Guidance

Windrush Compensation Scheme

You may be able to claim compensation through the Windrush Compensation Scheme if you suffered a loss because you could not demonstrate your lawful right to live in the UK.

This includes if you could not prove your right to work, claim benefits or access services in the UK or if you faced immigration action.

An introduction to the scheme

Martin Forde introduces the Windrush Compensation Scheme

Eligibility

The scope of the Windrush Compensation Scheme is not limited to men and women who originally came to the UK from the Caribbean Commonwealth. Almost everyone originally from a Commonwealth country who arrived before 1 January 1973 is included.

If you have a right of abode or settled status (or are now a British citizen) and arrived to live in the UK before 31 December 1988 you will also be eligible to apply regardless of your nationality when you arrived – even if you are not a Commonwealth citizen.

The scheme is also open to:

  • children and grandchildren of Commonwealth citizens in certain circumstances
  • the estates of those who are now deceased but who would have otherwise been eligible to claim compensation
  • close family members of eligible claimants where there has been a significant impact on their life or where there is evidence of certain direct financial costs

Read more information on the eligibility criteria in the Windrush compensation claim form: guidance (PDF, 705KB, 45 pages) .

Entitlement

You may be able to claim compensation for losses related to:

  • employment
  • immigration fees
  • detention and removal
  • housing
  • health
  • education
  • driving licences
  • banking
  • impact on normal daily life

You can read more detailed information in the Windrush Compensation: scheme rules (PDF, 604KB, 45 pages) .

How to claim

How to claim depends on who you are and if you are in the UK or overseas.

If you are claiming for yourself

Read the Windrush compensation claim form: guidance (PDF, 705KB, 45 pages) before you apply.

You will need to download and complete the Windrush compensation claim form (web accessible) (PDF, 191KB, 1 page) .

To edit the form you will need to download a recent version of Adobe Reader.

You must save the form to your PC or device and open it using Adobe Reader instead of your web browser.

You can also download and complete the standard Windrush compensation claim form (PDF, 401KB, 18 pages) .

If you are a close family member

Read the Windrush compensation claim form for close family members: guidance (PDF, 536KB, 36 pages) for close family members of an eligible person before you apply.

You will need to download and complete the Windrush compensation claim form for close family members (web accessible) (PDF, 191KB, 1 page) .

To edit the form you will need to download a recent version of Adobe Reader.

You must save the form to your PC or device and open it using Adobe Reader instead of your web browser.

You can also download and complete the standard Windrush compensation claim form for close family members (PDF, 206KB, 13 pages) .

If you represent someone’s estate

Read the Windrush compensation claim form for representing someone's estate: guidance (PDF, 714KB, 47 pages) before you apply.

You will need to download and complete the Windrush compensation claim form for representing someone's estate (web accessible) (PDF, 193KB, 1 page) .

To edit the form you will need to download a recent version of Adobe Reader.

You must save the form to your PC or device and open it using Adobe Reader instead of your web browser.

You can also download and complete the standard Windrush compensation claim form for representing someone's estate (PDF, 403KB, 18 pages) .

Where to send your form and documents

Send your completed form, copies or scans of your identity document (for example, your passport) and supporting evidence either by:

  • email: WindrushCompensationScheme@homeoffice.gov.uk
  • post: Freepost WINDRUSH COMPENSATION SCHEME – if you are in the UK
  • post: Windrush Compensation Scheme, PO BOX 3468, Sheffield, S3 8WA, UK – if you are outside the UK

You can contact the Windrush contact centre by email or telephone if you need a form sent to you by post.

If you are emailing your claim form and supporting documents there is a limit on the size of files that can be attached. If you go over this limit your email could be automatically rejected. We will accept multiple emails for each claimant.

Help making a claim

Contact the Windrush Helpline for help making a claim or to have the form sent to you.

Windrush helpline
Telephone: +44 (0)800 678 1925 (freephone)
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Email: WindrushCompensationScheme@homeoffice.gov.uk

If you are overseas you can email and request a call back.

What happens next

After you submit your claim, we will contact you to confirm that we have received it.

If your claim is successful, we will contact you with a compensation offer.

We will consider each claim based on the information provided. Whether you receive a payment, and how much, will depend on the details of your claim.

Your data

The Windrush Compensation Scheme: privacy information notice (PDF, 146KB, 6 pages) covers how the scheme will process personal data and what you can expect from us with respect to your rights under Data Protection legislation.

Windrush engagement events

We will be running a series of public events around the country to raise awareness of the Windrush Compensation Scheme and the work of the Windrush taskforce. These are open to everyone of any nationality.

The following events will be held at:

Southampton

  • Friday 12 April from 11:30am to 12:30pm

at:

West Itchen Community Centre,
53 Derby Road
Southampton
SO14 0DJ

Birmingham

  • Monday 29 April from 6pm to 9pm

at:

Birmingham Council House
1 Victoria Square
Birmingham
B1 1BB

Leicester

  • Friday 24 May from 1pm to 3pm

at:

The African Caribbean Centre
Maidstone Road
Leicester
LE2 OUA

Bradford

  • Friday 21 June from 1pm to 3pm

at:

Bradford City Hall
Centenary Square
Bradford
BD1 1HY

We will explain who is eligible for the compensation scheme and how to apply. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

The schedule of future events including a further event in London will be published here shortly but locations will include:

  • Bristol
  • Manchester
  • Swansea
  • Cardiff
  • Newport
  • Belfast
  • Nottingham
  • Glasgow
Published 3 April 2019
Last updated 10 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. New Windrush engagement event in Leicester on 24 May.
  2. New Windrush engagement event in Bradford on 21 June.
  3. New Windrush engagement event in Birmingham on 29 April.
  4. New windrush engagement event in Southhampton on 12 April.
  5. New information on Windrush engagement events.
  6. New Windrush compensation scheme launched.
  7. First published.