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Change of circumstances - Going Abroad

If you are in receipt of benefits and go abroad, your benefits may be affected.

Benefits while abroad

Short absences for holidays abroad do not affect most benefits. However, your entitlement to certain benefits can change if:

  • you live abroad permanently
  • you live in the EEA, Switzerland or a country which has a reciprocal agreement with the UK

(Going abroad is usually defined as going outside the United Kingdom).

If you want information about receiving your benefits during a temporary or permanent absence, you must inform the Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office.

For State Pension queries:

For other queries please contact:

Overseas Benefits Unit
Network Support Branch
Newtownabbey J&Bo
39-41 Church Road
Newtownabbey
BT36 7LB
  • telephone: 028 9560 6847 and 028 9560 6868

You will need to tell them:

  • your name and National Insurance number or the reference number shown on any correspondence which you received previously
  • your address abroad
  • the date you went abroad or the date you will leave the United Kingdom
  • the method of payment you require
  • whether the absence will be temporary or permanent (if temporary tell us how long it is likely to last)
  • whether your spouse or civil partner and any or all of your children live abroad with you

Benefits affected by going abroad Benefits not affected by going abroad
Attendance Allowance Industrial Death Benefit
Bereavement Benefits Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Carer's Allowance Retirement Allowance
Constant Attendance Allowance
Disability Living Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance
Housing Benefits
Incapacity Benefit
Income Support
Jobseeker's Allowance
Maternity Allowance
Over 80's Pension
Pension Credit
Reduced Earnings Allowance
Severe Disablement Allowance
State Retirement Pension
Unemployability Supplement
War Pensions
Widow's Benefits

You must tell the Social Security office that pays your benefit that you are going abroad so that they can arrange payment during the absence -if required.

Employment and Support Allowance

If you are in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance this may be affected if you go away from home.

In some circumstances, you may keep getting Employment and Support Allowance for up to four weeks during temporary trips abroad. This may apply:

  • for some short trips
  • if you have to go abroad to get medical treatment
  • if you live with a member of the armed forces and go overseas with them.

If you get Employment and Support Allowance and you plan to go abroad, you must tell the Employment and Support Allowance Centre straight away to check if your benefit will be affected.

If you are able to get Employment and Support Allowance while you are abroad, you can arrange for someone else to get your payment for you while you are away. Or you can be paid when you get back and in some circumstances, you can have it paid to you abroad.

Pension Credit

You should contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre for information on how temporary or permanent absence abroad affects your Pension Credit

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