Expats in Spain to benefit from winter fuel payment following EU ruling

LAST UPDATED: 8 Sep, 2012 @ 07:30
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Expats in Spain to benefit from winter fuel payment following EU ruling

THOUSANDS of expats could be eligible for a winter fuel payment under the terms of an EU ruling.

The announcement is good news for the estimated 100,000 British pensioners who live in Spain, many of whom are not able to claim the allowance under current laws.

Previously, elderly expats could only receive the payment if they turned 60 before leaving Britain and if they had left after the payment was introduced in 1998.

But expats now only need to have a ‘genuine and sufficient link to the UK’ to qualify, including having ‘lived or worked in the UK for most of your working life’.

The ruling by the European Court of Justice affects around 440,000 elderly Britons who live outside Britain but within the EU.

Anyone born on or before July 5, 1951, can now make a claim for the payment this year, which ranges from £200 to £300 depending on your circumstances.

In the 2010-11 winter, 72,840 expats claimed winter fuel payments, at a cost of almost £16 million – a figure which could rise to £100 million if all of the eligible expats were to claim it.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith called the ruling ‘ludicrous’ and has promised to introduce a ‘temperature test’ to determine eligibility.

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86 COMMENTS

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  1. Hi Mike I receive my uk state pension direct to my bank here & it always arrives on time.

    Haven’t had a letter from them regarding the Iban & I expect it was on the payment details I gave them when setting up the transfer.If you have been getting your payments before I don’t know why they needed to change anything but they are in a world of their own & common sense does not apply.

  2. Chris, that’s what I don’t understand when they’ve been paying us for years into the same bank and suddenly ask for confirmation. I saw the letter my friend received and it looked genuine from the DWP so whats going on I haven’t a clue but I’m wary of the DWP messing it up or jut as bad, some clever scam being operated.

  3. Mike, your friends’ situation sounds like a scam to me! I receive my state pension every 4 weeks on a Tuesday, unless there happens to be a Fiesta day here and I have not received a letter from the DWP on that subject.

    Lillian, I hope your appeal hearing was successful! I still have a few weeks to submit further evidence before my hearing on 26 Sept, so either way, I would be interested in comparing notes and evidence submitted to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service. I can let you have my email address if you are willing to exchange correspondence, if necessary with a view to taking the matter up with the EU. The DWP have sent an ‘Additional Response’ to the Tribunal Service, which admits I claimed for the winter of 2006, but there is no mention of the EU ruling which resulted in us receiving the payment for 2012/2013.

    I look forward to your further comments.

    Gill

  4. Gill, it turns out it was not a scam as my friends were with CAM bank who as you might know went bust and were taken over by Sabadell Bank. What seems to have happened is that a single digit was wrong in the IBAN number (their new bank account) but as to who got it wrong is anyone’s guess as no one is fessing up.

    The lessons to be learned are NEVER rely on word of mouth for important details like this with the DWP and do it in writing, as if it goes wrong their problem can be forced to stay their problem rather than become your problem.

    They are still waiting for the payment but have been told they’ll get it ‘soon’. Of course, the DWP can’t manage to do the WFA and Xmas payment at the same time and they’ve now had a new letter regarding IBAN for the WFA and no doubt the Xmas payment request will come later.

  5. Hi Gill
    I lost my appeal. I actually got the reply on Tuesday, 6th August, Can you ever remember getting a letter from them that quick, The hearing was on the 2nd.
    They still insist I never applied in 2005/6, they have no record, amazing they only record what they want recorded.

  6. Sorry to hear that Lillian but TBH it doesn’t surprise me in the least as my dealings with them were basically pointless, to stand any chance with them I think you have to be there in person. They state that postal cases receive less success rates than those in person, probably because they will have to face you & lose their anonymity, also you can reply directly to any questions.

    Postal or in person should not alter the results as the facts remain the same for both, but they admit that is not the case & suspect they throw most cases out because they can & you aren’t there to oppose them.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for your replies.

    Mike, pleased your friends got their problem more or less sorted.

    Lillian, sorry you lost your appeal. Are you intending to take the matter further, ie the EU? At least the IPC are accepting that I applied in 2007, although treating it as a separate issue. I will write one more letter in response to their latest submission through the Tribunal, then wait and see what happens on 26 Sept.

    Chris, yes I agree about being there in person, but impossible for me as flights from Lanzarote so expensive and as they state they will pay travel costs to the venue, I did ask if that included a flight from here!!!!! Negative, only from where I stay in the UK.

    I will keep you up-dated and hope to hear results from anyone else who has an appeal pending.

    Gill

  8. Hi again,

    My appeal for retrospective WFP is due to be heard next month and going through reams of papers the Court & Tribunal service has sent me, a new issue has surfaced.

    The DWP position not to pay is centered around the fact that they state that the previous winters back payment claims have to be made by March following that winter, in other words for the winter of 2011/2012 you have to claim by March 2012.

    Ignoring previous winters before 2011/12, I think there’s a good case for claiming WFP at least for that year (2011/12) for the simple reason the ECJ judgment was made on 21st July 2011 and it was kept under wraps by the DWP. The DWP failed to act in proactively notifying potential claimants before March 2012 and even today they haven’t made any specific press release or notified ex-pats who are unaware and would be eligible for next winters WFP.

    Additionally, the WFP back claim form WFP2(EEA)that was created specifically for ex-pats in October 2012, does not appear to exist on their web site and you’ll have to call them to get a copy.

    Accordingly, I’m submitting to the tribunal that the DWP deliberately withheld this information preventing people from claiming in time. As for previous years, that’s still up for debate.

  9. Hi Mike

    I applied for the WFP in 2007 & was refused on the grounds that I was not already receiving it in the UK before I moved to Spain & therefore would never be entitled to it unless I moved back to the UK.

    So obviously being told that I did not reapply till last year when the EU said we were entitled to it, so now we have a problem if you are trying to get back payments because they say you didn’t apply during those years.

    So what now, they say you will never be entitled to WFP while outside the UK & now it looks as though that is wrong & because of this you do not make any further claims, they now use the fact you didn’t claim to avoid back payments.

    I wish you well Mike with your case being heard at the HMCT but have to say I have absolutely no faith in them after my recent dealings with them, also be aware they have no powers whatsoever & can only make recommendations, which in my case were totally ignored by the DWP.

    Gill should be posting soon on her results & hope for a positive result, but as said I doubt this will be the case.

    There is a petition against stopping this payment on FB expats in Spain site, if none of you have voted, perhaps you would.

    Chris

  10. In essence what I believe has been happening ever since the July 21st 2011 ECJ judgment, is that IDS and his ministry have gone out of their way through the DWP to block any form of retrospective payments despite the judgment being retrospective. Its certainly the case that just like some insurance companies, the DWP change the goal posts for eligibility when you’re close to meeting it.

    Just like you, years ago I thought it was worth a try to claim even though that was prior to the ECJ judgement although I didn’t think I stood a chance. My contention at the DWP appeal stage recently was to state that the new ex-pat WFP2(EEA)back payment claim form did not exist until October 2012 and therefore no time limits should be applied before then. As it would be ‘ex post facto law’ (or retrospective) to disadvantage claimants, it should be disallowed.

    They countered with some BS that the UK back payment claim form with its time limits covered all back claims even including those that could not have existed anyway for ex-pats(prior to ECJ) but certainly those after the ECJ ruling. They haven’t explained however why it was necessary to create a new back claim form for ex-pats if that UK claim form was in existence and valid for ex-pats.

    As a point of interest, I could find no record of either the UK back claim form or the WFP2(EEA) on their website (several months ago or now) and the ‘mysterious’ UK claim form they referred to was not even identified by the DWP in their counter argument. I obtained the ex-pat version WFP2(EEA) by post from the DWP after insisting I wished to claim for back payments.

    Their whole argument stands on the time limits of claiming by March for the previous winters up to 2010/2011 despite our non eligibility before July 21st 2011 (ECJ judgment), and afterwards for winter of 2011/12 because we didn’t fill in the ex-pat claim form WFP2(EEA) which they failed to create and distribute in time.

    As they say, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet for me and if it goes against me, I’m off to an EU fall back position to lodge a complaint against the UK government.

  11. Hi All,

    I haven’t had the results of my appeal, which was held last Friday, yet. If I haven’t heard anything by this Friday I intend to call them as sometimes the mail to Lanzarote can take weeks.

    Chris, I have signed the FB online petition.

    Will keep you up-dated!

    Gill

  12. Well, I received a letter dated 26 September on 8 October, from Social Security and Child Support Appeals, re my INCOME SUPPORT appeal! Enclosing a ‘First-Tier Decision’ that “the appeal is refused”. No reason given, but lengthy notes attached, summarised below, that I can appeal to the ‘Upper Tribunal’ on the basis:

    “The Tribunal applied the law incorrectly

    The Tribunal conducted the proceedings in the breach of proper procedures

    The Tribunal failed to give adequate reasons for its decision.

    The first step in applying for permission to appeal is to apply, in writing, for a statement of reasons for the Tribunal’s decision. The statement will be written by the Judge that decided your case”.

    I have, tonight written a letter requesting all of the above and querying whether, in fact, that the decision was just ‘rubber stamped’ by a Judge, without reading all the documentation in view of the fact that they refer to ‘My Income Support Appeal’ etc.

    The IPC have accepted that I applied in 2007, so I suspect that again this is just delaying tactics.

    Will keep you up-dated and look forward to hearing how you get on with your appeal in December Mike.

    Gill

  13. Rather worrying that the tribunal was referring to INCOME SUPPORT when I believe your case was all about WFP like the rest of us. Sounds that they’re not that bright or the DWP confused them in an attempt bury the appeal. Its also worries me that no decision for rejecting the appeal was given as I would have thought that was the whole point to get a new ruling no matter which way it went but with reasons given.

  14. Exactly Mike! Re Lillian’s post of 10 August, she seems to have been given a reason ie, the IPC had no record of her application in 2005/06 but as they have accepted that I applied in 2006/2007 I suspect that have not yet come up with a reason for rejecting my appeal so it is just delaying tactics due to their contradictory statement when sending out forms for previous years, only to reject the claims that the applications should have been sent by the end of March for the relevant years and they haven’t worked out how to deal with people who did apply for previous years.

    Anyway, I sent my letter by certificado post today and will have to wait and see!

  15. What we should do it leave the EU, kick all the 600,000 foreign benefit spongers out of the UK and we could then double your WFA. The UK is being bled dry. The EU tells us to keep paying for everyone that lands on our shores. Book a few plane loads every day, handcuff them to their seats and send them back. If you want all of this money you have to accept how we can pay for it. I walked down a rundown Town Centre yesterday in the South East. The last time I went to this place was 6 months ago and it is worse now than ever. You should see the people sitting around drinking cans of lager, staggering around, the tatty clothes they are wearing, mostly foreigners. I won’t say what I really think as it won’t get printed but all these drunken claiming benefit foreigners, send them packing and the deficit will be sorted in no time. I know we have our own benefit claimants but if you can get rid of a few hundred thousand we won’t have to keep penny pinching from the over 60’s… More of these lot are arriving every day. The EU has too many poor countries in it, time to leave.

  16. I think there’s only two options here as regards welfare benefits for UK citizens and that should mean where ever they live. You either (a) leave the EU so you can cherry pick who gets benefits or not and in this case it would be UK citizens only, or preferably (b) cut back the benefit system for all and making it less attractive for foreign benefit scroungers. Additionally demand 5 years of contributions of NI/Tax prior to being given eligibility for benefits or alternatively pay a 50k refundable deposit and after 5 years in work you get it back. The EU rules can easily be got around if crafted carefully to make it unattractive for freeloaders to come to the UK and get the same benefits that most UK citizens have paid for.

  17. Sieg Heil Reap! send THEM packing… Bet it made you so angry walking around England with FOREIGNERS all around you. Maybe if you’re an immigrant when/if you’re here, Spain should send YOU packing?

    BTW, immigrants, migrants (or foreigners?) contribute MORE to the UK economy than they take out.

  18. I’m quite happy to see any immigrant coming to the UK provided they’re not a free loaders.

    Funny thing is, all of us ex-pat pensioners who decided to emigrate to Spain contribute enormously to the Spanish economy whilst costing Spain nothing. Its a win-win situation for the UK and Spain with Brits who emigrate because the ONLY services we benefit from is health care which is paid for by the UK government and additionally it costs the UK far less than it would if we still lived in the UK.

    Contrast this with one immigrant who comes into the UK with many dependents. He’s eligible for housing benefit, child support, job seekers if he loses his job PLUS there’s the enormous costs of health care for the complete family, education for his kids and in many cases, free translators. In contrast, we rightly have to pay for a translator in Spain or learn the language.

    Its a very simple fiscal issue, why should ANYONE be automatically be given access to a vast range of free services and benefits without contributing anything at all. I make NO distinction between UK natural born citizens or immigrants. No other country hands out freebies like the UK does and the UK can’t afford it.

    Australia has tough immigration rules which are quite reasonable to prevent tax payers bearing the heavy burden of mass immigration. Their rules use fiscal methods to control immigration and to ensure only those who give to the country can receive back from the country unlike the UK.

    I fail to see anything wrong with this approach.

  19. Its a shame that honest debate about the welfare costs in the UK has degenerated into name calling of the Gordon Brown variety when those comments were nothing more than rather forthright fiscal observations. Those with opposing views can challenge it if they disagree or ignore it if uncomfortable with the truth, but at least be honest about it. The real discrimination here is against ex-pats who dared leave the UK and are seen as a soft target by IDS to save a few million by excluding us.

    To call it racist to question benefit handouts to all is incorrect and a slur. Having many friends in the Indian community in England as well as inviting them to Spain, I’d certainly dispute that I’m in anyway racist. I’m a ‘fiscalist’ who doesn’t like the fact that too many people in the UK are milking the system both legally and illegally. As I apply that yardstick to everyone whatever their colour, race or creed, I’d hardly call it racist.

    Call me uncaring for wanting to remove benefits from any of the undeserving and I’ll put my hand up, but insinuations of racism, never.

  20. I agree with Mike. BTW, my Wife is not from Europe and she works and has never claimed a penny and I have lived in Spain and I never claimed a penny. Like Mike states, UK pensioners are contributing to Spain, keeping local businesses going. Economically and space wise, hospital space etc we in the UK have no more room, especially for scroungers. The WFA and many other items are being cut to pay the benefit system people of which hundreds of thousands are coming here just to claim it and in some cases with several identities. It is out of control and something will have to change unless we want £2 trn of debt very soon. Mine is an economical argument, don’t twist it.

  21. Is it “fascist” to say that immigration cannot be unlimited and has to have a limit? Can immigration just continue, unchecked? Can you answer that point perhaps, Roger?

    Btw, fascism and racism are quite separate things, and do not always overlap. It is not racist, or facist, to say immigration cannot be indefinite. It is common sense that with unlimited immigration any given country will not be able to cope.

  22. You need to read Reap’s comment again Fredtroll.
    Der.. of course immigration anywhere has to be sensibly controlled (Only you said unlimited immigration?! HAHA what?…). Reap would ‘have them all packing’ though, where immigration has always been a benefit (suppose not best word in this argument) to the uk.

    Just saying phrases like that is what I’d expect from the EDL.

  23. Roger, I hardly think that Reap’s description of ‘spongers’ is racist or even ‘facist’ as it clearly suggests many immigrants come specifically to the UK for free handouts. After all, the streets are paved with ‘gold’ compared to the disease ridden hell holes some of them come from. Just the last week a bunch of Syrians were protesting at Calais port and telling the French police to send them to the UK because the benefits are plenty. Intelligent people rightly say the country can no longer be the dumping ground for the worlds displaced given its size but that’s not racist. We have enough of our own spongers to deal with !

    Lets see, we already have areas around ‘killingdon’ hospital where TB is a clear and present danger due to it being a dumping ground for immigrants landing at Heathrow. Then we have the much higher incidence of AIDs from Africa thanks to previous mass immigration policies.

    If you bother to do a little research surfing the internet, there’s plenty of government figures showing the negative and costly effects that previous immigration policies have caused.

    I was born in South London and it’s a fact that when I’ve returned there in recent years, its a sad depressing place for the most part caused by an influx of alien cultures that are divisive rather than inclusive and a general deterioration of UK morals & community spirit.

    No one has proved any economic case for mass immigration where fiscal contribution outweighs fiscal cost. That is why countries like Oz and NZ use fiscal rules before allowing anyone in as they’ve seen the disaster that is the UK.

    Our ex-pat benefits are at risk here precisely because of the costs incurred by mass immigration in the UK. Having contributed 42 years to the system I expect to get some pay back but when spongers of any nationality can claim for all and sundry without paying a penny, something is very wrong here.

  24. Roger, I would not be paying the immigrants a penny in benefits unless they have paid into the system for x years, all the things Mike has said before in his eloquent post above. I did not say I would send all immigrants back as I would have to send my Wife back as well. I would make this Country an unattractive place for people who want to come here for an easy life on benefits. Where I live it is a great place, but the experience that Mike talks about in South London is moving to other areas. Even if the UK did miss out on business by not being in the EU I think it would become a better place to live. We are powerless to state how many people we want to live in the Country. Of course we need many immigrants working but we should be able to say who gets benefits and if they have no job and not paid into the system then they should be sent packing if they have no means to support themselves. Roger, it is people like you that got us into this mess in the first place and I am afraid you are in the minority and the only people that think like you are the ones who claim benefits and are ultra left wing.

  25. stefanjo,
    a bit surprised at your comments but Roger lives in a theoretical world that has no consequences like in the real world.

    An ideal population for the UK is around 9-11 million, that means a population that is entirely sustainable from it’s own resources. Had population control been implemented towards the end of the 19th century we would not have fished out our waters, used up all the best coal deposits or pumped out most of our oil (via foreign operators) @ $10 p/b.

    Right now 65% of the food consumed in the UK is imported – what happens when Sterling goes down the toilet as it surely will – it’s been losing value against other currencies all my life.

    When we lived in Galicia and decided to visit all parts of that region we stayed at a pension in Santiago that was run by a Galician that had worked and saved hard in London. We asked him if he had enjoyed his time in london and he said he had and ahd many Brit friends. He said there was only one thing he did’nt like and that was “too many foreigners, there were too many areas where the English felt like foreigners and that’s not right” – straight from the mouth of a foreigner.

    I have a good friend who is Dutch, a Freislander actually. He said that 5% of the population were buitenlanders/foreigners and that the Dutch did’nt want anymore. When I told him that 20% of the UK population had not been born there he was amazed that Brits would stand for that “because the Dutch certainly would not”.

    There are whole boroughs in London which are totally foreign. many of these refuse to assimilate to our values – honour killings, women treated as third class. Sweat shops operated as in Bangladesh, renting out garages for their own illegal immigrants to live in.

    None of that should be happening. Population control – many Moslem and Catholic families have as many children as they can – God will provide. No sky pixie provides anything – it is this planet that provides and what it can provide is finite.

    I now live in France and the ordinary French are worried for the future of their country since the Arab influx with their 8-10 children means that within a generation they will be the minority in their own country – hence the support for the National Front.

    Who really benefits from mass immigration – the elite. Of course these immigrants will work for less that the locals – bigger profit margins for the greedy.

    If the UK was in any way democratic, it would be up to all the British people to decide policies and right now polls are being conducted which show that overwhelmingly the ordinary Brits have had enough.

    The fools who talk about economic benefits can’t see as far as the end of their big noses – whose going to pay all the pension/health and childcare costs of these immigrants.

    If you want to have immigrants in the country – you pay their expenses, you house them and feed them.

    There is a very simple question to ask yourselves – is business a function of society or is society a function of business – the answer of course is simple and that is why mass immigration has been allowed, same in Germany and France.

    The question that is never asked is – has the quality of life improved or been made worse for the indigenous population?

    As for Roger’s stupid comment about expats in Spain – I knew what Andalucia was like in the 60’s – desperately poor, zero facilities like running water or sewage systems and most Andalucians had to emigrate just to survive.

    Roger there are whole villages that were abandoned – they now have people – foreigners who have revived them by pumping money into the local economies.

    If the Spanish are stupid enough (and many are) they will drive out the foreigners and the whole Med economy will collapse. You see Roger – the northern Europeans/Scandinavians bring money into the country – they don’t send it home, drive down wages or demand social housing.

    I was brought up in a town that always had a reasonable number of foreigners, especially Jewish and Polish refugees. These people were genuine refugees – not economic migrants and greatly enriched the town, indeed one of the best mayors that Brighton ever had was Henry Cohen who started the Alliance Building society – he would weep at what has happened to his creation and to Brighton in general.

    It does seem as if some posters have never left uni and still spout the same immature b/s from their youth.

  26. O.K. Stuart, as it’s you, I’ll elaborate. As we know, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. The latter can be shuffled around to prove almost anything. A great proponent of this skill was Herr Goebbels. When statistics are allied to emotive language such as,”mass immigration spreading T.B. and Aids.” “Staggering drunken foreigners.” “Handcuff them to their plane seats.” “Foreign benefit spongers.” “Freeloaders.” Then, that is a recipe for untrammelled fascism.
    U.K.I.P. would be delighted with these opinions. May I gently remind expats how exposed they would be outside the E.U. It may well be the case that the U.K. will leave, given the much-vaunted promised referendum. But have a referendum on capital punishment, and hanging and flogging would return. That doesn’t mean it’s right. What disturbs me in this discussion is the lack of humanity and compassion.
    We used to have something called “refugees”. They are now dubbed “illegal asylum seekers”.
    This thread concerned two hundred quid a year that a poxy Tory admin. are trying to cut. Bet I.D.S. is rubbing his claws seeing that “Aliens” are taking the rap for his dark manoeuvres. Of course, controls on immigration, benefits and fiddling are required, no argument. But widen the view and keep the real villains in sight, bankers, politicians, big tax avoiders, food adulterators, privatisers of national assets (water, power, N.H.S. trains, to name a few) criminal nuclear-power proselytisers, carbon junkies. The list is huge. It’s lazy and wrong to point the finger at life’s unfortunates.
    It would be a fools paradise to believe that funds saved on “misdirected” benefits, would then go to the “more deserving.” Once clawed back, they are never returned to anyone.

  27. Stuart are you confusing me with someone else? haha. I detest any form of discrimination, but at the same time all for any sensible immigration policies in any country, just not too into tarring a race with the same brush as Reap did when he sees and gets angry by a few drunk foreigners in the uk. Reap’s comments were out of order.

    Might be good to read back Stuart and start your comment again?

  28. Stefano – Emotive language it may be but that doesn’t make it a lie. TB was pretty much extinct in the UK from 1950’s onwards after centuries of this disease. Then 40 years later it re-appeared after mass immigration from third world countries began. The reasons are very clear and thats because their health care was virtually non existent unlike the UK’s. HIV/AIDs is similar and with countries like Zimbabwe which have no programs to control that scourge, its almost at epidemic levels. Neither of these valid health concerns are fiction or emotive and are well documented among by the world health organization. It takes a strange form of response to describe these sorts of facts as being fascist comments. By your definition, ALL facts that you object to, but haven’t disagreed with, could be called fascist comments.

    There’s many an expat living outside the EAA and they feel exactly the same as EU ex-pats and especially that perverse situation where ex-pats in America for instance get cost of living rises on their pensions but not if they live across the border in Canada. Compassion is for genuine refugees and not for economic refugees looking for a freebie. Sadly the system is being abused weekly by sham marriages, couples claiming to be gay and being persecuted in their country of birth and all manner of other scams. As the expression goes, ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’. Too many fraudsters have killed the golden goose and the country can no longer afford to fund immigrants at the levels we’ve had recently.

    I do however agree with your comments about bankers as in my book most top bankers are nothing more than financial pimps who can’t even provide a useful service. Likewise, all the other usual suspects you’ve named need to be sanctioned hard but the discussion here was about WFA and then benefits for those that didn’t deserve them and hadn’t paid a penny into the system.

    In the area of immigration, one persons definition of discrimination will be anothers sensible immigration controls. That’s why I always bring it down to the fiscal level of who is going to pay for immigration of families with many dependents. That removes the emotive element from any argument and its a simple cost / benefit analysis that can’t be disputed.

    Currently there are 600,000 unemployed EU migrants in the UK costing the NHS around £1.5?billion compared to France, where their health costs from migrants is a paltry £3.4 million. That UK figure does not include non EU migrants (legal and illegal) and nor does it include education, job seekers allowance or housing costs.

    Emotions do NOT pay for these costs and neither do politicians or wet liberals. If they did, perhaps they’d have a different outlook on mass immigration.

  29. Hi All,

    Yesterday I received a ‘Statement of Reasons for Decision’ from the ‘First Tier Tribunal’, which I will type below. I will not type the notes as basically my next option is to appeal to a judge for permission to apply to the ‘Upper Tribunal’ and how to do it. I wondered if you, Mike, or anyone else has any comments and/or constructive advice before I write my next letter?

    “STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION

    This statement is to be read together with the decision notice issued by the Tribunal

    1. The appellant appealed against the decision that she was not entitled to WFP for the winters 2007 to 2011 inclusive beecause she did not claim within the prescribed time limits. The prescribed time limit for claiming for the winter of 2007 was before 31 March 2008. The time limit for claiming in respect of the winters 2008 to 2011 was before 31 March in each of the years following a respective winter.

    2. The appellant left the UK to live in Spain on 28 April 2005. She was not ordinarily resident in the UK in the qualifying week following her 60th birthday and was not entitled to receive WFP. On 28 December 2007 it was decided that the appellant was not entitled to a WFP for 2006. The appellant appealed that decision and the appeal was disallowed by an Appeal Tribunal.

    3. In December 2012 the appellant submitted a claim for the winter of 2012. That was allowed. On 14 March 2013 the appellant made a claim for WFP for the winters 2006 to 2011.

    4. On the introduction of the WFP a person had to be aged 60 or over and in receipt of a qualifying benefit in order to qualify for the benefit. Following the decision of the European Court in the case of Stewart the requirement to be ordinarily resident in the UK during a relevant qualifying week could no longer be applied. It was sufficient if a claimant could demonstrate a genuine and sufficient link to the UK in order to claim the benefit.

    5. This decision did not affect UK domestic law. Under UK domestic law no person shall be entitled to any benefit unless a claim for the benefit is made in the manner and within the time limits prescribed by law. For WFP the time limit prescribed is that the claim must be received before 31 March following the qualifying week in respect of the winter following that week. The appellant’s claims for the winters 2007 to 2011 inclusive were made on 14 March 2013. Those claims were therefore made outside the time limit for claiming and the appellant is not entitled to a WFP for the winters 2007 to 2011 inclusive.

    6. The appellant elected for the appeal to be dealt with on the papers. The Tribunal considered Rules 2 and 27 of the Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008. There was sufficient information in the appeal papers to enable the appeal to be determined in the absence of appellant and it was in the interests of justice to do so.

    The above is a statement of reasons for the Tribunal’s decision under rule 34 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal)(Social Entitlement Chamber)Rules 2008.

    Signed by Judge K R Souter”

    Incidentally, the covering letter again referred to my Income Support Appeal!!!!

    So, any advice please?

    Gill

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