Thursday, August 26, 2010
Restoration of Benefits (DLA,AA,CA)
A letter has been received by David Burrage, legal advisor to the Association of British Expatriates in Spain, who is an expert in European Law, from the EU Commission on the subject of the repayment of suspended benefits – Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carers Allowance.
Some people, entitled to one or other of these allowances, have had them discontinued when they emigrated from the UK to another EEA country. After a legal battle the UK had consented to pay these allowances back to October 2007.
Now the EU has said that they should be paid in arrears back to the time of departure from the UK.
Those who appealed against this suspension of benefit have the right to have this earlier disallowed decision set aside and remade, with an entitlement to a full recover of your benefit from the day following its withdrawal.
The final part of the letter from the EU Commission of 20/08/2010 indicates:-
That judgement is, in the light of a decision given by the Court subsequent to it, based on a misinterpretation of Community law which was adopted without a question being referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling; and
The national competent institutions (i.e the UK Dept of Work and Pensions) therefore have an obligation under EU law to review their initial decisions on the suspension of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance, to reopen that decision if necessary and pay the benefits in arrears for the whole period of unjustified suspension of those benefits.
From this judgement it is also clear that it is important for the EU citizens to appeal any decision with which they are not satisfied.
Some people get ‘warmed up’ about the payment of these benefits. The scenarios below puts this in perspective.
1. Let us suppose that a young couple has moved to France leaving elderly parents in the UK. Eventually one parent is left, with some increasingly disabling malady. In the UK she/he would receive an allowance to help with the difficulties of life. If she/he moved to France a few years ago to live with their children, such allowances would have been stopped.
2. An elderly couple decide to move to France for the improved quality of life. One of them is crippled and receives an attendance allowance. Their income dropped because the allowance was suspended.