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Returning to the UK - permanently

Returning to the UK - permanently

Old Mar 15th 2016, 1:53 am
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Default Returning to the UK - permanently

Hi there, I really hope someone can help with some advice as I am going round and round in circles! My elderly aunt emigrated to NZ 45 years ago and is wanting to return to the UK permanently to live. As she is retired she only has her pension to live on and no savings. All the benefit calculator tools on the internet need more information than I have to hand, but I need to have some idea of the income she will have before I commit to helping her return. I know she won't qualify for social housing but will she get housing allowance? I'm not too concerned about how much she would get, as long as she would get something to cover her cost of living? Will she automatically qualify or does she have to reside for 2 years to qualify too?
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 2:03 am
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Hi and welcome to BE. If you look down the list of forums you will find that we have one called Moving back to the UK which you may find very useful.

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Old Mar 15th 2016, 2:08 am
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Originally Posted by kskillma
Hi there, I really hope someone can help with some advice as I am going round and round in circles! My elderly aunt emigrated to NZ 45 years ago and is wanting to return to the UK permanently to live. As she is retired she only has her pension to live on and no savings. All the benefit calculator tools on the internet need more information than I have to hand, but I need to have some idea of the income she will have before I commit to helping her return. I know she won't qualify for social housing but will she get housing allowance? I'm not too concerned about how much she would get, as long as she would get something to cover her cost of living? Will she automatically qualify or does she have to reside for 2 years to qualify too?
Hello and welcome to BE.

As Rosemary said do take a look at our Moving Back To The UK Forums. The regulars who post in there will try to answer your questions.

Moving back to the UK - British Expats

Good luck.
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Originally Posted by kskillma
Hi there, I really hope someone can help with some advice as I am going round and round in circles! My elderly aunt emigrated to NZ 45 years ago and is wanting to return to the UK permanently to live. As she is retired she only has her pension to live on and no savings. All the benefit calculator tools on the internet need more information than I have to hand, but I need to have some idea of the income she will have before I commit to helping her return. I know she won't qualify for social housing but will she get housing allowance? I'm not too concerned about how much she would get, as long as she would get something to cover her cost of living? Will she automatically qualify or does she have to reside for 2 years to qualify too?
Kia Ora from me too.
I emigrated to New Zealand 12 years ago and still haven't ruled out making a returning to the UK.

Yes. Get yourself over to our Moving Back to the UK forum. There are plenty of folk there happy to unravel the ins and the outs.

I do hope your Aunt makes it back if it is in her heart.
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 11:22 am
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Welcome to the forum
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Hi Guys - thanks everyone for your advice, I've taken a look at the thread and have discovered that she may well be entitled to some Housing Benefit, which is fantastic news!

It's all a bit overwhelming to be honest, she is 79 years old and my Mum's twin. My Mum's husband of 35 years is terminally ill and so she wants to come back to support her sister and the plan is for them to live together in a retirement complex. As they are both almost 80 and not really understanding of too much (ie the internet is totally beyond them) it is my job to organise her return from here (UK)

Its going to be an interesting year......
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

I would look into the question of housing. Do not assume that she will not be eligible for Social Housing. Check with some of the local Housing Associations. I know that rules are different in England but here in Scotland many associations offer housing to people in her situation.


Check on her eligibility to Housing Benefit too. You could get advice on the freefone advice line that I use for self and neighbours -
0800 4 70 80 90 (Silverline run by Age Scotland)
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Thanks scot47 - I understand neither will be entitled to social housing because they are both currently in social housing (one in NZ, one in Northampton) but I need them near me in Kent as I work full time. My council said their case would be considered as 'making themselves homeless' because relocating to be near relatives would not be considered a good enough reason to qualify for social housing. I am therefore looking a privately renting retirement accommodation for them both, hopefully with Housing Benefit to help out. Would Silverline know the situation in England?
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

I think they will give you the contact for a similar service south of the Tweed. the Iron Curtain between Scotland and England has not yet come down !


The position in Scotland is that Housing Associations set their own criteria for allocations, influenced of course by how much housing is available. In the area where I live we have empty houses on the books of housing associations.
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Just found out she only needs to provide evidence that she as the Right to Reside, then she can get benefits! Problem is I need her nat ins. number which, of course, at 80 years old she can't remember. Went on line and to verify identify for security reasons you have to put in your name and nat ins. number - how ridiculous. Telephone them and they need previous addresses, she can't remember those either!

On the plus side, despite living and working here (for the UK government) until she was about 35, she has never received UK pension (state or private) but says she always had letters telling her it had been increased. I am now wondering if she should have been receiving a proportion at least?
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Originally Posted by kskillma
Just found out she only needs to provide evidence that she as the Right to Reside, then she can get benefits! Problem is I need her nat ins. number which, of course, at 80 years old she can't remember. Went on line and to verify identify for security reasons you have to put in your name and nat ins. number - how ridiculous. Telephone them and they need previous addresses, she can't remember those either!

On the plus side, despite living and working here (for the UK government) until she was about 35, she has never received UK pension (state or private) but says she always had letters telling her it had been increased. I am now wondering if she should have been receiving a proportion at least?
There is a lot more to getting benefits than proving right to reside. Income and assets will come into it. Many people in the UK would not qualify for benefits despite living there quite legitimately as citizens.
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK - permanently

Bermudashorts - I realise that this is also income related (means tested) but as my aunt receives only a state pension (NZ) and has no other income or savings or property, I have made the assumption that as she has a right to reside and will be able to pass the habitually resident test, she will be able to claim some benefits to top up her low income. However, if her NI contributions for the first 20 years of her working life do qualify her for a proportion of the UK pension, claiming benefits may not even be necessary.
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