Living in the UK entitles many of us to certain benefits, whether they are for unemployment, housing, children or tax credits. Being part of the social security system in the UK is often something that we learn of as and when we need it, but when emigrating, claiming benefits can often be confusing. For many, the opportunity to claim any benefits at all will be lost on emigrating.
Social Security Benefits and Emigrating Within the EU
If you’re moving within the EU, you’re normally able to carry on receiving similar benefits to that which you received in the UK. Some benefits can’t be exported, such as housing benefit. You will be insured for social security purposes in the country you work in and are allowed to receive the same kind of benefits of nationals of that country. In order to do this, you must of course contribute at the same level as members of your new nation. This can be extremely beneficial, as it will entitle you to the rights of sickness and maternity benefits, work accident cover, unemployment supplements, family allowances and more. For countries that are within the EEA, you should have no problem with receiving comparable benefits.
Countries That Have Reciprocal Social Security Agreements with the UK
Many countries outside of the EEA have a system in place where individuals who migrate between the countries can receive similar social security benefits to those they receive in the UK. Countries such as Barbados, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Cyprus, Switzerland, Jamaica and others will honour the arrangement you have in the UK for your benefit entitlement. This means you generally won’t lose out on any benefits and may even be eligible for further benefits in your new country. Generally you need to provide proof of residence of your new country in order to start claiming any social security benefits.
Social Security Benefits and Moving to Australia
When you move to Australia, you will generally lose your right to social security claims for the first two years. In most visa applications for this country, you need to prove you’re able to be self-sufficient for the first two years, or alternatively have someone be your assurance of support for that time period. You’re not allowed to claim any benefits until you’ve been resident in Australia for 2 years and only then are you able to speak to your local benefits agency to find out what type of welfare you’re able to claim.
Obtaining a Social Security Number in the EU
The process of obtaining a social security number in most EU countries is fairly straight forward. You can simply attend any social security office with your passport and also a copy of it. You’ll then be asked to fill in a form, your permanent card is usually mailed to you soon after, however they are sometimes issued immediatly. It’s important to obtain your social security card and number as soon as possible, as it will give you the opportunity to receive any benefits you’re entitled to and will also mean you’re registered on the system of your new country. It’s very important to officially be recognised in this way and if you’re in any doubt as to what benefits you should be receiving, contact either your local social security office, or the British consulate in your new area.
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I'm Canadian that's lived and worked in uk for over 20 years I'm planning on returning home to Canada can I claim any unemployment benefits in Canada when I arrive to help me out financially until I find a job