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UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Old Nov 16th 2008, 3:34 am
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Default UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Not that I'm planning on becoming the scourge of the nation and living on benefits, but as part of our fact-finding mission whilst we're here, has anyone knowledge about how long...and on what conditions, you become eligible for benefits such as family payments and unemployment payments etc? The re-location expert on the show believes we're eligible immediately just because we've British passports....I'm not so sure, in fact I'd wager we'd have to jump through a few hoops first.

I couldn't locate anything in the thread search either, but I'm sure this must have been discussed before. Any ideas anyone?
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 7:54 am
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Originally Posted by ezzie View Post
Not that I'm planning on becoming the scourge of the nation and living on benefits, but as part of our fact-finding mission whilst we're here, has anyone knowledge about how long...and on what conditions, you become eligible for benefits such as family payments and unemployment payments etc? The re-location expert on the show believes we're eligible immediately just because we've British passports....I'm not so sure, in fact I'd wager we'd have to jump through a few hoops first.

I couldn't locate anything in the thread search either, but I'm sure this must have been discussed before. Any ideas anyone?
Hi,
My husband applied for Jobseekers Allowance the day after we arrived. We too, did not want to be the scourge of the nation, but I had to ensure than we would have something coming in in case he did not find work (which he did a week later!). We still have not had our weeks worth of benefit, as it has to be decided by an appeal panel. Even though my husband is British born with a UK passport, he has to undergo a 'habitual residency' test. Anyone who leaves the UK for longer than 6 months, is not automatically entitled to benefit as they are not sure you actually reside in the UK when you return. So they have to investigate the situation. They cannot tell us when we will receive the money as it all 'takes time'. However if you are in dire straits financially and cannot find work, you should be able to get a crisis loan (not that we have needed one so dont know how hard it is to get one). We also telephoned for a child benefit pack, received that and have sent that off, but apparently that takes longer due to the fact we have been out of the country. We are also entitled to childrens tax credit now my husband is working, but cannot apply for that until we have child benefit numbers (so that will be a while as well).
In other words, being British may entitle you to benefit, but dont expect it to be quick. And expect a lot of frustration when dealing with anyone from the government departments on the phone, because even though they are nice and friendly you still get treated as if you are a foreigner.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 8:01 am
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Thanks for the quick answer cherry - I thought it might be based on time spent back in UK...or time away...or NI contributions....or some random obligation...nice to know that it's as grey an area as I thought it might be!
They must have some parametres in place though. Someone did a great post on here a few months ago who used to work in the department who made the decisions..but do you think I can find it?



Originally Posted by cherry6 View Post
Hi,
My husband applied for Jobseekers Allowance the day after we arrived. We too, did not want to be the scourge of the nation, but I had to ensure than we would have something coming in in case he did not find work (which he did a week later!). We still have not had our weeks worth of benefit, as it has to be decided by an appeal panel. Even though my husband is British born with a UK passport, he has to undergo a 'habitual residency' test. Anyone who leaves the UK for longer than 6 months, is not automatically entitled to benefit as they are not sure you actually reside in the UK when you return. So they have to investigate the situation. They cannot tell us when we will receive the money as it all 'takes time'. However if you are in dire straits financially and cannot find work, you should be able to get a crisis loan (not that we have needed one so dont know how hard it is to get one). We also telephoned for a child benefit pack, received that and have sent that off, but apparently that takes longer due to the fact we have been out of the country. We are also entitled to childrens tax credit now my husband is working, but cannot apply for that until we have child benefit numbers (so that will be a while as well).
In other words, being British may entitle you to benefit, but dont expect it to be quick. And expect a lot of frustration when dealing with anyone from the government departments on the phone, because even though they are nice and friendly you still get treated as if you are a foreigner.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 8:17 am
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Originally Posted by ezzie View Post
Thanks for the quick answer cherry - I thought it might be based on time spent back in UK...or time away...or NI contributions....or some random obligation...nice to know that it's as grey an area as I thought it might be!
They must have some parametres in place though. Someone did a great post on here a few months ago who used to work in the department who made the decisions..but do you think I can find it?

The poster is BristolUK if you need to look up old posts.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 8:31 am
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

You need to look up the Swaddling decision.

http://www.cpag.org.uk/cro/wrb/wrb155/habitual.htm
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 10:21 am
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Hi ezzie

we arrived back mid august and I applied for jobseekers allowance straight away and had no problems getting it or family tax credit just waiting for child benefit to come through now. I was only claiming jobseekers for 5 weeks as I had interviews lined up before we got back, so have now stopped and am back in full time employement in my old job and LOVE it... Certainly was an eye opener working in oz has made me appreciate everything so much more.

Just sat here watching some robins and blue tits fighting over some nuts in the garden...
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Well, that sounds hopefull - thanks for that! How long had you been away for though? We've been away for 22 years and have only paid very, very minimal NI contributions.

Currently in the UK (filming) so we've been watching the tits too...and the wonderful Autumn colours; bloody great isn't it?

Originally Posted by tillysmum View Post
Hi ezzie

we arrived back mid august and I applied for jobseekers allowance straight away and had no problems getting it or family tax credit just waiting for child benefit to come through now. I was only claiming jobseekers for 5 weeks as I had interviews lined up before we got back, so have now stopped and am back in full time employement in my old job and LOVE it... Certainly was an eye opener working in oz has made me appreciate everything so much more.

Just sat here watching some robins and blue tits fighting over some nuts in the garden...
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

We had only been away 9 months but as long as you can demonstrate intention to stay there will be no problems.

Where are you staying in uk
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

i dont want to be shot for saying this ..........but here goes
It seems that not only any asylum seeker can come to uk.....get benefits ,houses ,free medical treatment......
But all expats that think the grass is greener else where...that as i ,move away for bigger bucks and better lifestyles....dont contribute for years ...then can just waltz back in ,claim benefits , get houses,etc etc,as if its the god given right....Why is UK in such a mess,,,,,and how will it ever get better if things dont change,,,,it really does amaze me that hand outs are so readily available to anybody......This is not ment to offend it is just really an observation...
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 1:59 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

No offense taken, the ruling exists to try to encourage British Citizens back to the UK. You will also find that most people who return are only on benefits for a very short time i.e. a few weeks which they will more than pay back in taxes over the next few years and may never need the benefit system again.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Absolutely....it would grieve us dreadfully if we had to resort to benefits, but in order to make the move, we'd really want to know that there was some sort of a safety net. Anyhow, surely it's better to have educated and experienced ex-pats return than seasonal unskilled EU workers (and who are eligible for home-rate uni fees in Britain, unlike us, who will have to pay full whack - and we're English!)
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 9:07 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Originally Posted by dingbat View Post
You need to look up the Swaddling decision.

http://www.cpag.org.uk/cro/wrb/wrb155/habitual.htm
One of the previous threads (they usually contain "HRT" or Habitual Residency" in the title) was here.
Here's a sample of what I said in post #41.
Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
....everybody entering the uk whether as first timers or returnees and then claiming JSA/IS etc has to 'take' the HRT - which initially just means answering some questions - Some may be treated as satisfying it without having to consider all the variables, some may pass it and some may fail.

The fact that British citizens 'returning' continue to 'fail' the test suggests many possibilities, one of which is that they are not actually intending to become resident again. Their true intention may not be as obvious as some may think and if they didn't have to 'take' the test that might not become known.

Just as an example, I had a claim from someone who had recently (then) come 'home' from South Africa and had already completed the HRT questionnaire, when the paperwork was passed to me. All answers strongly suggested a genuine intention to remain in the UK and I was about to complete the formalities. There was just one tiny problem.

When I phoned to clarify a minor point, I couldn't speak to the person 'resettling in the UK' because they had already returned to South Africa after their visit.

Many things are not always what they seem.
Some things have changed since my time in the department but as I said previously, that Swaddling decision does not mean it's all as straightforward as some think. And it's still looking that way; there are threads here going back to 2005 mentioning Swaddling as if that was the answer to all the problems. It wasn't.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
One of the previous threads (they usually contain "HRT" or Habitual Residency" in the title) was here.
Here's a sample of what I said in post #41.


Some things have changed since my time in the department but as I said previously, that Swaddling decision does not mean it's all as straightforward as some think. And it's still looking that way; there are threads here going back to 2005 mentioning Swaddling as if that was the answer to all the problems. It wasn't.

I did not suggest it was. It is, however a good start when the muppet at the counter tells you that you do not qualify for anything and refuses to even discuss it. It tends to result in a further examination of the situation, if nothing else. My best friend in the UK is a Band 10 in the Dept, I checked with her first, before I posted.
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

Originally Posted by lobby lou View Post
i dont want to be shot for saying this ..........but here goes
It seems that not only any asylum seeker can come to uk.....get benefits ,houses ,free medical treatment......
But all expats that think the grass is greener else where...that as i ,move away for bigger bucks and better lifestyles....dont contribute for years ...then can just waltz back in ,claim benefits , get houses,etc etc,as if its the god given right....Why is UK in such a mess,,,,,and how will it ever get better if things dont change,,,,it really does amaze me that hand outs are so readily available to anybody......This is not ment to offend it is just really an observation...
Why do you come onto this forum and generalize about people all the time and then say "I don't want to offend", "Just an observation", "Just a question" etc etc when really you are just trolling.

And putting xxxxxx and 'wub' icons after your posts doesn't fool anyone into thinking you are being nice.

Not ALL expats move thinking the grass is greener and wanting to earn big bucks, nor do they 'waltz' back in claiming benefits and getting houses when they return home. People get what they are entitled to and jump through hoops to get it and if they want to claim it so be it. Personally, I don't think people who haven't paid anything into the system should get benefits but it's the system that you should be moaning about not the people.

What about the people who move to Australia and rush off to centrelink to get their child benefit/rent assistance the day after stepping off the plane. Is that wrong? No, because they are entitled to it. What about the expats who are rubbing their hands with glee because they are going to get either $14,000 or $21,000 for buying their house.

However, in both situations the majority of people are going to start paying into the 'system' when they start work and if assistance is available to them initially of course they are going to take it.

I've just been reading your nasty comments to Sadieb. So what if she's got citizenship and then leaves. Like she says she may come back to Oz. Why does it bother you so much?

Not all people leave Australia because they hate it as you seem to think.

Like sadieb says if you can't say anything nice don't bother saying anything.

I have never understood why you post on the MBTTUK forum because you aren't moving back to the UK nor do you offer support to those who are.

You bang on about your wonderful life with your maid and how much money you have and assume that other posters don't have what you have, haven't worked as hard as you have and then you patronize them.

Well wrong, many of us also had great lives in our home countries, including myself. You presume far too much.

Just an observation btw
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Old Nov 16th 2008, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: UK benefits....how long till you're eligible?

I dont think anyone is being a scourge on the country applying for benefits. If someone is that hung up on applying dont apply and struggle instead. Which i find mad by the way. Thats the way it works in England and so it should.
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