People from Abroad


If you meet the criteria and have the details requested, we may be able to help with housing and council tax benefit.

Please find your country and follow the guidelines. 

EEA States

For the following countries:

(Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Bulgaria, Crotia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lativa, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland)

  • Are you working, is your partner working?
  • Are you or your partner actively seeking work, either by claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Income Support?
  • Are you or your partner actively seeking work, currently just out of work and looking for instant work, (where we can pay on short period reviews)
  • The worker needs to make the claim
  • You have to be economically active; for example if you are student you will not be entitled to receive help with your rent and council tax benefit
  • Do you own property abroad, if so do you intend to return there, is it up for sale or been kept for any other reason?
  • Once you have been in the country legally for 5 years you are habitually resident. You are then treated in the same way as if you were a UK citizen.

Non – EEA Nationals

  • Most non EEA nationals have no recourse to public funds
  • There are exceptions through the virtue of marriage, but you may lose this right if the marriage status was to change. Successful Asylum Seekers who have indefinite leave to remain for compassionate reasons or are in the UK as family members of EEA nationals
  • Do you have a Family Permit, Residence Card or Permanent Residence Card, which would advise us of your current status as regards to public funds?
  • Your passport can also advise of your availability to public funds.

Are you habitually resident?

If you do not pass this test you will not receive any housing or council tax support. Each case is considered on its own merits, usually a series of questions will be asked to help establish whether you are habitually resident in the UK. These are not fixed in law but are intended to discover the duration, continuity and durability of your residence in the UK.

The Habitual Residence Test (HRT) was introduced from 1 August 1994 as a test of habitual residence in the Common Travel Area. Since 1 May 2004, anyone who claimed an income-related benefit (Income Support, Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance, State Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support) has been required to show that they have a right to reside in the Common Travel Area. The HRT is a two stage test of the right to reside in the UK or the other area of the CTA. The test is applied to people who have arrived or returned to live in the UK within two years of claiming an income-related benefit.

On 30 April 2006, a new European Community (EC) Directive on the rights of free movement in the EC, introduces new rights of residence for EC nationals. The most significant change is the introduction of a right of residence for the first three months to everyone, including economically inactivity people (for example, a retired person).

More detailed information about the rules relating to people from abroad and housing and council tax benefit, including the changes from April 2006, can be found in the Department for Work and Pensions Resource Centre.

Immigration status test

Under the Immigration Status Test we have to establish the terms of a claimant’s entry or stay in the UK. Claimants who do not satisfy the test are known as ‘people subject to immigration control’ and are not entitled to housing benefit or council tax benefit.


If you are required to be self-sufficient then you must support yourself financially and will not be able to claim benefits.

However all information will need to be brought into our counter or posted into our offices. It will then be verified by a revenues and benefits officer, before we can guarantee benefit will be paid, even though you may feel you meet the criteria above.

Evidence Required for Claim

Non Dependents


Absence from Home

Bedroom Reduction

Local Housing Allowance Rates

Disputes & Appeals