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Thread: ESA, Brexit & Retiring To An EU Country - Unusual Question/Problem

  1. #1
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    ESA, Brexit & Retiring To An EU Country - Unusual Question/Problem

    I have an unusual question for an unusual problem. I'm a number of years away from retirement and have claimed IB/ESA for 14 years. I have a couple of relatives in The Czech Republic and have a crazy idea that I would like to move there when I reach retirement age. I know the country well and it offers a better life for a lot less money as The UK continues getting more expensive all the time.

    However, after Brexit next March, moving there permanently may be a lot more difficult and expensive, especially for those of limited means. As I am still currently an EU citizen I can get a temporary residency permit for Czech Rep. that becomes permanent after 5 years. I would still be a UK resident and keep British citizenship as well as live permanently in The UK while claiming ESA.

    If I were to apply for the temp residency permit in the Czech Rep. they stamp my UK passport. I'm wondering if they would also contact maybe the British embassy in C. R. or even inform/contact the authorities in The UK.

    The big question is, if The DWP found out some way (poss from Passport Agency/Immigration Agency??) that I had a temporary residency permit from The Czech Rep - would it affect my ESA claim? Even though I don't intend to live abroad until I retire?

    I appreciate this isn't a straightforward question, but would appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I don't see that it would.

    You will still be resident in the UK so I don't see a problem.

    More interesting might be if you could keep receiving ESA if you moved to CR before you retired.
    And the answer is - yes.
    https://www.gov.uk/claim-benefits-ab...claim-benefits

    They even have arrangments and special forms (ESA-N-50) for doing WCA's in foreign countries.
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-12-18 at 14:36.
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    Hi nukecad, and once again, thanks for your advice.

    I don't know if the immigration/passport people communicate with DWP, so not even sure they would find out. I was just worried that if they did, they may try to say I was living abroad or even that they are no longer responsible to pay me benefits.

    Your answer is encouraging. Do you have any suggestions of who to contact for a definitive answer?

    I did wonder if I might go before I retire and thought I may be able to get ESA if living in another EU country. The fly in the ointment is Brexit. Not sure if the situation will change after we leave. Don't suppose anyone knows if ESA will still be claimable in EU after Brexit.
    Last edited by woodbine; 16-12-18 at 14:47.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The Czech embassy?
    https://www.mzv.cz/london/en/visa_an...ion/index.html
    https://www.mzv.cz/london/en/visa_an...cts/index.html

    You can have dual citizenship/nationallity and still claim benefits in the UK as long as you are resident here, so I don't see a residence permit would be a problem as long as you are not actually living over there.

    I think the DWP might only get interested if they thought you owned any property (capital) abroad.
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    Thanks again. I'll try the Czech embassy, and may also try the British embassy in Prague.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Brexit is not supposed to make any difference to reciprocal benefits arrangements.

    But as you say who knows what might happen with it?
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    Yes, that's part of the problem and why I will probably wait to retire before moving abroad. Alternatively, wouldn't move before the post Brexit situation is clarified. Would be a nightmare to go then find out the benefit situation changes.

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    Sorry, nukecad - couple more questions -

    If I were to claim ESA in another EU country, what rate would it be paid at? IR, as I have just been changed to because of the IB changeover cock up, or CB?

    Would I still continue to get NI credits while claiming abroad?

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    First off you have not been changed over (no matter what the confusing letters, and phone jockeys/jobcentre staff might say).

    You now have CB ESA which pays the personal allowance and the group component, PLUS an IR ESA entitlement, which pays the premiums that they convieniently 'forgot about' for years.

    What the 'front line' DWP staff don't understand because of their limited training is that you CAN have both at the same time, so they try and tell you it's one or the other.

    It's part of why they have been getting it wrong all this time.

    As for the other questions I'm not sure, I'll take a look but I'm in the pub so it's not going to be until tomorrow.

    BTW a 'NI Credits Only' claim is also not the full story, just a kind of simple explanation of a complicated system between the DWP & HMRC.
    (I didn't know that until a few months ago).
    Last edited by nukecad; 18-12-18 at 17:50.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It's Contribution Based ESA that can be claimed while living abroad in the EEA or Switzerland.

    So that would mean the IR part would not be paid, meaning no disability premiums would be paid.

    I can't find anything specific about NI credits, but having ESA (either kind) gets you class 1 NI credits automatically so I'd have to say that as long as you are getting CB ESA you would still get them.
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