THOUSANDS of Brits claiming disability benefits in Spain could be struck off under government reassessment plans.
An estimated 10,000 people claim Incapacity Benefit (IB) abroad, with many of them living in Spain, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Around 5,800 will be reassessed for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) – which replaced IB in 2008 – between February 2011 and April 2014.
The remaining 4,000 claimants who are approaching 60 will not be reassessed because they are deemed to be too old to seek work.
Incapacity benefits paid overseas totalled nearly 60 million euros last year, with the highest claimable rate standing at 114 euros.
If the allowance was initially claimed in Britain, anyone is entitled to continue claiming after moving to any of 30 European countries or their overseas territories.
Under European law, benefits acquired in one member state must be paid to those who move to another.
A spokesman for the DWP said: “Incapacity Benefit is an outdated benefit which is now closed to new claimants. We are currently reassessing everyone of working age on IB, whether they live in Great Britain or abroad.
“People from the UK living abroad will only be entitled to ESA if they have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions. If they are found to be fit for work they will have their benefits stopped.”