Saturday, May 21, 2011


Attendance Allowance, Carer's Allowance, Disability Allowance
I am grateful to David Burrage (legal adviser to the Spanish Expatriate's Association for all the supporting material in this matter.
On March 17th 2011 the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice gave an opinion (as guidance to the Court - one still awaits the Court's decision) which would mean that if the UK is the competent State for the support of your social security then you can receive these benefits at any time at which you may need them, as if you were living in the UK.
The UK is your competent State if you have never earned a living under the Social Security system of France (or any other European State where you may reside).  You, or someone on whom you are dependent, are likely to have paid contributions to the Social Security of the UK (National Insurance).  You probably have a UK Old Age Pension.
A possible scenario...  Mr. and Mrs. Smith retired to France in their late 60s, healthy.  Ten years later Mr. Smith becomes incapacitated (e.g. dementia).  If he had lived in the UK he would have been entitled to an Attendance Allowance.  He is entitled to receive this allowance in France although he has never received it in the UK.  
Until now the UK has resisted such a  payment (and probably will still do so!). They have insisted that any applicant should have resided in the UK for 26 weeks in the previous year. This insistence is illegal.

David Burrage writes as follows.
"Having regard to the above, all first time claimants to any of the above benefits, provided they meet the UK's qualifying criteria, as applied to UK residents, and where the claimant's competent State is the UK, should submit a claim immediately, even though they may at first be rejected. They should then lodge a formal appeal to a tribunal, since even where we may have to wait a few months for the final decision, the clock will already have started ticking from the date they made their first claim, provided they back it up within the prescribed limitation as to time, which is within 30 days of any dis-allowance notification.

Our message must therefore be, 'Don't delay, do it today'. " 
So if you are refused,  request at once the procedure for appeal.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winter Fuel Payment- End of the Road?

Three persons at least have petitioned the EU on the matter of non-reception of the Winter Fuel Payment.
You will see it is dated 3 March 2011

The EU state:--
"The documents submitted with the petitions appear to suggest that the petitioners do not meet the relevant criteria to receive the winter fuel payment in another Member State because they did not qualify for it before leaving the UK. As explained above, it is permissible under EU law for a Member State to require that a person be entitled to a benefit like winter fuel payment in the UK before he or she can export it to another Member State (Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004). The UK rules on this point therefore comply with EU law."

It is curious that British pensioners living in Europe can obtain an Attendance Allowance 'de novo' * yet cannot similarly obtain the Winter Fuel Payment. 
* (An opinion of the Advocate General of the ECJ [17 march 2011] elaborates on this - view the next posting on this opinion at the European Court - here.)
The AA is a non-contributory sickness benefit.  
The WFP is a non-contributory old-age benefit.
What on earth is the difference? Neither are defined as 'special' non-contributory benefits.
It is curious that the British Government is the 'competent authority' under EU law for the support of the British Old Age Pensioner 'as though he/she were resident in the UK - I quote from Article 24 of EU Reg. 883/2004-- shall nevertheless receive such benefits for himself and the members of his family, insofar as he would be entitled thereto under the legislation of the Member State or of at least one of the Member States competent in respect of his pensions, if he resided in that Member State.'  
and yet  the UK fails to support the British Pensioner in the EU
There is apparently no one in the British Government who is at all concerned about the British Pensioner in Europe. View the next posting up [MAY 21st 2011] on Benefits to see a possible future!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Calculation of French Tax

UPDATED in September 1214  for the tax returns for 2013.

The spreadsheet for the calculation of Tax in France has been updated fro the tax year 2013 payable in 2014
It is viewable here.

This is designed particularly to inform those British pensioners who are in receipt of a Government linked pension (ex- teachers, police, fire service, military and local government workers).  It demonstrates that if you were taxed in France, then your tax load could well be less.  If you need home-helps, or help with your garden or you support French based charities or organisations them you lose out because of the workings of the anglo-french double taxation convention.