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I shall be very brief.Am an EEA national living in the UK for almost 5 years. Applied for JSA last June and since then it has been like a roller coaster! Until now I STILL do not know the outcome of my claim and it has been 11 months already!!! I have received various letters from job centre asking for documents to prove my right to reside in the UK. The annoying thing is that if I do not contact them, they don't even bother to let me know where they are up to with my case. Last thing I received was a letter stating my claim is going all the way to EU decision department in Wick, Scotland and that they will make the final decision within 9 weeks (that was said to me in February 2009). When I called them (ME AGAIN!) in April, I was told I had filled out the wrong form (but when I rang them in February to make sure they received the form and it will be dealt with, they said YES everything is in order)and need to attend an AJAX appointment in order to take a special residency test. They have been playing around with me all the time (seriously, 11 months???) and I have been having nightmares lately, not concentrating properly, etc. When I finally received a letter from EU department, Wick - I was shocked when I found out they had admitted their mistake but also when they said they would pass my case BACK on to my local job centre. By BACK I mean that it was the local job centre that said my case had to go to Wick and they would make the final decision. So why all of a sudden Wick say it has to go BACK to my local job centre if they have nothing to do with it? I simply do not know what to do. Please help who I should turn to and I am prepared to go as far as possible because what I have mentioned so far is just water under the bridge - a lot worse has happened before (bullying by job centre, denying that they received my appeals...)

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Just in case-from abroad - Claiming Jobseekers Allowance Email to a friend | Print-friendly version (click on the printer)

Print-friendly version The Habitual Residence Test



Date Published: 12 January 2009

WRS-logo-%28Black%29_70by70.jpgThis page tells you about the Habitual Residence Test. This is a test to see if you intend to make the your home in the UK. You need to pass this test to get certain benefits.

What is the Habitual Residence Test?


If you are making a claim for Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit you will need to pass the ‘habitual residence test’. The Habitual Residence Test checks to see if you have made the British Isles your normal home. This has to be in the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.


Who doesn’t have to pass the test


You are exempt from the test if you are:



  • A recognised refugee and a person granted ‘exceptional leave to remain’
  • An European Economic Area (EEA) worker or a certain other EEA national who has the right to reside in the UK.
  • A person in Great Britain who left Montserrat after 1-11-95.
  • Already receiving Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Income Support or Income-based Job Seekers Allowance.

Who does have to pass the test


If you don’t come under one of the exemptions, even if you are a British Citizen you will need to pass the test. It is important to note that it is only you who needs to pass the test and not your partner and dependants.

How to pass the test


You will need to demonstrate that you intend to make the place where you live your home for the time being. It doesn’t mean that you intend to live there permanently. The longer you reside here, the easier this is. Other things which are taken into account are the reasons you are here.

If you were previously habitually resident, and have returned from abroad, you should not fail the test. So, for example, if you were a British Citizen who went to live abroad and have returned to live in Great Britain.

What happens if you fail the test?


You can appeal the decision. Whilst appealing you may be able to get an interim payment. However, you will not be entitled to Income Support, Income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Housing or Council Tax Benefit.

How to appeal


You can appeal to a Social Security Appeal Tribunal on form GL24, from the Benefits Agency. You should get help with this from someone like the Citizens' Advice Bureau. Whilst appealing you can submit another claim for the same benefit. This is probably the quickest way to get benefit. You may be more likely to succeed as you will have lived here for longer.

Other help


If you have failed the test and have dependant children, you may be entitled to help from Social Services. If you are appealing, you may be able to have a crisis loan from the Social Fund, where there is a good chance of your appeal being successful.

Also your local MP may be able to help you receive an extra statutory payment.

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Yes, I did. And by the way, I am Slovakian so looking at the info provided by you (thanks very much), I am exempt from taking the test so don't understand why I was supposed to take the test at all.

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Just wondering if you have completed 12 months registered employment.I Believe Slovakia is included-since 1st May 2004 as a A8 nation I will send you the latest information i can find.Iaam no expert jut trying to help..

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Thank you very much for your help. Yes, i have completed full 12 months as required and did provide job centre with WRS (worker registration scheme) certificate but they did not accept it as according to their knowledge, I am obligated to register every single employment with the Home office and that is a misconception. But this has caused further delays in my claim (talking about another 2 months maybe more - like I said it is extremely complicated and don't wanna go into details), the bottom line is I feel I am the one educating them about what the rules say.

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The United Kingdom government treats the A2 nationals more favourably than the A8 nationals and the Romanian and Bulgarian nationals in respect of benefit claims.

All the above nations have a right of free movement between member states. But, as we shall see later, the A8 nationals although free to move to find work in UK, unlike other EU citizens, they need to “register” their work, and the Romanians and Bulgarians must be “authorized” workers.

2-A8 registered workers:


An A8 national who has legally worked for 12 months since 30.4.04, without interruption* No problem there-you have done that.

Who automatically passes the right to reside test?




A8 workers who have completed 12 months registered employment-fit that.


(b)- between 3 months and 5 years :



To claim benefits, claimant must be a “qualified person

Qualified people are:


  • Jobseekers (again; A8 & Romanian - Bulgarian nationals after they have completed 12 months of registered or authorized work)
  • Workers
  • A8 registered workers -Done that.
    3- Self-employed people including A8 nationals:
    They can claim all the in-work benefits. A self-employed worker should register with Inland Revenue. There may be times that the DWP argues that it does not consider a claimant to be a self-employed person. You may need to seek advice on this.Maybe this will interest you.Good luck.
    The end of EU migrant restrictions: countdown to May 2009 Migrant InfoSource

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According to what I have just read on the website you sent link to regarding A8 nationals and their rights in the UK, I should easily pass the residency test but I shall see. I do appreciate your help. You have my gratitude!

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  • 2 months later...

Just read this thread with interest. Have found myself in exactly the same situation when I made a claim for Income support earlier this year. I'm a EEA national, self employed in this country since 1989 (still have IR tax returns correspondence to prove it), homeowner since 1997 ... yet out of the blue, Jobcentre Plus claims that I only arrived in the UK in 2006:eek: Clarified THEIR mistake straight away, ... yet they kept claiming that I still need to pass HRT and RTR tests, ... because 'rules' have changed! Have jumped through all the hoops, provided everything they wanted to see, ... even went through the trouble and expense of getting a new passport, because the one I had presented had expired last October, ... and according to them, is not a valid piece of identity :???: I might not be able to go abroad with it, but it my understanding is that an expired passport is STILL a valid piece of identity. Jobcentre plus then claimed to have lost the copy of my new passport! STILL don't know if I have passed their 'tests', ... tests I NEVER should have been subjected to in the first place!:mad:

Have asked Jobcentre Plus to have the contact number of the Department in Wick, where those tests are being dealt with, to find out what is going on, but DWP refuses to pass it on! Seems it is all 'classified information'! :)

It is clear that the DWP is making their own 'rules', as they are going along! :mad:

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Seems as i am looking around government departments they do like to see valid upto date passports.May be ok as id in a bar as proof of age etc,but not for govt departments.Jobcentre Plus lost the copy of your new passport,maybe send them another copy.I feel you are worrying,which i understand.I feel looking at your post you will soon find this matter will be resolved to your satisfaction.My view only,let us know how you get on,Best wishes Tawnyowl.

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Maybe of help,maybe explain and help someone.http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/homelessness/eu_and_eea_nationals

Edited by tawnyowl
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Thanks for your input! Situation is far more complicated / ridiculous than outlined in my post, with an appeal due in a couple of weeks, against a FIRST decision last December, that I am not entitled to Income support, ...I never received a real explanation for that decision, 9and it was not from lack of asking for it! :-x) ... so I appealed early January this year, stating as the 'grounds of my appeal', that I can't give any, as I had not received an explanation for the decision. (when calculating the profit of my business in the last accounting year, Jobcentre Plus came up with TWO different figures, neither of which makes sense, with no breakdown provided, … ).


I then started a second claim for Income support in the new year, as my circumstances had changed (DLA award), ... and is THEN that the 'information' all of a sudden appeared that I only arrived in this country in 2006, ... with a whole rigmarole not too dissimilar to what happened to Mikulas, who started this thread… apart that I personally have not received any communications from Wick. Everything seems to have to go via Wrexham (so I have been told anyway!).



I had answered all questions, and provided all information requested, when the appeal papers re my FIRST claim for IS came through mid May, with (surprise, surprise!!!!) still misinformation that I arrived in the UK in 2006 :-x, and reference to my SECOND claim being (STILL!) subjected to HRT test! Yet there never has been any suggestion during my FIRST claim, that I had to pass that test! :confused:I again clarified the situation, this time straight with the Tribunal, … when they asked me if I still wanted to pursue my appeal! (yes, of course, I want to: the breakdown of the first profit figure of my business was finally provided with the appeal papers provided, showing that 'someone' in Jobcentre Plus is not capable of adding figures up!:) Meanwhile the breakdown of the second figure, which is ultimately the basis of the actual decision STILL wasn't provided, … ).



It was at THAT stage, that I was asked for a further piece of identification (because my passport had expired). I gave them TWO: my birth certificate and UK driving licence! … only to be told that my SECOND claim for Income Support was declined because my passport was not valid, …and that I should appeal against that decision if I didn't agree!:mad: They then seemed to have decided to give me some 'time' to obtain a new passport, … a copy of which was faxed to them end of June! ….. only to find out a week or so later that it somehow got 'lost' in Wrexham,:rolleyes: … and I send them ANOTHER copy a couple of weeks ago! When I called Wrexham earlier this week, I was told that they were still waiting for an answer from Wick, which is when I asked for a contact number of the 'EEA decision maker' there, to find out what is going on, …. and was told I was not allowed that information! :confused: (If anybody out there happen to have that information, I would be most grateful!).



…. hence me searching this forum, and coming across this thread, … and realised that I was in the category of people who are EXEMPT of having to pass that HRT test in the first place:-x! … with the increasing suspicion that Wick probably never heard from me in the first place, … and that the whole HRT and RTR issue has been nothing else but a 'buying time exercise' by Wrexham, until my appeal against the FIRST decision of last year is being heard!



I AM worried, … yes! NOT that I might not pass the Habitual Residence Test or Right to Reside test, … but because my appeal papers not only contained misinformation with regard to my arrival in the UK, … I only just now realise that the actual grounds of my appeal are ALSO misdescribed :eek:: according to Jobcentre Plus, I am appealing against the SECOND profit figure of my business (for which a breakdown STILL hasn't been provided!), because I didn't have a breakdown of the FIRST profit figure (which of course WAS provided in May, with the appeal papers):confused:. I don't think to be 'paranoia' to suggest that 'someone' in Jobcentre Plus is trying to drive me crazy here, … and that I was supposed to 'give' up ANY claim for Income Support, already in May, when I received the appeal papers! …




What really makes me mad is that someone obviously has spend a lot of time (and hence taxpayers monies!!!!) putting a non-existing 'case' together, ... as opposed to simply ask me to justify /clarify any figures they might not understand / agree with.




Bottom line is: my appeal against the FIRST decision has always been because THEY can't seem to agree what to include as allowable expenses, and what not to, … Only, when one start to analyse more closely all the appeal papers, does it become clear that it all stemmed from Jobcentre Plus' decision that one should be able to run a property maintenance business WITHOUT the use of a vehicle, hence vehicle expenses disregarded in the calculation of the SECOND profit figure, … although it STILL doesn't explain HOW the latter was reached, … i.e. I'm probably STILL missing something here, … but here we are: without an actual breakdown, I only can rely on guesses!



I HAVE now a date for that appeal with regard to my FIRST claim for Income Support (in 10 days time)! I HAVE asked for a breakdown of that SECOND profit figure they rely on to decide I am not entitled to IS, … but I'm not holding my breath, as it probably is 'classified information' by now!



Any input is welcome, … such as how am I supposed to win an appeal, when the actual grounds are misdescribed? Or am I missing something here?

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Just thought of mentioning the following as well: I started claiming Council Tax Benefit last year, with the council ALSO asking me all kind of (reasonable!!!) questions with regard to my business, ...and I provided exactly the same information as I did to Job centre Plus! An initial (totally wrong!) profit figure (a third one by that stage :)) was calculated, which I challenged by asking a breakdown. I straight could see where the misunderstanding (nothing to do with vehicle expenses, that were all taken into account) had crept in and pointed it out to them .... My understanding is that they asked for further clarification with some office in London (fair enough!), who agreed with me (i.e. MY interpretation of the Law :)). And I was awarded council tax benefit, when a 'zero income' was calculated for my business! It took about five months alltogether, but it all was reasonable, i.e. I always could see the point of their enquiries, ... and at no point, was there any suggestion that I should pass some HRT test, ... indeed, when I mentioned to them what Jobcentre Plus was making me go through it all, they simply couldn't see the logic of it! Neither do I, dear, ... neither do I!!!! :)

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Maybe its time to make a complaint dano123 http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/jcp/stellent/groups/jcp/documents/websitecontent/dev_011217.pdf hoping that a senior figure say a SEO or higher may look into it.Council tax was sorted out ok,in the end.I dont feel there is anything under hand going on,probably just like a wheel turning slowly till everything fits into place.A few mistakes might have happened along the way and hopefully things will soon resolve themselves.Maybe the departments havent all got upto date info on you,but will all come together soon,i hope so.Have you had any proffesional help with your appeals or have you done it all yourself.I must admit dano123 i am struggling with this,only learning things here in the CAG and forums,but will follow your appeals hoping for a positive result.Best wishes Tawnyowl

Edited by tawnyowl
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I like to agree with you, Tawnyowl, that it all is a wheel turning slowly until everything fits into place, … and wish I had looked at those appeal papers at a much earlier stage (but then they only arrived in May this year!), … I simply was never in the right mental state to do so, … struggling to keep level-headed with regard to all the other issues in my life that led me to the situation I am presently in.



I still think that the whole rigmarole with the SECOND claim was simply a buying time exercise until the appeal with regard to the FIRST claim is heard, … as the same profit figure for my business will have to be used for both claims, … a profit figure I claim to be 'nil', while THEY can't seem to agree between themselves, WHAT it should be, … and I am at loss HOW they reached the figures they gave me so far! There has been NO 'further questions' with regard to that business with my SECOND claim (but then there never really WERE any with my FIRST claim, … just figures thrown at me, with no justification!), … The 'delays' with my SECOND claim, all centers around my right to reside in the UK, … an issue that was never raised with my FIRST claim!





I DO have help from a Welfare Officer, who initiated the whole process last year in July (against my will really, … as all I wanted at that stage was to be left alone, and try and sort myself out, without claiming anything). I was (and still am) suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, … and simply couldn't deal with all those forms that needed filling in, etc... To be fair to her, she HAS fought my corner at every single step, … making sure that all the right little boxes were 'ticked', etc... but SHE kept being pushed from pillar to post by Jobcentre Plus, with ever more ridiculous 'new rules'! Incidentally, she too was refused the contact number of the Wick office allegedly dealing with the Right to reside test! She got a fax at some stage claiming that the forms in Wick are far more comprehensive than the ones in Jobcentre Plus, … hence all the additional information required, … yet we never received any communication from Wick, … let alone had sight of any of their forms!



The only 'mistake' of that Welfare Officer, has been to keep the two claims separate, …. wanting to believe that if the second one was to be successful, it would go in my favour when the appeal would be heard with regard to the first one! I can now see that it all was wishful thinking from her part (and mine!), … and is what kept her (and hence me!) 'accepting' whatever nonsense came from JobCentre Plus, to explain the 'delays', with the second claim!



It's only when I received last week, a date for the appeal hearing re my FIRST claim, that I started looking MYSELF a bit deeper into all the appeal papers sent through, …and all correspondence exchanged so far with Job Centre Plus, … and started to see the sheer irrationality of how that 'case' has been put together, … and how it is all connected to the SECOND claim made earlier this year, that seem to have started going pearshaped from the moment I allegedly “arrived in the UK in 2006”! I HAVE sent them a letter last week to ask them WHERE they got that information from! We are not talking about one digit possibly mistyped, but THREE!



What really foxes me, is WHY they KEEP claiming that I only arrive in the UK in 2006 in the appeal papers with regard to my first claim, when all the evidence sent by that stage (AND any records they might like to check!) has shown me having been self-employed in this country for well over 20 years now! And WHY they KEEP suggesting in those same appeal papers that my right to reside is still under question (although the latter is NOT the subject of the appeal).



The appeal purely centers around the profit figure of my business, … which THEY can't seem to agree upon! Surely, if would have been far easier for them to ask ME for further information about that business, if anything was unclear (as my local council indeed did, when I claimed CTB!), … than dragging it all to appeal stage, and making up some claim that I arrived in the UK in 2006 (and hence need to be 'checked' up), to somehow justify the ongoing delays! I don't WANT to believe that something is under-hand, … but it is not 'normal' either. :???:

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Dano 123,i have just been reading about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,and whatever happened to cause this i hope you make a full recovery.Sounds like it could take some time.

"The 'delays' with my SECOND claim, all centers around my right to reside in the UK, … an issue that was never raised with my FIRST claim!,i feel we know the answer to that 100% right to reside.


"The appeal purely centers around the profit figure of my business,"-your records,tax ,accounts show this so shouldnt have caused these problems.Dano123,was it the PTSD that caused your business to end or the reccession or a combination of both.You dont have to answer that.I am sure your problem will soon be over .Let us know what happens.I wish you well Tawnyowl

Edited by tawnyowl
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Thanks Tawnyowl. No the recession is not what caused PTSD. It all started well before (sorry, but I can't say anymore about it). I simply tried to keep going, until came the point I had to accept to take a back seat with it all. The whole rigmarole with IS has certainly not helped, … as I already saw myself being deported! Totally irrational, but here we are, … that is how it all came over to me, despite all the reassurance of my Welfare officer!



Writing it all down over this WE has helped me to put it all in perspective, and I've decided to send the Tribunal MY versions of the 'facts of the case', … with a copy of all correspondence exchanged with my local council with regard to how THEY calculated my entitlement for CTB. My understanding (from Welfare Rights) is that the 'rules' are pretty similar for IS and CTB, … even though Jobcentre Plus has KEPT claiming to my welfare officer this to NOT be the case!



Anyway, will let you know how it all develops! Thanks again for your support.

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  • 7 months later...



I have similar problem with the jobcentre like the other dude.


I am a Hungarian (EEA / EU) citizen. I am living and working in the UK around 5 years ago, and I am registered with the Workers Registration Scheme, but I did not know that I have to register each and every employer I had. I had only the first employer registered in the WRS, and that was an employment of 2 months.


Now over 4 years later I applied for benefits (JSA) as I lost my job, and despite the fact that I provided my payslips for 4 years 9 months they rejected my claim after 7 weeks saying as I was not registered with the WRS for 1 year I am not habitually resident in the UK and I am not entitled to benefit.


What can I do? I'm in a really bad financial situation and I don't understand how can they say that I am not habitually resident in the UK when I'm living here almost 5 years ago...

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Just like to point out that it is not just the Residency test that is needed it is also the Right to reside. If you have proof that you have right to reside, noted on passport or from Home office then you would not need to pass either of these tests. If you are an EEA then you would have to provide workers registration card and certificates, this is clearly stated on the forms the jobcentre send to the customer. Once this information is received it is sent to Wick who do all the decisions, jobcentre have no part in this process only to gather the info required to make the decision. If all requested info is not received then it will either be returned to the jobcentre to request the info again or the test will be failed. Hope that provides some clarification

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