Benefits while Abroad

Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad 


You may still be able to claim some benefits if you travel or move abroad, or if you’re already living abroad. What you’re entitled to depends on where you’re going and how long for. 

Who to contact if you’re going abroad  

Tell your local Jobcentre Plus (external link) or the office that pays your benefit if you’re going abroad. If it’s a temporary move, tell them when you’re coming back.  

You must also tell HMRC if you’re leaving the UK to retire abroad (external link).  

Claiming when abroad 

If you’re going to (or are already living in) a European Economic Area (EEA) country or one with a special agreement with the UK (external link), you may be able to claim: 

  • UK-based benefits  
  • benefits provided by the country you’re going to  

You’ll need a statement of National Insurance (external link) you’ve paid in the UK to get these benefits - unless you’re claiming Winter Fuel Payments (external link)

You can also claim your State Pension (external link) abroad. 

When you get your payment 

The date you get your payment depends on which benefit you claim. 

If you live abroad and your payment is due in the same week as a US bank holiday (external link), it could arrive one day late. This is because a US company processes these payments. 

Benefit fraud  

You’re committing benefit fraud (external link) if you: 

  • do not tell the office that pays your benefit you’re going abroad, even if it’s just for a visit  
  • deliberately do not report a change in your circumstances while abroad, like buying a property, working, or claiming a pension or benefit from another country 
  • are dishonest in order to get benefits, like continuing to claim the pension or benefit of someone who has died overseas 

Also see: