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I moved to the UK in 2008 from mainland Europe. I have been working ever since, first as an employee, then self-employed since June 2010. I had a baby in 2011, went on maternity leave, claimed maternity allowance. Once it ran out (39 weeks from 25th week of pregnancy, so 6 months after giving birth) within a week I was working again.

I had another baby in 2013, exact same routine: MA, once my son was 6 months old, within a week back to work. Now I'm being told I won't be able to apply for housing, as I didn't gain permanent residence. I had a European Health Insurance Card but it can't bee confirmed as it expired more than 2 years ago, so I can't prove I was self-sufficient. Have I really lost my worker status and my right to permanent residency? Somewhere I read if I return to work from maternity leave within a reasonable time, I keep my worker status.

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The European health insurance card is not relevent here. It is for visitors from one EU country to another, not residents. Your tax records and other evidence of employment/ self employment should be enough to prove residence, but as a long term resident you are likely aware that there are a lot of changes taking place in the social security system, most notably the switch to Universal Credit, as well as Brexit, which may mean you get inconsistent information from the Benefits Agency. Lastly, applying for housing is not the same as 'housing benefit'. There is a general shortage of public housing and waiting lists are long. But you may qualify for money towards the cost of your current accommodation depending on your financial circumstances now.

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