THE result of the referendum in the UK of June 2016 has created confusion and uncertainty for everyone and no less so for those living in Spain.
What will happen to our healthcare, what will happen to our right to live and work here and also what will happen to our pensions are just some of the questions on people’s lips.
There are also many people living in Spain who rely on the UK disability and sickness benefits they are paid to help them cover the additional costs of living with illness or disability.
Since a CJEU decision in July 2011, first-time claims for Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component, Carer’s Allowance and now also the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can be made by people living outside the UK in another EEA member state.
There will doubtless be people who are thinking that their entitlement to these benefits may cease sooner or later and others who think that is not therefore worth making a claim. But, as with so much to do with Brexit, nothing is set in stone and it is not certain what will change or when.
Even assuming article 50 is triggered in March, the UK remains part of the EU for at least a further two years and is therefore still bound by EU law which means that the rules currently in place remain for that period and guarantee the rights and entitlement to UK benefits for those living in Spain and other EEA member states.
If the UK does then end up leaving the EU it is still not known how much of EU law will be incorporated into UK law and so nothing is yet known about how entitlement to benefits may change.
At this point there is no reason not to make a claim and lose out on money you may need and which could be the difference between staying here and returning to the UK.
The difficulty in accessing support from social services in Spain means that people often have to fund their own help with domestic chores and personal care. Many who do not make claims for benefits end up having to return to the UK as they simply do not have the money needed to pay for these services.
There are of course other reasons why people do not claim the benefits they are entitled to. A lack of knowledge of what is available or the rules of entitlement and failure to challenge negative DWP decisions means people miss out on what is rightfully theirs.
Difficulty accessing forms, finding the nature of them overwhelming and wanting to avoid intrusive questions deter many even further. That coupled with feelings of pride and wanting to preserve their independence or not wanting to be a burden on the state often put others off.
If you or someone you know is suffering from illness or disability then please give us a call so that we can advise you what you may be entitled to.
The welfare benefits system is complex and at times confusing but misinformation put about by people who do not fully understand it will unfortunately mean that many could miss out on that extra income which proves so invaluable to those living with illness or disability.
For up-to-date, in-depth and reliable information on what is out there for you, a family member or a friend please give us a call.
We can take you through how you make a first-time claim, ask for a review of an award and prepare you for and represent you at appeals tribunal. For more details on all the above please find contact details below.
Kim Clark Benefits Consultancy
tel: 950 169 729
mob: 663 297 568