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Thread: Do The DWP Know When You're Abroad?

  1. #1
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    Do The DWP Know When You're Abroad?

    I ask this question out of interest. A friend is claiming ESA and has lived in Spain for the last 2 years. She's quite up front about the fact that she's never told the DWP. She was living with her parents when she originally claimed and then moved to Spain with her boyfriend. All correspondence still goes to her parents house.

    I have advised her that she should inform The DWP or she may lose her claim. She says they'll never know so won't bother. Is she right? Or do The DWP somehow monitor people's movements in and out of the country?

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    And what is she proposing to do when it's reassessment time and they ask her to a face to face WCA? (and then cancel it and ask her back for another).

    I assume that she's in Support Group?
    If not then she would be attending work focused interviews at the jobcentre at least every six months.

    If her ESA is Contribution Based (which it won't be if she's in WRAG) then I don't see her problem with informing the DWP that she's living abroad.

    You can claim CB ESA whilst living abroad in the EEA or Switzerland, there are even special arrangements and forms for carrying out WCA's abroad.
    EDIT - Premiums can not be paid to those living abroad, premiums are Income Related.

    I'm not sure just how the DWP would react to the fact that she hadn't told them, and was pretending she still lived in the UK, but technically she wouldn't be doing anything illegal. (Other than not informing them).

    If however her ESA is Income Related, and she is travelling back to the UK for her WFIs and WCAs, then what she is doing is benefit fraud.

    EDIT- The same would apply to any premiums on her ESA, those are income related so if still being paid whilst living abroad that is also benefit fraud.
    Last edited by nukecad; 04-10-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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  3. #3
    Pretty sure on Income Related you are allowed to go abroad for holidays, but each trip must be 28 days maximum. After 28 days you lose that Benefit until you come back home. Thats my understanding of it anyway.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That's right, 4 weeks (28 days) for a holiday, or 26 weeks for medical treatment, is what is allowed with Income Related ESA. (Or an income related premium).

    Contribution Based ESA can be paid in the EEA (and Switzterland) for as long as you still qualify for CB ESA.
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  5. #5
    She should be very wary and not so complacent. All it will take is a busybody or someone with sour grapes to report her to DWP

  6. #6
    Unless she comes home every 28 days for a few days then returns, bit cheeky but maybe a way around it. I guess she would need to prove she comes home with receipts.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=abcd69;162694]Unless she comes home every 28 days for a few days then returns, bit cheeky but maybe a way around it. I guess she would need to prove she comes home with receipts.[

    You still have to inform DWP you are leaving the country even for a holiday. No way round it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by beau View Post

    You still have to inform DWP you are leaving the country even for a holiday. No way round it.
    I dont think that is right, from my understanding you only need to inform them if its more than 28 days, so Benefit can be stopped at day 28.

  9. #9
    I went on holiday for 14 days not realising I had to get "permission". Someone kindly told the DWP and I got a warning letter.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by abcd69 View Post
    Unless she comes home every 28 days for a few days then returns, bit cheeky but maybe a way around it. I guess she would need to prove she comes home with receipts.
    My understanding is it's 28 days for the total of a year, not 28 days, pop home and go again for 28 days. Pretty sure that's not a loophole.

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