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30 May 2008
Claimants already living abroad, and those thinking of doing so, may be able to receive disability living allowance care component, attendance allowance and carer’s allowance following a European Court of Justice decision in October 2007.

DLA claimant abroadThe DWP have now issued guidance relating to this decision. They advise people already living abroad to put in a claim whilst awaiting the department’s final decision on whether it will pay out.

If you already receive one of these benefits, and you are planning on moving to the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you may be able to carry on getting them. It is vital that you get proper advice before moving, however. There are complex rules covering who can claim when moving abroad, including requirements relating to national insurance contributions made by you or a close family member, even though these are not necessary for claiming DLA, AA or CA when living in the UK.

If you are already living in the EEA or Switzerland and believe you may be eligible for one of these benefits, the DWP are advising that you put in a claim now, although they have yet to decide how they consider the ruling affects people already resident abroad.

Likewise, if you used to get one of these benefits but it was stopped because you moved abroad, you should also consider putting in a claim now whilst awaiting further policy announcements from the DWP.

More information, including the contact details for the ‘Exportability Team’ is available from this link.