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!