Does anyone have experience of relocating to UK and claiming benefits?

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Does anyone have experience of relocating to UK and claiming benefits?


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Old 30th November 2010, 01:38 PM
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Question Does anyone have experience of relocating to UK and claiming benefits?

Hi, I've registered to see if anyone on here has any experience of relocating back to the UK, or knows anyone who has, from SA.

My in-laws are currently resident in Jo'burg and have been for 36 years. They're ex-pat British passport holders and currently receive roughly R2800 (or thereabouts) UK state pension between them, obviously this amount is based upon the NI contributions they made whilst here and is capped for overseas.

Anyway, they currently live with my sister-in-law as they have no other income whatsoever and are being supported by her and now we're contributing to their medical aid, which doesn't even touch the surface of their ongoing medical treatments and prescriptions (all of which would be free here), this is only going to increase with time as they age. The situation is totally unsustainable financially for any of us long term, so we can think of the only viable option is for them to return to the UK.

I've made some initial enquiries here in the UK about their benefits entitlements as ex-pats and none of the government departments and housing offices are able to offer me any guarantees based on the situation that I have outlined above as it involves them (ie the in-laws) having to fill out endless forms to make claims etc, some of which they can only do when they're back in the UK.

What we want to avoid is them moving them back to here and all the upheaval and costs that that would entail to then find out that they wouldn't be entitled to housing benefit, for example.

Anyone else on here know of anyone who has relocated back to the UK under similar circumstances and if so, what were the results and their entitlements?

Thanking you in advance.

SdeB

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Old 30th November 2010, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SdeB View Post
Hi, I've registered to see if anyone on here has any experience of relocating back to the UK, or knows anyone who has, from SA.

My in-laws are currently resident in Jo'burg and have been for 36 years. They're ex-pat British passport holders and currently receive roughly R2800 (or thereabouts) UK state pension between them, obviously this amount is based upon the NI contributions they made whilst here and is capped for overseas.

Anyway, they currently live with my sister-in-law as they have no other income whatsoever and are being supported by her and now we're contributing to their medical aid, which doesn't even touch the surface of their ongoing medical treatments and prescriptions (all of which would be free here), this is only going to increase with time as they age. The situation is totally unsustainable financially for any of us long term, so we can think of the only viable option is for them to return to the UK.

I've made some initial enquiries here in the UK about their benefits entitlements as ex-pats and none of the government departments and housing offices are able to offer me any guarantees based on the situation that I have outlined above as it involves them (ie the in-laws) having to fill out endless forms to make claims etc, some of which they can only do when they're back in the UK.

What we want to avoid is them moving them back to here and all the upheaval and costs that that would entail to then find out that they wouldn't be entitled to housing benefit, for example.

Anyone else on here know of anyone who has relocated back to the UK under similar circumstances and if so, what were the results and their entitlements?
It's true that no agency can guarantee payment of benefits without seeing a completed application form with supporting documents, but there are some ground rules.
Since your in-laws are British citziens with the right of abode, there is no question of being barred from applying for benefits, such as pension credit, housing and council tax benefits. You usually need evidence that you have returned to UK permanently and not on a temporary visit, such as rental agreement, utility bills etc. NHS care is free at the point of use, so they will be covered straightaway, and prescriptions for pensioners are free. There are eligibility conditions for state benefits - roughly low income, limit on savings and other assets (other than the house they live in). For disability benefit, medical exam may be necessary. For more on-hand help, they will want to know if there are relatives living nearby who can offer it in the first place. A lot of help is now chargeable, such as home help.
Go to the Direct Gov website and find out what the eligibility criteria are for pension credit and state benefits. And if they go to the council office on arrival in UK, they are usually helpful in advising what they may be entitled to and how to apply. They shouldn't arrive in UK penniless, but with some funds to get established for housing etc, and perhaps their family can contribute to them. And it will be a great help, if they are in poor health, to have someone on hand to help with going to council offices, filling in forms, making phone calls etc. If there is no relative in UK, perhaps one of you can accompany them and stay with them as long as necessary.

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Old 30th November 2010, 04:04 PM
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It's true that no agency can guarantee payment of benefits without seeing a completed application form with supporting documents, but there are some ground rules.
Since your in-laws are British citziens with the right of abode, there is no question of being barred from applying for benefits, such as pension credit, housing and council tax benefits. You usually need evidence that you have returned to UK permanently and not on a temporary visit, such as rental agreement, utility bills etc. NHS care is free at the point of use, so they will be covered straightaway, and prescriptions for pensioners are free. There are eligibility conditions for state benefits - roughly low income, limit on savings and other assets (other than the house they live in). For disability benefit, medical exam may be necessary. For more on-hand help, they will want to know if there are relatives living nearby who can offer it in the first place. A lot of help is now chargeable, such as home help.
Go to the Direct Gov website and find out what the eligibility criteria are for pension credit and state benefits. And if they go to the council office on arrival in UK, they are usually helpful in advising what they may be entitled to and how to apply. They shouldn't arrive in UK penniless, but with some funds to get established for housing etc, and perhaps their family can contribute to them. And it will be a great help, if they are in poor health, to have someone on hand to help with going to council offices, filling in forms, making phone calls etc. If there is no relative in UK, perhaps one of you can accompany them and stay with them as long as necessary.
Thanks very much.

The problem is that they are penniless and will arrive penniless and will be living with us initially. However, we just cannot afford to support them, we both work and have young children. Our house has lots of stairs and no downstairs loo and my FIL can not really manage the stairs as it is.

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Old 30th November 2010, 04:37 PM
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Thanks very much.

The problem is that they are penniless and will arrive penniless and will be living with us initially. However, we just cannot afford to support them, we both work and have young children. Our house has lots of stairs and no downstairs loo and my FIL can not really manage the stairs as it is.
For a ground-floor flat or bungalow, local council, usually though a housing association, may be able to offer something suitable but your in-laws will have to get on a waiting list. Meanwhile you need to look for suitable private rented accommodation and may help with the deposit and first month's rent in advance, or they may get a loan from the social fund by applying to the local authority or DWP. It can take a while for the benefits to come through - my experience is 2-3 weeks, but can vary, but payments will be backdated to the day of application. Get in touch with the Pension Centre in Newcastle to let them know they are back in UK and get their state pension, at the new rate, paid straight into their bank account, so opening a basic card account will be a top priority (unless they have kept a UK account open). Banks will need a proof of address such as a utility bill or council tax bill, which again can take some time.

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