Benefit claims for people from abroad

The following information is for people from overseas who are entitled to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction. As the legislation is complicated, your particular circumstances may not be covered. If so, please contact us for further advice.

EEA Nationals (excluding Croatian nationals)

The EEA comprises the European Union, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.

If you are an EU national and fall under any of the following categories you can claim benefit as long as you satisfy the general rules for Housing Benefit /Council Tax Reduction.

  • A worker (paid employee)
  • Self-employed
  • A worker who has retained worker status. You may retain worker status if you are temporarily unable to work due to illness/accident or have lost your job and have worked for at least one year and immediately signed on at Jobcentre Plus. In this case, worker status is retained for 6 months or longer if you can show you have a realistic chance of getting a job. If you have been employed for less than six months, worker status can only be retained for six months. If you lose worker status, entitlement to Housing Benefit ends.
  • A self-employed person who has retained your status. You only retain your status as self-employed if you are temporarily out of work due to illness/accident.
  • A family member of any of the above.
  • A person with permanent right to reside in the UK. This includes persons who have worked in the UK for 5 years, non-EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for 5 years as a family member of an EU national, a retired worker/self-employed person who worked in the UK for at least 12 months before retiring and lived in the UK for three years before retirement. This is not an exhaustive list.

Nationals of Croatia

If you are a Croatian national you can only claim if you come under any of the following categories provided that you satisfy the general rules for Housing Benefit / Council Tax Reduction.

  • Self-employed
  • Employee is employed with a worker authorisation certificate.
  • Employee who has worked in the UK under the worker authorisation scheme for more than 12 months without breaks.

EEA nationals who do not come under any of the above categories

You will only be able to claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction if you come under any of the following categories:

  • If you fall under any of the categories below we have to determine if you are habitually resident in the UK. We may ask you to complete a Habitual Residence Test. If we establish that you are habitually resident you can claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax reduction.
  • Economically inactive who are self-sufficient and have comprehensive medical insurance
  • Students who are self-sufficient and have comprehensive medical insurance
  • National of the UK (who have returned from extended stay abroad)
  • National of the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
  • You can also claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax reduction if you are the parent responsible for a child in full time education, provided that you or the other parent worked in the UK when the child came to the country. This right continues for as long as that child remains in full time education.

Nationals of other countries

You will only be eligible for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction if you have leave to enter or remain in the UK that has no restrictions regarding accessing public funds. In some cases we will need to establish that you are permanently settled in the UK (Habitual Residence test).

National Insurance Number requirement - applies to all cases

Both you and your partner need to have a National Insurance Number to claim benefit.