Claiming Benefits When Abroad

If you travel or move abroad, you may still be able to claim some types of benefits. It depends on where you are going and how long for. If you are going abroad, you should tell the Job Centre Plus who issues your benefits. You must also tell HMRC when you leave the UK. If you’re already living in a European Economic Area country, you may be able to claim UK based benefits. You can also claim your State Pension abroad.

In which countries can I claim benefits?

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia vector-world-map-v2.2
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

All of the above are EEA countries. Below are the countries which have social security arrangements with the UK:

  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Canada
  • Channel Islands
  • Macedonia
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Kosovo
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealandshutterstock_164415695
  • the Philippines
  • Serbia
  • Turkey
  • USA

Jobseeker’s Allowance

You can get contribution based JSA in the European Economic Area (EEA) for up to three months if you:

  • Are entitled to it on the day that you go abroad.
  • Register as a job seeker at least 4 weeks before you leave.
  • Are looking for work in the UK right up until the day you leave.
  • Are going abroad to look for work.
  • Register at a Job Centre equivalent in the country you go to.
  • Follow the other country’s rules on looking for work.

Maternity and Childcare benefits

Statutory Maternity Pay

If you work in the EEA for a UK employer, you can get SMP if you are eligible. If you work in a different country, you could still get SMP as long as your employer pays your UK national insurance contributions for you.

Maternity Allowance

If you are unable to get SMP, you might be eligible to get Maternity Allowance in an EEA country. 1464

You could also get Child benefit, tax credits and Guardian’s Allowance.

Illness/Injury/Disability benefits

Statutory Sick Pay

You can get SSP if you are eligible and you work for a UK employer in a EEA, or you work outside and your employer pays your National Insurance contributions for you.

Employment and Support Allowance

You can get both income based and contribution based ESA for 4 weeks if you go abroad. Talk to the Job Centre before you go.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

You can get this benefit for work related accidents and illnesses in an EEA country.

Carers/People with disabilities

You can claim the following if you are going abroad for 13 weeks, or 26 if you are travelling for medical treatment:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment

You can also continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if you take up to 4 weeks holiday out of a 26 week period.

If you are going abroad permanently to an EEA country, you may be able to get the above benefits if you or a family member are eligible and:

  • Work in the UK/pay National Insurance in the UK because of work.
  • Have paid enough National Insurance to be able to qualify for contribution based benefits.
  • Are getting state pension, contribution based ESA, industrial injuries disablement benefit or bereavement benefits.

Winter fuel payments Cold-weather-payment

You can claim Winter fuel payments if you meet the eligibility criteria or live in an EEA country, except for France, Cyprus, Greece, Gibraltar, Malta, Spain or Portugal. You don’t have to have claimed whilst in the UK, but you must have lived or worked in the UK.

Bereavement Benefits

If you move to an EEA country and you are eligible, you can claim bereavement allowance, bereavement payment and widowed parents allowance. You may also be able to claim bereavement benefits on countries outside of the EEA, such as Canada, Macedonia and New Zealand.

For assistance in claiming benefits abroad, contact your local Job Centre Plus.

Don’t forget to tell HMRC that you are moving abroad too!