and the cumulative stress has triggered serious health problems.

Maynard came to the UK as a 14-year-old from Antigua in 1980. He was homeless for several years, living on the streets after losing his job as a residential caretaker, and found it impossible to get new work because he was unable to persuade employers that he had the right to live and work in the UK.

Both were given documentation by the Windrush taskforce, after the government apologised in 2018 for erroneously classifying thousands of legal residents as illegal immigrants, but both have experienced long delays after applying for compensation. Vaughan applied 10 months ago, Maynard 18 months ago.

The judicial review, launched by the London law firm Leigh Day on the men’s behalf, is calling on the Home Office to publish guidance on its expedition process for claims under the Windrush compensation scheme.

Fitzroy Maynard: ‘It does feel like maybe they are waiting for me to die.’ Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

Legal proceedings state that the average waiting time for an applicant to receive a final payment is 434 days, despite many applicants being in desperate need of financial compensation.

The legal team discovered that there is an internal system under which urgent cases can be expedited, but there is no public information about how to apply for claims to be fast-tracked. The lawyers argue that the system of prioritisation needs to be made clear so that those in acute need, such as elderly and disabled people, can apply for expedition.

Maynard is hoping that compensation might help him to move out of the single-room bedsit that he shares with his six-year-old daughter. The property has had a rat infestation, and the other occupants of the building are vulnerable single men.

“There is nowhere for her to play. It is far from ideal,” he said. “The compensation process is so stressful – it makes you think that they are hoping people will go away and decide not to bother.”

Vaughan would like to be able to use the compensation money to help his children. “I’ve been waiting almost two years. It does feel like maybe they are waiting for me to die. We’re old, we don’t have 20 or 30 years ahead of us,” he said.

The Windrush compensation scheme has been beset by controversy since its launch two and a half years ago. Applicants have voiced unease that their claims are being decided by the same Home Office staff who were responsible for hostile environment policies that caused many of their original difficulties.

The most senior black Home Office employee in the team responsible for the Windrush compensation scheme resigned last year, describing the scheme as systemically racist and unfit for purpose. At least 21 people are known to have died before receiving the compensation they applied for. Labour has called for the scheme to be removed from the Home Office and administered by an independent body.

Improvements to the scheme have been made, and a Home Office spokesperson said more than 13,800 people have received documentation confirming their immigration status or British citizenship through the Windrush scheme, and the government has paid out more than £29m across 889 claims.

Fitzroy Maynard and his six-year-old daughter, Shania, in the bedsit they share in north London. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

But there is still concern about the low takeup of a scheme that was initially expected to assist more than 10,000 people and pay out at least £200m. The head of the scheme, Tom Greig, was seconded in August to work on the Afghan resettlement programme, prompting fears that the scheme has been deprioritised.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The home secretary has been resolute in her determination to put right the wrongs suffered by all those affected by the Windrush scandal. In July, she made further improvements to simplify the application process, announced new support measures for those claiming on behalf of relatives who have passed away, and removed the scheme’s end date – all designed to ensure every victim receives the compensation they deserve as quickly as possible.”

John Crowley, a solicitor from Leigh Day, said: “Without knowing that expedition is an option, it is impossible to make an effective application. Applicants to the Windrush compensation scheme have suffered constant delays and in our experience, unless there is a clear policy on when an application should be expedited, caseworkers tend to put new applications to the bottom of the pile, even for those in the most urgent need, like our clients bringing this challenge.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Madhya Pradesh: Cops use force to disperse unruly elements during Milad-un-Nabi procession

The police on Tuesday used force to disperse a few unruly elements for allegedly violating the permitted route during a procession held on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of ... Read more »

Joe Concha slams Biden for violating D.C. mask mandate: ‘Rules for thee, but not for D's'

The Fox News contributor discusses NBC’s surprising fact check of Dr. Fauci and Biden’s on camera slip-up Read more »

I will not sue to see grandchildren, says Meghan's father Thomas Markle

The Duchess of Sussex’s father has said he does not want to use his grandchildren as “pawns in a game” by taking legal action in order to see them. Thomas ... Read more »

The Independent is to launch a weekly comment newsletter ‘The Opinion'

The Independent is launching a free weekly newsletter focused on opinion and compiled by our comment editors (The Independent ) As many of us return to a version of “the ... Read more »

These turkeys won't make it to Christmas

Flops: SAS Australia: Hell Week — 584,000 nationally (hell for Seven’s programmers who got too greedy). We’ve just had several weeks of being bored by this format. Love Island Australia: 363,000. An ... Read more »

Auditor-General analysis finds regional grant money went to recipients in major cities

© Provided by ABC Business The analysis found $2.6 billion was awarded for regional and rural grants. (ABC News: Hamish Harty) Australia’s Auditor-General has found more than a quarter of ... Read more »

Victoria construction company admits to breaking laws that led to employees' deaths

A Ballarat construction company has admitted it broke workplace laws, leading to the deaths of two young tradies in a trench collapse. Construction company Pipecon pleaded guilty to failing to ... Read more »

How proud British army veteran, 80, battled to clear his name in court

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Dennis Hutchings was a proud man. Proud of his 26 years served with distinction in the Army. Proud of his 22 grandchildren and ... Read more »

Marvel's ‘Eternals': First Reactions to Chloé Zhao's Film From the World Premiere

© Courtesy of Marvel Studios ETERNALS After a pandemic-enforced delay of almost a year, Marvel’s Eternals was finally unveiled to its first audience following its world premiere at the iconic ... Read more »

Sri Lanka reverses organic farming drive as tea suffers

Sri Lanka on Tuesday backed down from ambitious plans to become the world’s first completely organic farming nation, reversing a ban on imports of chemical fertiliser. © Ishara S. KODIKARA ... Read more »

Neil Ferguson: People must be 'cautious' as Covid cases climb and immunity wanes

© Rob Pinney/Getty An ambulance passes a postbox painted with ‘THANK YOU NHS’ outside St Thomas’s Hospital on October 12, 2021 – Rob Pinney/Getty People must be “cautious” with their ... Read more »

Cusi, Dennis Uy, others face graft charges over ‘anomalous' Malampaya takeover

© Jannielyn Ann Bigtas A criminal complaint was lodged against Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, former and current officials of state-run Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) ... Read more »

O'Ward: Herta has "everything to be successful" in Formula 1

© Richard Dole / Motorsport Images Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda Andretti Autosport is understood to be closing in on a deal to take a majority stake in ... Read more »

Nuclear power could dominate Britain's net zero strategy

© Ben Birchall A construction worker stands inside a welded steel dome that will be lifted and placed on top of the nuclear island, which houses the reactor, at Hinkley ... Read more »

'Babies and baggy' – Neville's damning view of Man Utd

© Sky Gary Neville has described Manchester United’s players as acting like “babies” when they concede goals and warned of a seismic disconnect within the team. In an excoriating analysis ... Read more »

Aging UK soldier dies while on trial for Troubles shooting

LONDON (AP) — An 80-year-old British army veteran has died while on trial for a shooting that occurred during “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, fueling debate over the prosecution of ... Read more »

Most common cars still on the road with 750,000 miles or more

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo There are hundreds of super high mileage vehicles on British roads that are still in use despite clocking up over three quarts ... Read more »

Gas boiler ban: Millions of Britons face £9,000 bill as green switch date set to be moved

The Prime Minister is set to unveil his long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy next week which will set out a roadmap to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It will ... Read more »

McBride to sink to half-year loss as cost surge amid supply chain disruption

Household cleaning products firm McBride has warned it expects to sink to a first-half loss as it battles to offset soaring prices due to the supply chain crisis. © Steve ... Read more »

Shaken by vandalism, Portland business owners pick up the pieces

Oct. 19—The owners of several Portland stores and restaurants are cleaning up after a spate of weekend vandalism and a suspected burglary left businesses with shattered windows and other damage. ... Read more »

Bowen Yang steals SNL as a voguing, death-dropping daddy long legs: ‘Call me daddy'

Bowen Yang brought down the SNL house as a sassy, voguing daddy long legs. In this weekend’s “Bug Assembly” sketch, Yang – clad in navy spandex, high heels boots and ... Read more »

Apple MacBook Pro 2021 comes in 2 sizes and is crazy fast: Sale date, key specs and India price

MacBook Pro 2021 Apple is done with two big events in a quick succession. While the former introduced new iPhone 13 and the new iPads, the latest one has brought ... Read more »

Kerala Sthree Sakthi SS-283 Lottery Result 2021: Lucky Draw for October 19 Postponed to October 24 Due to Floods in the State

© Provided by News18 Kerala Sthree Sakthi SS-283 Lottery Result 2021: Lucky Draw for October 19 Postponed to October 24 Due to Floods in the State The lucky draw for ... Read more »

Cryptocurrency prices today: Bitcoin, other altcoins likely to lose momentum after stellar rally

Cryptocurrency price Cryptocurrency prices have been rising sharply for the past few sessions with top virtual coins inching closer towards new highs. The momentum could face disruption over the next ... Read more »

COVID-cases jump by 63% in a single day in Odisha

© Provided by The Statesman COVID-cases jump by 63% in a single day in Odisha The coastal State on Tuesday reported a drastic single-day 63% jump in infections as 556 ... Read more »

Mumbai COVID-19 news: People with single vaccine dose may be allowed to use local trains after THIS date

© Provided by DNA The Maharashtra government will consider allowing Mumbai citizens vaccinated with a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine to participate in all activities, in opened-up sectors after Diwali, ... Read more »

Value Engineering: Scenes From the Grenfell Inquiry review: powerfully effective

(©Tristram Kenton) Don’t be deceived by the buttoned up, well-spoken men in suits in this verbatim reconstruction of the Grenfell Inquiry. This is a powerfully effective evening, with an undercurrent ... Read more »

Frequent VVIP visits hampering counter-terror operations in Kashmir Valley?

With a surge in terrorist activities in the Kashmir Valley, officials tackling security situation in the Union Territory have pointed to frequent high-profile visits saying these “are hampering counter-terror operations” ... Read more »

Congress to give 40% tickets to women in UP polls: Priyanka Gandhi

Congress to give 40% tickets to women in UP polls: Priyanka Gandhi Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has said the party will give 40 per cent of its tickets to women ... Read more »

WhatsApp Emoji Reactions Coming Soon? Code Hints At Notification Setting For Messages

© Provided by News18 WhatsApp Emoji Reactions Coming Soon? Code Hints At Notification Setting For Messages WhatsApp has previously been reported to be bringing emoji reactions to the platform. The ... Read more »

FCI Haryana Recruitment: Apply for 380 watchman vacancies from October 20

Food Corporation of India (FCI) will on November 20 begin the application process to fill vacancies for watchmen in its depots and offices in the state of Haryana. The last ... Read more »

NITI Aayog launches Geospatial Energy Map of India

© Provided by Business Today NITI Aayog launches Geospatial Energy Map of India Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman, NITI Aayog, V K Saraswat member, NITI Aayog, and Amitabh Kant, chief executive ... Read more »

Printer stops scanning because no ink, customer sues Canon for $5 million

Canon, known throughout the world for its imaging technologies, might be facing a gigantic penalty due to a new lawsuit that blames it for unfair practices. The Japanese company has ... Read more »

W Series: Leaders Alice Powell & Jamie Chadwick will 'push each other hard' for 2021 title

This weekend, the W Series will arrive in Texas to begin the final showdown of the 2021 season. © GiveMeSport Jamie Chadwick Alice Powell It all boils down to a ... Read more »

Trump's Surgeon General Says Colin Powell's Death Shows Need for More Vaccinations

Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams has urged unvaccinated people to take the COVID-19 vaccine following the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. © Michael Reynolds- Pool/Getty Images Former ... Read more »

Irish Covid hospitality restrictions could stay

The Irish government is expected to adopt a cautious approach to re-opening plans and the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions. © Getty Images Covid-19 restrictions around hospitality may continue into ... Read more »

Atalanta dealt multiple injury blows ahead of Champions League Manchester United fixture

Atalanta will be without multiple important players for their game against Manchester United on Wednesday night. Robin Gosens reportedly attracted interest from some of Europe’s most elite sides in the ... Read more »

Imagine him & Ings: Lange must seal AVFC deal for 4 G/A beast with "mindset of a lion" - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast Toney Former Aston Villa centre-forward Gabriel Agbonlahor has claimed that Ivan Toney would be a brilliant fit for Villa. What’s been said? Speaking recently on ... Read more »

Charlie Nicholas reveals the identity of Rangers' main title challengers

Ex-Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas believes his former club will put up the main title challenge to rivals Rangers. © Rangers will be looking to defend the Premiership trophy. (Photo by ... Read more »

Jennifer Lopez just got bright blonde highlights for autumn

© Jennifer Lopez Her latest look has a chic Seventies feel to it Not long after testing the waters with bubblegum pink hair (which was clearly a wig), Jennifer Lopez ... Read more »