Benefits Going Abroad

The UK benefit system is not perfect, I think we can all agree on that, but it’s not all bad either. There are people who need and are entitled to benefits to help cover the costs of living and are receiving this financial help. There are others who need and are entitled to benefits to help cover the costs of living and are not receiving this financial help.

Then of course there are those who don’t need and are not entitled to benefits but are receiving them anyway. Some of this may be due the complexities of the benefit system and some due to fraud. Then we get to the situation of benefits going abroad and this really puzzles me and I’ll explain why.

Long term sickness due to injury.

A family member fell whilst on holiday abroad and damaged their leg. The local hospital said surgery was required but if done there then they wouldn’t be able to fly for several weeks. The Doctors put the leg into a temporary travelling cast and advised to fly home and get the treatment at home.

Now this person has worked all of their life in the UK, never claimed any benefits and working long hours paid in more NI contributions per week than I pay in a month. On arriving at hospital at home, the Doctors decided surgery wasn’t required but rehabilitation would be required after a lengthy healing process.

They were signed off work and was paid Statutory Sick Pay. After six months the leg still hadn’t healed and the Statutory Sick Pay stopped. Applying for benefits took six weeks before being told they weren’t entitled to anything because their partner brought home just over the threshold.

A further six months passed and they had to return to work against the advice of the doctors in order to get some money to pay the bills. Risking extending the healing process and further injury.

Romanian Mother

Then we get to the situation where a Romanian mother who has never lived in the UK gets £150 child benefit for her children who also don’t live in the UK. The benefit was first claimed whilst the husband worked in the UK, the couple have now divorced and the whereabouts of the husband unknown after he quit his job.

The mother, a teacher in Romania, who remember has never lived in the UK has been stated as saying,

“I won my case to get the benefits but I’m still not sure I’m getting all the money I deserve”.

The case she mentions was heard by a Romanian judge who stated,

“The divorce of the parents does not alter the fact that the children remain family members of their father, who lives and works in the UK.”

The HMRC agree that ‘this is the correct ruling under European Law’. There are a few points here (well probably many, but here are just a few).

  • Firstly, European Law is idiotic.
  • Secondly how can the UK government allow UK taxpayers money to be sent abroad if the whereabouts of the ex-husband is unknown, how can they say he lives and works in the UK.
  • Thirdly, the UK Government should be sued under misrepresentation due to the fact they can no more Govern than I can perform brain surgery.

This £150 is a large amount of money in a country with an average salary of £400 per month. Child support payments are made regardless of work (earning up to £50,000 pa), savings or investment status.

What do you think? Do you think this mother should receive the benefits? Or not?

It would be great to hear your thoughts on this, so please contact me using the form below.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you.


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