Saturday, May 21, 2011

Benefits

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.