Claiming Universal Credit after returning from abroad?

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Claiming Universal Credit after returning from abroad?

Post by dylan on Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:54 pm

I'm a 20 year old British citizen (born here, lived here all of my life, UK passport etc) and at the moment i am claiming universal credit. I live with my grandparents so don't have the housing element or anything just standard jobseekers

In January I have the opportunity of going to Madrid for 3 months to undertake an aprenticeship/internship. Its something I am really interested in but would like clarification about reclaiming universal credit once i am back in the UK.

Are there any legal guidelines that could give me problems reclaiming once im back? I mean hopefully i won't have to but the reality is its probably highly likely i need the support until i find a job.

I found this on the citizens advice website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/coming-from-abroad-and-claiming-benefits-the-habitual-residence-test/british-and-irish-citizens-claiming-benefits/

However, if you've recently returned to the UK after a period living outside of the common travel area, you may have to show that you satisfy the habitual residence test in order to claim certain means-tested benefits. You should not be subject to the test if you've simply been abroad on a long holiday. In these cases you should be treated as a 'returning resident'. However, if you've spent three months or more living or working abroad you could find yourself subject to the test when you return to the UK, particularly if you no longer have property or close family in the UK.


this bit in particular alarmed me saying i would potentially have to wait for 3 months to recieve any benefits? it says it is for JSA and my area is full service universal credit but i'm guessing it would still apply? any help is greatly appreciated. thanks Very Happy

Rules that came into force on 1 January 2014 mean that, if you're claiming income-based jobseeker's allowance and do need to show that you are habitually resident, you cannot be viewed as habitually resident until you've been living in the UK or elsewhere in the common travel area for at least three months. This means that if you claim income-based jobseeker's allowance immediately on your return to the UK from outside this area you won't receive this benefit for at least three months.

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Re: Claiming Universal Credit after returning from abroad?

Post by ForgetMeNot on Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:39 am

Hi Dylan

The HRT applies to UC.

Here is some information:

http://england.shelter.org.uk/legal/homelessness_applications/eligibility_eeaeu_nationals/the_habitual_residence_test#1

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/coming-from-abroad-and-claiming-benefits-the-habitual-residence-test/the-habitual-residence-test-an-introduction/what-is-the-habitual-residence-test-EWSNI/

CA wrote:'Habitual residence in fact'

Proving someone is ‘habitually resident in fact’ relies on case law (law that is based on the outcomes of previous court cases) as there is no definition in the Regulations of ‘habitual residence’.

Some key points:

You must be resident (and in some cases have been so for at least 3 months)
You must show intention to settle (not necessarily permanently).
You may be accepted as habitually resident from your first day if you are returning to the country and you were previously habitually resident or you or a member of your family is a national of, or has worked in, another European Economic Area (EEA) state.

If you are returning to the UK in the scenario you describe you will be subjected to the HRT.

I don't think there will be a problem.  However, you can take advice from a relevant welfare advice agency.

https://advicelocal.uk/.

Let us know how you get on please.
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Re: Claiming Universal Credit after returning from abroad?

Post by dylan on Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:37 pm

Thanks for your post. However according to my research it unfortunately appears that, there probably will be a problem Neutral

If the EEA jobseeker (or British citizen returning from three months or more abroad) hasn't worked since arriving in the UK, a three month residency rule has been introduced. In order to make a JSA claim they will have to provide evidence of how long they have been living in the UK (or the Common Travel Area), for example, a travel document, utility bill or tenancy agreement, to show they have been living here for at least three months. If it is decided that there is not sufficient evidence they will not pass the Habitual Residence test
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Habitual-Residence-Test/What-are-the-two-parts-of-the-Habitual-Residence-T

for jobseeker’s allowance claims only, the claimant cannot be habitually resident during their first three months’ residence in the common travel area.
www.housing-rights.info/habitual-residence-test.php

I know it says JSA but I'm sure it will apply to Universal Credit too? Basically if you're out of the UK for 3 months or more, British citizen or not, you will be subject to a habitual residency test. It is something I should obviously "pass" but the facts still remain I'd have to live in the UK for 3 months before I was entitled to any benefits?

It seems ridicolous on paper but until I seen any contradicting evidence or guidelines its something I will have to assume to be true and a potential problem down the road. I might aswell go abroad for 12 months. 3 months out the country or 12 months it will still leave me with the same problem

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Re: Claiming Universal Credit after returning from abroad?

Post by ForgetMeNot on Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:27 pm

The HR test does apply to people claiming Universal Credit.

On what grounds do you think you will fail the test and not be able to claim a means tested benefits upon your return to the UK?

UK citizens

If you're a British citizen you have an automatic right to reside in the UK, as well as in Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. This is known as the common travel area and you will also be considered to be habitually resident in the UK if you've been living in any of these places.

However, if you've recently returned to the UK after a period living outside of the common travel area, you may have to show that you satisfy the habitual residence test in order to claim certain means-tested benefits. You should not be subject to the test if you've simply been abroad on a long holiday. In these cases you should be treated as a 'returning resident'. However, if you've spent three months or more living or working abroad you could find yourself subject to the test when you return to the UK, particularly if you no longer have property or close family in the UK.

You do have close family.

The test is not automatic.

The HRT looks at what ties you already have in the UK and what you are doing to make the UK the centre of your life. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or other benefit agencies will also want to know how much you have cut ties with the country where you were living before. You will be asked a series of questions tailored to your individual circumstances to try and find out this information. You should be ready to give as much evidence and documentation as you can if you are asked these type of questions.

You will not be cutting your ties with the UK

The DWP, your local authority or HMRC will decide at what point you can be viewed as habitually resident, depending on how long you have been away, why you were abroad, and what ties you kept with the UK during this time.

Rules that came into force on 1 January 2014 mean that, if you're claiming income-based jobseeker's allowance and do need to show that you are habitually resident, you cannot be viewed as habitually resident until you've been living in the UK or elsewhere in the common travel area for at least three months. This means that if you claim income-based jobseeker's allowance immediately on your return to the UK from outside this area you won't receive this benefit for at least three months.

You are simply going abroad to obtain training to improve your job prospects.

If you're planning to move back to the UK and you think you will need means-tested benefits and housing straight away, think about how you would cope if you can't meet the conditions of the HRT for three months or more.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/coming-from-abroad-and-claiming-benefits-the-habitual-residence-test/the-habitual-residence-test-an-introduction/the-habitual-residence-test-how-a-decision-is-made/

If you are really keen about taking up the opportunity, contact a welfare advice agency before making a decision.

https://advicelocal.uk/


Last edited by ForgetMeNot on Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Claiming Universal Credit after returning from abroad?

Post by dylan on Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:11 pm

ForgetMeNot wrote:On what grounds do you think you will fail the test and not be able to claim a means tested benefits upon your return to the UK?

I know this is for JSA and not Universal Credit but the rules for UC would be very similiar if not identical for the purposes of what we are talking about.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/690047/dmgch0703.pdf
(page 28, example 3 & 4)

When I try to copy and paste them on here or word it formats horribly and unreadable.

Also from various guidelines, regulations, and advice I have found on the internet. I have also found quite a lot of forum threads elsewhere about UK citizens in similiar situations, and it appears like most were ineligble because of the simple fact they were abroad for a period of 3 months or more.

Not trying to confuse things but interestingly this is a question that forms part of the Universal Credit application form

Have you lived in the UK continuously for the last 2 years?

What does this mean?
Select 'No' if you have been out of the UK for a continuous period of 4 weeks or more in the last 2 years, this includes holidays.

If you click no it says you are not eligible & wont let you make a claim.

So you either dont get to make a claim... or lie and commit benefit fraud. You could of course just click 'yes' and disclose the true information at the first opportunity at the Jobcentre, but once you do that this HRT thing comes into play then you will have to prove you've been back in the UK for 3 months.

Yes you are right I should contact welfare advice organisation because I am very keen on this opportunity, I am just trying to weigh up whether it's going to be more trouble than its worth in the long term.

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