Homeless expat denied UK job seeker allowance after returning

Published:  6 Mar at 6 PM
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A 52 year-old British citizen recently returned from three years living in France is being denied job seeker allowance and other income-related benefits.

Homeless Jane Carter moved to France to live her dream just over three years ago, but, sadly, the dream turned sour and forced her to return to the UK to find a job and start her life all over again. Dividing her week between her daughter’s Harlow home and that of her 82 year-old mother in Loughton, Carter’s first stop was at Loughton’s job centre.

Following her interview, she received a letter saying she was not entitled to benefits or jobseeker allowance because she was not a ‘habitual UK resident’. She sought explanation from the job centre, only to be told her interviewer had written she was planning to return to France, a statement she swears she did not make.

Another reason given for her non-entitlement was that she had paid no income tax in the year 2011/2012, during which time she was living in France. Carter has taken a course on CV writing and arranged a job interview herself, but is totally without funds and unable to support herself.

A Department of Works and Pensions spokeswoman stated Carter had not satisfied the Habitual Residence Test given to all returnees from overseas. She added that attachment to the UK and evidence of an intention to remain were essentials, although advice to applicants on how to provide the necessary assurance when homeless and without a job was not given.

Carter had lived in the UK for 49 years, returning from her three-year residence in France early in February for, she stated, personal reasons. She has no idea what to do, saying that migrants seem to be able to cheat the benefits system but a returning British citizen is not entitled to any help.
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Comments » There are 2 comments

Tanya.jazmin wrote 7 years ago:

OMG!! I came back from Egypt after 3 years away, i had slightly different circumstances, ie a daughter of 5 years, and self employed...but returned here homeless...been in temporary housing, received benefits....but facing homelessness again, as I left a council property Jan 2010...no faith in the UK system anymore...should have been a foreigner

Denise Brewer wrote 6 years ago:

I too returned to the UK in 2006 and was told by the job centre that they couldn't give me anything as I didn't qualify for any help but they could pay my contributions until I found a job. The person who dealt with me at the job centre was less than helpful. Fortunately I found a job after 2 weeks without any help whatsoever from anyone. It seems to me also that the staff at the job centres are getting paid to do nothing just like the people on benefits.

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