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Child benefit still paid if moving abroad?

(43 Posts)
NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 12:43:58

Planning a move to Spain next year with my DC (I'm divorced) and I just called the Child Benefit help line to find out whether CB would still be paid when living abroad (moving permanently) but after holding for 45 mins they said they cannot tell me anything until I actually inform them that I'm moving and to call them again two weeks before I'm due to leave the country.

I would like to know beforehand though for budgeting purposes, and I was wondering whether anyone on here had any knowledge about this?

Thank you in advance

LIZS Wed 28-Oct-15 12:45:52

It isn't clear cut. I think you need to be intending to return, so not a permanent move as you'd then be eligible for the local equivalent.

NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 12:56:24

Ahh that makes sense. There is no equivalent in Spain though. Knowing that, doesn't everyone then just say they are going for say a year and then 'extend' the stay afterwards? My intention is for it to be a permanent move but if things don't work out I could also be back after a year or two (hopefully not though!)

VimFuego101 Wed 28-Oct-15 13:03:50

When we moved to the US DH called to let them know and it was stopped. I would be curious to know if it's different within the EU though.

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Wed 28-Oct-15 13:05:07

You get child benefit or its equivalent from, and according to the rules of, the EU country in which you (the parent) are resident, not from your country of origin. Moving to some EU countries would see you receive more child benefit than in the UK, but it looks as if you won't receive anything in Spain unless on a very low income:

A quick google reveals this document

17 says "Unless a child is disabled, family benefits are not paid when the family income exceeds a certain amount (i.e. €11,490.43, increased to €17,293.82for families with three dependent children and by a further €2,801.12 for each subsequent dependent child)"

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Wed 28-Oct-15 13:11:17

I was trying to link to this, sorry, link failed so I'll just paste it and you can cut and paste the address to your browser if you want to look:

NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 13:12:33

Thank you all. And yes, that's correct, there is no equivalent in Spain; in fact as a single mother with 3DC and working there's no financial help from the government over there (no WTC or CTC either).

Maybe because there's no equivalent financial help they would continue to pay it? I wish it was a clear cut, it would be great to be able to budget properly and plan the move accordingly...

mintbiscuit Wed 28-Oct-15 13:13:30

Eh? If you are no longer resident in the UK or paying taxes here how can you be eligible to claim child benefit?

Floggingmolly Wed 28-Oct-15 13:14:40

Will receiving / not receiving Child Benefit really be the deciding factor in whether to move to Spain or not?

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Wed 28-Oct-15 13:16:10

We're in Germany and receive German child benefit (which is much more generous than in the UK). It matters where you are resident, not whether your move is permanent. I think even non EU families get it when here on an ex-pat visa... I could be wrong there but I am fairly sure I've heard American ex-pats living here talking about it, moaning about how long it takes to come through etc. (not 100% of their spouses nationalities though). Anyway that's beside the point - if you are resident local rules apply.

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Wed 28-Oct-15 13:18:11

There is no way you'll get UK child benefit if resident in Spain. You'd have to still be officially resident at your/ a UK address, which would probably be fraud.

LIZS Wed 28-Oct-15 13:18:30

It may be something employers provide locally though, rather than state. Continued eligibility for UK child benefit would be dependent on where you are deemed resident, which has a specific definition. In theory it is possible to receive it when living elsewhere in EU just as other EU residents receive UK cb even for non UK resident children atm.

NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 13:18:32

It won't be a deciding factor in the move but it will influence the type of accommodation/area we will be allowed to live.

Mint - a fair point. DC are British citizens though, wouldn't be they entitled to that help as the country they are moving to doesn't provide anything similar? Also, their father lives in the UK and pays taxes here.

Shutthatdoor Wed 28-Oct-15 13:19:32

Maybe because there's no equivalent financial help they would continue to pay it?


You will be living in another country and not paying NI or UK tax hmm

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Wed 28-Oct-15 13:19:37

They probably have a dodgy old policy of not telling people that on the helpline in case instead of using the info simply to budget, people use it to decide not to inform them of the move.

Shutthatdoor Wed 28-Oct-15 13:20:29

Cross posts, however my point still stands.

Personally I don't see why you should be able to.

LIZS Wed 28-Oct-15 13:21:28

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 28-Oct-15 13:21:38

When I emigrated to Australia, I received child benefit for 12 weeks and then it was stopped - if I'd returned, I could have continued to receive it. Once you're out of the country, that's it. But that was a few years ago (2009) and the rules have changed since then, so I don't know if that even still applies.

OddBoots Wed 28-Oct-15 13:22:07

Sounds like it is best to budget that you won't get it, if after telling then honestly your plans you do still get it then that's a bonus.

NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 13:22:43

There is no way you'll get UK child benefit if resident in Spain. You'd have to still be officially resident at your/ a UK address, which would probably be fraud . It does make sense but why don't they then make it clear cut and say that if you start living abroad then you automatically stop receiving CB?

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Wed 28-Oct-15 13:26:27

I guess your ex might be able to receive it for the children, if he could prove he had at least 50% responsibility... that might be a grey area. What matters is the official residency of the parent - but where they are resident in different EU countries from one another I don't know.

Parents receive it in the country they are resident in, regardless of where the children are as far as I know, though I am sure there must be situations as LIZ describes where the parent remains a UK resident somehow and is only in the other country to work - presumably that must involve fixed term UK contracts (not being on a local Spanish contract) and still being in all the UK systems as resident.

NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 13:26:40

Thank you all, esp that link LIZS smile. It would have been great to continue to receive it but it does make sense that as I won't be paying taxes in the UK they shouldn't be paying CB. I just wish they were clearer about it on the phone!

NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 13:29:34

Yes, I think that's the case; someone living abroad but still being employed and paying taxes by a company based in the UK.

XH will only be seeing the DC during the school holidays (and even that is debatable given his poor commitment to them so far); him receiving it instead wouldn't be an option.

MindfulBear Wed 28-Oct-15 13:48:29

No. It will be stopped. It is a british benefit. When my parents moved overseas (with the EU) it stopped.
If you go for a long time then remember your child will not automatically get a NI number at 16yo so will need to apply at the DSS office when s/he wants to work in the UK. (For some reason the receipt of an automatic NI number is linked to child benefit!)

NoMoreMrRight Wed 28-Oct-15 14:07:33

Thank you!

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