Friday, January 28, 2011

Attendance Allowance

The letter below was sent by a widow (The name is not given because all correspondence receives anonymity on this site). 
If one reads behind the words, we see an elderly couple trying to achieve some peace in France in their last years.  The husband is ill and needs constant care.  His wife wants to help.  In the UK they had some extra cash from an Attendance Allowance.  Immediately they left, this allowance was stopped.  Probably they did not even think that such stoppage was possible.  They knew that within the EU all movement  should be without hindrance.  They probably thought that the care and support for which the UK has responsibility under EU law would follow them.  It didn't and it still doesn't (consider Healthcare!).  The UK has a responsibility for the social care of all its retired citizens across Europe, but is reluctant to accept it.  
The situation in this case (AA benefits) is that only by being taken through the European Court of Justice has the UK been forced to show a responsibility towards its aged citizens.  The ECJ judgement was made in October 2007.  The UK has been forced to pay arrears of such benefits but STILL they will not pay back to the point of departure, but only to the date of the judgement.
Roger Gale MP is the only politician (as far as I know) who is fighting for the correct attitude on the part of the Government.  Does any other politician care?
At this time no politician has the specific responsibility to stand up for the interests and welfare of the British Citizen in Europe. 
Dear Sir,
I found your blog on the internet after looking up exportability of benefits.  I am just writing to ask if you have any knowledge whether anybody has successfully won an appeal to have their Attendance Allowance reinstated from before 2007? When my husband and I move to France in 2005 they immediately stopped his AA. They have just paid from Oct 2007 until he died in April 2008, but will not pay what he was entitled to (and that they stopped) from when we moved to France.
I am sorry to email out of the blue but I really don't know where else to enquire for help and I know my husband would have wanted them to pay for what he was legally entitled to. I don't know whether to just give up fighting them now.
Kindest Regards,
I replied telling the lady of the history, and also informed Mr. Gale. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Directive on Cross-Border Healthcare

 January 2011.

There are unfortunate differences between the Draft of this Directive published in 2008 and the latest version published very recently in 2011. The new Directive will be operative in 2013.

The devil in the detail is the definition of ‘State of Affiliation’. I quote it here in full. All the heavy print has been added in the recent version and seriously undermines the position of the expatriate in France.

"Member State of affiliation" means the Member State where the patient is an insured person or the Member State where the patient resides if this Member State is not the same as the former.
Where, due to the application of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 and Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 respectively, the health insurance body in the Member State of residence of the patient is responsible for the provision of benefits in accordance with the legislation of that state, then that Member State is regarded as the Member State of affiliation for the purposes of this Directive;

This is bad news for British expatriates in France. It means that for this particular Directive then the Social Security of France is supposed to be our effective healthcare cost provider.

The situation becomes ridiculous! I explain step by step – this is for OAPS retired to France.
1. The UK is our State of Social Security Insurance.
2. If we visit the UK we get full health cover costs for medical treatment.
3. The UK provides us with an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). If one journeyed to Spain then the UK covers us fully for health costs. In other countries it is likely to be variable. [The latter - A contentious point.]
4. The UK pays France for our health care…. The % amount is on the whole questionable. Up to now it has been at the French rate to a French insured person- usually about 80%, but a complicated calculation.

5. If British resident OAPs visit France on holiday and get treatment on the back of the EHIC, they are likely to be charged as though they were a French insured person.

6. If British resident OAPs visit France specifically for health care – then under this Directive they get treatment at the cost at which it would be provided in the UK! i.e 100% of approved costs.
In my view this absurdity comes about because no-one in the British parliament or Civil Service has any interest at all in the British citizens resident in Europe.
There are inherent inconsistencies in the new Directive to which, I suspect, no British official or politician has given any thought at all. Which British official has the responsibility of vetting these things? None I fear. What MEP even understands that for which they vote?

However I await replies to my representations to the EU parliamentary committee on petitions.
This posting could need revision in due course.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Voting in the EU

To go to the Index and beginning click here.

A reader has passed on to me the following  important analysis of  the legal voting positions of Citizens across the EU.  
It was derived from the following IRISH site...

This Chart of the Legal position on voting throughout Europe is linked below.
It demonstrates so well the bad political position of British Citizens in Europe.
Only Irish citizens are treated worse.  Thus the above reference!
The Danish  perhaps also get a raw deal.
Even Greece who allows no voting facility for nationals in the wider EU has advisory committees to look after their interests.
The British after 15 years have no vote at all. The Irish have no vote- ever.
This matter should be of great concern to every British and Irish Citizen in Europe