If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

This category is now closed


Please visit the relevant category below to post your question or join the conversation:


Carer's Allowance


Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)


PIP and DLA


Universal Credit


What benefits am I entitled to?


View all categories

Going abroad for medical treatment

RSISolutionsRSISolutions Posts: 81Member Connected
I am thinking of going abroad for 3 months of rehabilitation and medical treatment after years of physiotherapy treatment here in the uk being unsuccessful, The place I am thinking of going to is ran be medically qualified specialists. The owner of the medical center was trained in the UK and is a surgeon (although I wont need surgery). 

I am on Income based ESA, support group and receive SMI.  I live in Scotland. I have between £6,000 and £16,000 worth of savings. 
1. How long can I go abroad for without my benefits being stopped? 
2. I will have to pay for the treatment privately, What criteria do I have to satisfy to ensure the money I spend is not looked at as Intentional Deprivation of Capital? 

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,858Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @RSISolutions

    According to the gov.uk website, you can go abroad for medical treatment and continue claiming benefits for up to 26 weeks. Hopefully a benefits advisor will be able to help you out with your query about Deprivation of Capital. Hope this helps and good luck!
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,660Member Pioneering
    Hello RSIsolutions

    It is correct that ESA can be paid for the first 26 weeks, if an absence is unlikely to exceed 52 weeks, and it is for treatment for an illness directly related to the reason why you are unable to work.  The treatment must also be carried out by or under the supervision of  a person qualified to give medical treatment. 

    Deprivation is case dependent.  That is, it will be relevant to ask or consider in each case, for example:

    - the purposes which led the claimant to act as they did,

    - the claimants knowledge of benefit rules,

    -the claimants character or health

    The DWP must find that a person knew of the capital limits. The DWP may point to leaflets issued to the claimant, if a tariff income is already being applied, length of time on benefits as inference of knowledge to capital rules.

    As such, there is no right or wrong answer to your question.  Ultimately it will be up to the DWP/tribunal to decide if a person acted as they did to ensure they received or retained benefit or for some other reason e.g. to improve health. 

    Maria Solomon

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Posts: 81Member Connected
    edited November 2017
    Hi @BenefitsTrainingCo. What if a person knows about the £6,000 to £16,000 rule and is prepared to admit that but they still feel they want to go abroad for medical treatment as both
    1. what is available in the UK has been tried and hasn't worked for them
    2. The treatment available abroad isn't available in the UK

    Would that person be allowed to go abroad for treatment and 
    1. Still receive benefits ?
    2. The spending of savings would not be seen as 'Intentional deprecation of funds', but as an honest attempt to try to get better so they can work? 

    The plan would be to write to the DWP first and ask them if they can go abroad, admitting knowledge of the £6,000 to £16,000 limits. Who do you write to ? Do you have a contact ? 

  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Posts: 81Member Connected
    Hi @BenefitsTrainingCo, would it be possible to get an answer to the question above posted on 22/11/2017? thank you. 
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,858Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @RSISolutions, the benefits advisors are receiving a particularly high volume of queries at the moment so there may be a delayed response time, but somebody will be in touch as soon as possible. You might find this contact information for existing claimants useful though. Have a great day!
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Posts: 81Member Connected
    no problem. thank you
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,660Member Pioneering
    edited November 2017
    Hi RSISolutions,

    The DWP have to prove that you have deprived yourself of Capital in order to remain entitled to or increase your benefit entitlement. I always find it is very difficult for them to do so. If you want to go abroad for medical treatment that isn't available in the UK and your primary intention is to get better and this will help you do so, then I don't see how they could argue otherwise. If you provided a letter from your GP or consultant that advises you to take this journey for medical reasons then that should be all you need.
    However, despite any advice we can give, the DWP decision maker will make the decision that they think is right and they may not necessarily look at it in the same way as we do, so if they make a decision unfavourably to you it doesn't mean it'll be right and will need to be disputed.
    You'd need to write to the DWP, for the exact address you should find a recent letter from them and their address would be on there. It is a post handling site in Wolverhampton that it'd need to be sent to. I don't think there is any need at this point to say that you know about the capital limits either. Let them ask the question or make the inference themselves.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Posts: 81Member Connected
    Thank you @BenefitsTrainingCo. Should I tell them of the money spent before or after I go? 

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,660Member Pioneering
    Hello RSISolutions

    This may depend on when the medical fees are paid. If fees are paid up front or part up front which reduce capital then like going abroad it is  a relevant change of circumstances that the DWP need to be told about. The DWP may want to know why fees were paid upfront rather than at the end of treatment when medical costs incurred are more certain. 

    Maria
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Posts: 81Member Connected
    edited December 2017
    Hi @BenefitsTrainingCo.

    1. I have just phoned the DWP up and they tell me I can only receive benefits If I go abroad for medical treatment paid for by the NHS. Is this true?

    2. Will my Mortgage Interest Payments (MIP) stop if I go abroad for medical treatment ?

    3. Is there only certain types of treatment that you are allowed to have abroad and still get ESA? Where can I see the decision makers guide on these rules?

    thank you
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Posts: 81Member Connected
    edited December 2017
    I have been referred to this decision makers document by the DWP about getting benefits whilst abroad on medical treatment. 

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658452/dmgch0702.pdf

    sections 071727, 071728 and 071729
Sign in or join us to comment.