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UK Advisory Issues

Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad


You may still be able to claim some benefits if you travel or move abroad, or if you’re already living abroad. What you’re entitled to depends on where you’re going and how long for.

Who to contact if you’re going abroad

Tell your local Jobcentre Plus or the office that pays your benefit if you’re going abroad. If it’s a temporary move, tell them when you’re coming back.

You must also tell HMRC if you’re leaving the UK.

Claiming when abroad

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.

If you’re going to (or are already living in) a European Economic Area (EEA) country or one with a special agreement with the UK, you may be able to claim:

  • UK-based benefits
  • benefits provided by the country you’re going to

You’ll need a statement of National Insurance you’ve paid in the UK to get these benefits - unless you’re claiming Winter Fuel Payments.

You can also claim your State Pension abroad.

When you get your payment

The date you get your payment depends on which benefit you claim.

If you live abroad and your payment is due in the same week as a US bank holiday, it could arrive one day late. This is because a US company processes these payments.

Benefit fraud

You’re committing benefit fraud if you:

  • do not tell the office that pays your benefit you’re going abroad, even if it’s just for a visit
  • deliberately do not report a change in your circumstances while abroad, like buying a property, working, or claiming a pension or benefit from another country
  • are dishonest in order to get benefits, like continuing to claim the pension or benefit of someone who has died overseas
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