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returning to U.K from abroad, refused jsa

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Can anybody help, I returned to the u.k , after 2yrs 3 months abroad but from within the EEA. I am an Irish citizen who previously

lived and worked in the u.k for more than 21 years, always paying full stamp, left in September 2008.

I have been told by a doctor to get back to Ireland and now learned I have been refused JSA as I have been living abroad,

this is after weeks of being messed about, since December 8th. I have been told this news today, that the claim will have to be appealed, but can't even start that until I receive the letter, which should be in 3 - days.

the housing benefit people have been very good and approved my claim, they say they are just waiting to see which department is going to pay me something.

The crisis loan people have also helped, I have had 2 payments, £70 and £80 for 4 weeks

Could this mean I will get nothing from anybody ? Where are these rules about not being entitled because you lived abroad for a

time ?

I am worried sick as I have never claimed any benefits before and have been treated like a criminal.

Any information or advice please

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What reason did they give you?, Throughout all this waiting they just keep saying, it's because you went abroad for a couple

of years. So if you go to spain for e.g and try and open a bar or find work and it fails you come back to nothing? Yet if you are Spanish for e.g and come here, never having lived here before, you can claim !

Cannot find any rules anywhere that say you are not entitled to benefits if you have lived abroad, have been told verbally that it is because the government think that as soon as you get benefits you are going to return to that other country. so anybody in this category is being targeted.

Does anybody know about these rules, please

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The rules governing benefits for people who have lived abroad or who are EEA citizens are complex, and to be honest, I'm a bit rusty. Basically people from outside the EEA are subject to special immigration rules and have to have certain types of residence in order to qualify for benefits. For UK citizens ans people from within the EEA (european econonmic area), the rules are slightly different for different benefits, but people from the UK and EEA citizens are subject to something called a habitual residence test, where you show that you are habitually resident in the UK - this usually means proving that you have have been here for a period of time (not specified in law, but in practice, anything from weeks to a few months) and have a settled intention to stay. You have stated that your doctor said you need to get to Ireland - if so can you prove you have a settled intention to stay?


There are other provisions and exemptions to the habitual residence test that might have been tried under European Law - as you are an EEA national, being from Ireland. But with the one I'm thinking of, as you've been out of the UK for more than two years, it wouldn't apply - also I'm not sure whether the laws governing your right to stay as an Irish citizen trump the EEA laws.


The end result, in any case, is that you need to appeal. Give evidence of how long you've been in the UK and settled intention to stay - ie did you give up your home, bring all your possessions to the UK with you? Do you have school age children? If so are they with you and attending school here? Do you have family ties in the UK? Have you rented a property on a long tenancy ? Anything you can provide to help your case will be useful. From what I remember, making repeated claims is also a good idea - maybe every 4 weeks until they decide you're habitually resident. If possible find a benefit adviser with experience of the habitual residence test to help you.


Sorry if I'm a bit vague, but its a complex area of law, and I'm a bit rusty.


Also, please don't think you're being treated like a criminal. Any UK citizen who lives abroad for any period of time and then returns to the UK to claim benefits is subject to the same thing.

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Thank you for that leemack, I think the fact I am Irish seems irrelevant as this also applies to u.k citizens,

As for the doctor incident, i have a hip replacement, done when I was only 45, (now 50) and she accused me of

being in the u.k for a free, expensive , operation , despite explaining I did not want the other one replacing, she

told me to go back to Ireland to have it done, needless to say I registered with another doctor.

I have come back alone , my wife has elected to stay abroad, she does not want to live here and could not afford

to on her pension, I have no children and no home.

I have been signing on now for 5 weeks.

What I would like to know is what do I do now, can I claim any benefits at all, or am I expected to live on nothing,

does this mean that my N.I contribution for the year ending 2009 count for nothing

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You need two years contributions in the two tax years before the benefit year in which you made your claim. The two years that apply to you are 08-09 and 07-08, but you said you left in September 08, in which case you may not have made enough contributions in 08-09 year - there is a threshold of contributions that you have to meet.


If your claim was refused, I assume your not signing on at the moment? If so, I would make another claim. Repeated claims can show a settled intention to stay, and it has been 5 weeks since your last claim.


You say you have no home, but you talk about claiming housing benefit, surely you need a place to live in order to claim. So where are you living at the moment?


Sorry to be personal, but have you separated from your wife? Showing that your way of life broke down where you were living causing you to move back home can be important information for your appeal. Also if you're not separated that can affect your claim.


Until you do get jsa awarded, crisis loans are your only option.


The bit about being an Irish citizen, is that there are laws governing your right of residence as an Irish citizen and also laws governing right of residence as an EEA national. For a UK national the UK laws trump the EEA ones, which means that in some areas the law is more favourable to EEA citizens than to UK citizens. I'm not sure whether your right of residence as an Irish citizen or rights as an EEA national take precedence. The particular rule I'm thinking of is that an EEA national with permanent right of residence doesn't lose right to reside if they leave the country for less than two years, and in this case would be exempt from the habitual residence test. This is an area where EEA regs are more favourable than UK law, as UK citizens aren't exempt from the habital residence test. But as I said it doesn't apply to you as you were out of the country for more than two years.

Edited by leemack
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Thanks leemack

years 2007/8 I worked the full year, 2008/9 i worked right through until September 10th, do you know the threshhold ?

Sorry,I meant I dont own a home, I have rented a flat and have a tenancy agreement for that, the housing benefit say they are going to pay

me, I just have to give them an up to date bank statement from that address.

Apparently as R.O.I is part of the Common Travel Area, this gives me the right to reside.

The Crisis loan has now refused any more money pending an appeal, the J.centre have advised to collect the appeal form

from the Citizen's advice centre and take it back to them with a new claim, the lady was non-commital as to whether this would be back-


So now I have to wait for the letter, I don't know whether I will get anything for this wasted time, I owe the crisis loan place £150. not

to mention friends I am indebted to. So if I should happen to get very lucky and get a job next week, would this invalidate claiming for this period?


Apparently this ruling came out about 10 years ago, so it is not new. In other words, they act on the premise that we are liars, we have to stay here,

penniless for a period of time, to prove otherwise.

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I don't know the thresholds I'm afraid.


How long is your tenancy agreement for - this can be evidence of a settled intention to stay.


You can appeal the crisis loan decision. You need a decision in writing, and get a fax number so that you can fax your letter over, you first ask for a review of the decision, and if that isn't succesful, you ask for a further review by the independant review service. The DWP generally do the initial review within 24 hours. It might be useful if you approach your local CAB for assistance, or local welfare rights - they can help you argue these issues.


And as I said - reapply for JSA.

Edited by leemack
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Thanks, am just waiting for the letter now then off to the c.a.b, will take this info re the crisis loAn


Must say how much this help is appreciated, this forum has been a godsend

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