Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad
5. Illness, injury and disability benefits
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
You can get SSP if you’re eligible and either of the following apply:
- you work for a UK employer in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- you work outside the EEA and your employer pays National Insurance contributions for you
Contact your employer to claim SSP.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
There are 2 types of ESA - income-related or contribution-based.
You can get both of these for 4 weeks if you go abroad.
Talk to your local Jobcentre Plus before you go.
Going abroad for more than 4 weeks but less than a year
Tell your local Jobcentre Plus if you’re going abroad for more than 4 weeks.
You can carry on getting contribution-based ESA for up to 26 weeks if you’re going abroad for medical treatment for yourself or your child.
It doesn’t matter which country you go to.
Going abroad for more than a year
You can get contribution-based ESA in the EEA or Switzerland if you’re eligible and if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions.
Help and advice on ESA
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB)
If you’re getting Industrial Injuries Benefit for work-related accidents and illnesses, you can still get this in an EEA country.
Contact the office dealing with your benefit if you’re still in the UK, or the International Pension Centre if you’re living abroad.
Help and advice on IIDB
Benefits for carers and people with disabilities
Going abroad temporarily
You can claim the following benefits if you’re going abroad for up to 13 weeks (or 26 weeks if it’s for medical treatment):
You can carry on claiming Carer’s Allowance if you take up to 4 weeks holiday out of a 26-week period.
Tell the office that deals with your benefit that you’ll be away.
Going abroad permanently to another EEA country or Switzerland
You or a family member may be able to claim benefits if you:
- work in the UK or pay National Insurance in the UK because of work
- have paid enough National Insurance to qualify for contribution-based benefits
- are getting State Pension, Industrial Injuries Benefit, contribution-based ESA or bereavement benefits
If you’re eligible then you may be able to claim:
- Disability Living Allowance care component
- Personal Independence Payment living component
- Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance
You can’t claim Disability Living Allowance mobility component and Personal Independence Payment mobility component abroad.
If you already live in another EEA country or Switzerland
You don’t need to have claimed in the UK before you moved. But you must:
- be habitually resident in the EEA country or Switzerland
- have a genuine link with the UK social security system, for example you’ve lived or worked in the UK
Write to the exportability team to let them know what benefits you want to claim and where you live. They’ll decide what you get.
They look at claims for:
- the care component of Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
Pension, Disability and Carers Service
Warbreck Hill Road