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Contact details

Tel: +34 950 169729 or

+34 663 297568

Email:

info@ukbenefitsinspain.com

info@ukbenefitsabroad.com

Overview

Despite the UK government’s loud proclamations of having countless millions of pounds in state benefits available for those in need of extra income, it often does little to ensure that people get the help they need in order to receive their correct entitlement. The complex benefits system and the confusing nature of the forms that need to be to be filled out frequently put a lot of people off making a claim. Ignorance of what one’s entitlement might be, added to the worry that claiming one benefit may lead to a cut in other income can further deter would-be claimants.

Certain benefits are, indeed, related to income and savings but others such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) - which relate to mobility and personal care problems - are not means-tested, are non-taxable and not only increase income but can also act as a gateway to further benefits or increase in benefits such as Income Support and Pension Credit.

The rules concerning entitlement for those living in Spain and in other EEA member states used to be complicated and depended, in part, on where you were habitually resident. However, rule changes mean that claiming benefits such as DLA, AA and Carer's Allowance by people living outside of the UK is now much easier although, as always, certain and crucial criteria need to be met. At a time when so much emphasis seems to be placed on benefit fraud it may be comforting for people to know that legal and legitimate claims may be made when living overseas. 

Reasons for not claiming/why people don’t claim

There are many reasons why people do not receive their correct entitlement. Most commonly, people do not realise what benefits they may be entitled to. Feelings of pride and not wanting to be a burden on the state coupled with wanting to preserve their independence often put people off. Difficulty accessing forms, finding the nature of them overwhelming and wanting to avoid intrusive questions deter many even further. Previous negative experience of claiming benefit along with a lack of knowledge of conditions of entitlement and failure to challenge negative decisions means that many more miss out. Providing documentation to support a claim is something else that people often find themselves unable to do while literacy and mental health problems provide an additional barrier for some which is why the lack of access to proper advice services becomes even more poignant.