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Everything posted by Grecian

  1. Having just got back from France, firstly I would like to thank ebaynut for being 'on the case' regarding his efforts in trying to ascertain from Blackpool, exactly what the ruling means, and passing on his findings of who to contact, if making any sort of claim. I have read through the entire statement on the DWP site in relation to the DLA/CA judgement, and must say I am a little bit confused. If I have read the statment correctly, are the UK government trying to link the exportability of DLA care component, to being in receipt of long-term incapacity benefit? As I must admit that is how I read it, if this is the case then if IB were to be taken away, then the DLA payment and thus an E121 would go with. Thus taking us back to square one. I will be telephoning Blackpool myself tomorrow, and writing a letter as advised by ebaynut. Still not having total clarity regarding the ruling, is putting us in an awkward position, as we have found a property we think we would like to make an offer on, but with all the indecision going on, makes our decsion all the more difficult.  
  2. Well ebaynut, at least we will know one way or the other on Thursday. I emailed Blackpool on Monday, enquiring again why the reference had been removed from their website, but as yet have had no reply, and I guess I won't now before Thursday. We are coming over to France tomorrow, so I will have to access the website on Thursday, from my mate's computer. Let's hope it is good news. [geek]  
  3. Well ebaynut looks like you and I will have to sweat over the decision a while longer yet. I never realised that the reference to the ECJ ruling was also cited under the Britons Living Abroad page, but as you say the reference to 5th April has been removed. Gut feeling tells me that this doesn't bode well, with this government trying to save every penny at the moment, I guess they feel if they can wriggle out of paying DLA to any Brit  living within the EU they will. What seems pretty obvious is that the decision isn't now going to be announced by 5th April. The guy I spoke to at Newcastle said the ECJ lawyers were in discussion with the UK lawyers regarding the decision, and that the UK government are worried that anybody from the EU can claim the benefit after 6 months of living within the UK, and then return to their own country with the benefit.    
  4. Not sure if there is anything sinister in this, regarding the possible exporting of the care element of DLA to another EU country, following the ECJ ruling 18th October 2007, but on DWP's website the reference to the ruling has been removed completely. I telephoned Newcastle asking why this reference has been removed, and enquired as to whether a decision had been reached. The gentleman I spoke to did not know why the reference had been removed, and the staff at Newcastle have not yet been informed of the UK governments decision. Just seems a little suspicious the reference has been removed, with no explanation as to the outcome either way.  
  5. Many thanks for the replies regarding fees and taxes. I have three different website stored for properties, in the area we think we may want to live. Two include all fees and taxes, the other does not. Is there a general percentage figure to be added to any property, that is advertised not to include all fees and taxes, or is it down to the individual immobilier/notaire?  
  6. When a house is advertised stating that all notaire and agency fees are included, does this mean that the price advertised, is in fact the final price you will have to pay? Or are there any further taxes/costs etc to be added to the selling price shown? Thanks in advance for any replies.  
  7. Thanks Coops for tracking down the info on the E123, as you say it clearly states there, what I was told this morning. I can appreciate the lady you are talking about regarding her withdrawn E121 must be very distressed at the moment, as she seems to have fallen between two stools so to speak. The only information I was told this morning from DWP regarding future assessments if living in France, was that as it stands at the moment the receipient will receive a reassessment form to fill out, as my wife does now, if DWP are not satisfied with this they will request she attend a medical by a French doctor, for which DWP will pay for. If she is not happy with this scenario, or lacking French language skills, she can be examined by a doctor in the UK, but this option would be at her own expense. This does not allow for any future developments regarding reassessment of IB claimants from 2010, or if a Conservative government is formed after the next general election, with their policy simply stating that all IB claimants will be reassessed. All very worrying for anybody who considers they are genuine claimants, especially now with the 5 year residency law, and not being allowed access to PHI even if they are prepared to pay for it. ebaynut, we can only keep our fingers crossed the ruling goes our way, and an E121 is granted via DLA, I think any future government would have trouble in trying to tell somebody that in fact they are not disabled, and thus revoke thier E121. We can only hope.  
  8. After telephoning Newcastle this morning regarding the E121 situation, and Industrial Injury Benefit, I was informed that for the industrial injury, DWP issue a separate 'E' form which is an E123. This form alas, only covers healthcare for the injury sustained, and no other part of healthcare in France. The lady I spoke to did not know anything about the section on the back of the E121, which Larry alluded to, and had to ask somebody else regarding the situation with industrial injury, so I only hope I have been given the right information, regarding a matter as serious as this. I also telephone the DLA helpline enquiring if anything had been decided regarding the ECJ ruling on exporting the benefit, the gentleman I spoke said that they had not been informed of the decision regarding payment, but hopes it will be forthcoming shortly. I then proceeded to ask him a hypothetical question, that if the benefit is deemed exportable would this qualify for an E121, he seemed to think that it would, but I got the feeling that it was only his opinion. I know ebaynut is hot on this case, so I hope he/she has more luck that me, in trying to get an answer to the DLA/E121 position. Starting a gite business however small, just to qualify to join CMU, seems the best/safest option at the moment.  
  9. Hi Coops, not getting too carried away here with the info you have just posted, regarding the magic E121 piece of paper. Are you saying that if the receipient is in receipt of industrial injury benefit, then they are entitled to an E121, on the terms you have stated, i.e. 100% cover for the injury, and then 70% ish for the rest. This could be very beneficial to our situation if this is the case, this would mean that if my wife were to lose her IB, thus her E121, the fact that she is also in receipt of industrial injury benefit, could save the day for us regarding healthcare cover in the first 5 years. Nothint to do with this thread, but is anybody else experiencing difficulty accessing the forum, or is it just me?    
  10. Sorry BAF it will mean that the decision as to whether the receipient of IB, is or isn't fit for work, will be in the hands of a private company, as opposed to the decision of a doctor. If the individual is deemed 'fit for work', and in effect is not physically fit, and has a pre-existing medical condition, if they haven't qualified for the 5 year residency, they will be kicked out of France. Simple as that.    
  11. We can only hope this is more Labour spin, if you read the provided link, it appears that the government has only put aside 10 million pounds, to implement the whole scheme for some 2.6 million people. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/14/njobs114.xml  
  12. I would like to thank everybody in the 'second wave' of responses, for their comments, and suggestions. Rob Roy, I have read a lot about the prospects for employment for the over 50's, and know it could well be a struggle to find employment, so many thanks for pointing out the pitfalls. dowot, glad to hear you are in employment, and many thanks for the encouragement, the job you have sounds just fine to me, plenty of exercise, and you will get to meet a lot of different people on your round. Earning minimum wage would not be a problem, so I hope I am setting my sights low enough to enable me to find a job, of some description. Using an employment agency or job centre, I hope would  give me the opportunity to find employment. Nice to know you can tune-in to Radio 4 for the cricket, we just need a team to make it worth listening to now! Never been the same since Botham retired! Cathy, sound advice in suggesting renting initially, that is what we are planning to do, and will be looking into the rental side of things when we come out to France in April. I see from your location you live part of your life in Bristol, I was born just down the road from you in Exeter, still rather be in Yorkshire now though, (hopefully France in the future). Gapster/Bastet, thanks for your observations. Gapster I don't really want to go back into the print trade either.        
  13. Many thanks for taking the trouble to answer my request, regarding employment prospects for an old man! Cassandra, thanks for posting the info regarding employment agencies, I have managed via a Google search, to find several Adecco agencies in the area we are proposing to move to, so will be popping to pay them a visit, when we come over to France in April. Ian, many sensible suggestions within you post, being the sort of sad person that I am, I do in fact have all my original certificates pertaining to my qualifications, (must try and get out more!) Benjamin I have sent you an email. Richard  
  14. My wife and I are considering making the move to France this year. Having done considerable reseach, sold our UK house, and are now living in rented accommodation, we have been hit sideways with the post 23rd November scenario, regading our healthcare cover. My wife currently receives long-term incapacity benefit, which will qualify her for an E121, thus covering 70% of her French healthcare costs, with this benefit looking more and more vunerable, as both political parties now seem hellbent on out toughing each other, with how many each will get off IB if elected. Only today the Labour minister is proclaiming that they will use private companies, to get 1.9 million people off IB and back to work. Nice to know our welfare is to be farmed out to the private sector. Obviously if we make the move and my wife loses her E121, within the 5 year period, she would be expelled from France, as she would be unable to obtain private healthcare cover, for any of the 5-year period remaining. Not good. I have no problem in seeking employment in France, thus enabling us to contribute to, and join CMU, via our 8% contribution, the only problem I can see with this cunning plan is, if what I have read regarding the over 50s and employment in France, this could prove quite difficult. We are looking to move to The Vendee and live within a town, as opposed to being in a remote village, so hopefully there may be more employment opportunites within this environment, than living totally rural. As like most Brits coming across, we are taking French lessons at the moment, but nowhere near being proficient. My trade is in priting, but I was made redundant back in 1999, and have not been in the trade since. Since then I have been quite happy to take any job that has come along, on a lot less money. Getting back to the title of this thread, I am prepared within reason, to do anything job wise, so realistically what are the propsects of finding any sort of employment to enable us to remain living in France. Also do the French have employment agencies, that send people off to jobs, even if they are only on a temporary basis. Any comments will be gratefully received.  
  15. Thanks for the reply Coops, if somewhat depressing. Just after the healthcare ruling was announced,  I remember reading a thread on here regarding the possibility of a healthcare provider looking into providing a policy for people with existing chronic conditions. I fully appreciate that the premium, if the policy were to be available, would have a substantial loading attached to it. This would be preferrable for a few years, rather than being expelled from France, if the loss of the benefit came about. Have you had any feedback, from any healthcare providers, if this policy will be offered anytime in the future? The ruling as to whether DLA will be exportable after April, for us carries more significance than ever, if as the ECJ have ruled, the care element of that benefit is paid by DWP, then the possibility of an E121 on the basis of receiving DLA might be feasible, according to other posters on this website. A safer route for us of obtaining an E121, and not having to fear having it taken away, on the whim of a political party. Finally enough said, to the response to my last sentence, of my first post. [;-)]  
  16. I must say Coops, you have laid the facts out very clearly regarding the requirements from the French government, for healthcare cover for future inactifs, with chronic diseases proposing to move to France. After reading this thread it has somewhat knocked me sideways. Whilst I was fully aware of the new 5-year residency ruling for anybody moving to France, after 23rd November, who proposed to be an 'inactif'. I was not aware we would not be able to purchase PHI, if we were to lose my wife's E121, which she will be eligible for, due to her claiming long-term incapacity benefit. I assumed we would be able to purchase PHI, and in her case pay for any other medication that the insurance company would not pay for, as it would be down to a pre-existing condition. Not an ideal situation to be gambling with, but that was how, up until now I understood it. Just to add a little more information to this thread, I am not sure if this has been posted before, or is in fact already common knowledge, but another member on this forum, emailed this link to me regarding dependency of pensioners for healthcare after 2010. Link: http://www.connexionfrance.com/expatriate-news-article.php?art=57 I telephoned Newcastle asking about this 'development' but she said that DWP were unaware of this proposal at the moment. Going back to the topic in hand, just to sum-up, basically if we lost my wife's E121 before the 5 year reisdency period has been satisfied, we are basically screwed. Just to get things totally clear in my mind, this proposal as I think I understand it, is just for 'inactifs', so if I found employment (mission impossible, from what I have read for a 51 year-old), we would be able to contribute to CMU. The other option being maybe cleaning for a friend, who then maybe does my gardening, and then we pay each other, thus being able to declare a wage.[Www]  
  17. cooperlola, many thanks for all your sensible comments you have put forward on this thread, regarding people maybe losing their E121, due to a change in the system, and thus finding themselves stranded in France without any healthcare cover until retirement age, or 5 years residency. Having not looked at this thread until this evening, there seems to have been some 'fireworks' flying, with all the edits within the thread, hope I haven't caused too much aggro. We are coming over to France again early April to make a final decision if France is the place for us, purely on a lifestyle basis, then we will have to take into consideration the healthcare situation. When we first considered the move, we factored in losing DLA, but keeping IB, thus healthcare cover for 70%, plus the top-up cost. Ironically it seems that part of DLA maybe exportable, making that side of things better. We were basing our decision on, if IB were to be stopped, then we could enter CMU via the 8% contribution, now as we know that will not be possible for 5 years. So some very tough decisions to be made. As my wife lives in constant pain, and pops painkillers daily like smarties, there really shouldn't be any problem in her continuing to receive her IB, but as you stated this could be at the whim of whatever doctor examines her on the day, in the future. All very unsettling.    
  18. Well, I would like to thank everybody at the start of this thread who tried to convey sensible answers, to my original question, as I stated in the title maybe a strange one. But it now seems to have degenerated into who is, and who is not a IB scrounger, very sad I must say. I would also like to echo ebaynut's sentiments, that most people who post on this forum to be very sensible and helpful, please keep up the good work. Whilst not being in such a bad position as the people who's 106s have just run out, and find themselves now stranded in France, without any healthcare cover from their new adopted country. We sold our house in the UK just as Sarko dropped his bombshell. We are obviously better off than the people already in France, knowing what to expect regarding healthcare, if we still decide to make the move. So trying to ascertain everything we can regading E121s, if we decide to take the plunge, is paramount in our future planning, thus that is why I asked the original question. Not wishing to be drawn into the now degenerated thread, I would just like to say it is nice to know that 'call me Dave' has discovered a new skill to add to his CV, that being a fully qualified doctor, who is capable of diagnosing 200,000 people without an examination!  
  19. Alan totally agree with your sentiments, and no the move to France would not be for financial reasons, hopefully for a far better quailty of life, and to leave the UK before it finally disappears down the plughole. Saying that the difference on the price of property we are looking at, as it stands at the moment, would be somewhere near £12,000-£15,000 more expensive now, due to the exchange rate going against us. Just trying to hedge our bets and hope things turn back in our favour somewhere in the medium term. If we choose to rent in France, as opposed to the UK as we are at the moment, at least we will be experiencing the French way of life, without any ties if things don't turn out as we have hoped.  
  20. Many thanks for all the feedback, it has all been most helpful. DerekJ, I can certainly relate to what you have posted, regarding the fall in value of the pound versus the euro. We to started looking back in the summer, and using a rough exchange rate of about 1.46 euros to the pound, now it is somewhere near 1.36 euros to the pound, I find myself thinking how much extra we will have to pay at the current exchange rate. Logan, sound advice regarding waiting hopefully for the pound to appreciate against the euro before making a purchase. I know the ECB are still talking tough regarding inflation, and not dropping interest rates at the moment, but if the credit crunch starts to bite in euroland, then I think they will have to cut interest rates, and hopefully this will then weaken the value of the euro. Taking into account everything that has been posted, I think if we still make the move to France, renting in France, and hoping the exchange rate will swing in our favour eventually, and take a chance against French house prices rising too quickly. Cat, thanks for the deletion, never felt a thing!    
  21. Can anybody tell me the current rate of French house price inflation, I appreciate that like the UK, different regions will be rising or falling quicker than others, just a general overview of the current situation would be appreciated. Are prices still rising in France at the moment, as opposed to stalling/falling in the UK? We are looking at purchasing a property in The Vendee, so any local knowledge of prices there would be appreciated. With the pound now in freefall against the euro, this obviously will make our purchase a lot more expensive as it stands at the moment, so whether to rent in France and hope the exchange rate goes in our favour in the future could be a possibility, if French house price inflation has slowed or stopped. Any comments will be much appreciated.  
  22. Having just ploughed through this entire thread again, just to get things clear in my mind regarding what you have or have not got to pay social charges on, another question has occurred to me. If the 5 year rule is brought in regarding access to CMU, and if after 5 years you have forked out for PHI for that period, if not in possession of an E form, if I have this correct, you will then be allowed to access to CMU via 8% contribution of all income, would any money stashed away in a PEA or Assurance Vie be excluded from the 8% levy?  
  23. Suninfrance many thanks for your reply, even though you aimed it at Tony! At the moment we still live in the UK, we have sold our house and are in rented accommodation, thinking hard about the move to France, so obviously my wife does not have an E121 at the moment. She has phoned DWP and they have confirmed that she is entitled to one, and I can be added as a dependent. She has recently had to fill in an IB50 form regarding her current medical situation, and they have accepted this, and have told her she will be reassed in 5 years time. At the moment things would seem fine, even with the proposed/imminent changes to the French healthcare system, but with both the government and the opposition making noises about getting people off IB and back into work, the picture is somewhat clouded. The benefit changes its name next year, along with proposed changes aimed at stopping people getting onto IB in the first place, supposedly existing claimants will not be affected, until funds become available to 'attack' all IB claimants. So I think the fact that your OH is on long term IB may not preclude him from being reassed in the future, I think it is best to be warned of anything that may come your way, rather than not knowing. cheryla good point you make about paid for NI contributions, as opposed to credited NI contributions, I must admit I hadn't thought of that, I will make a phone call to DWP as to how we would stand regarding an E106 and credited NI contributions. As I said in the title of the thread, maybe a strange original question, but with the current situation prevailing, I am investigating all avenues at the moment.  
  24. woolybanana My wife says she would prefere a treacle mine, as opposed to a coal mine! Tony The thought has crossed my mind to contact Newcastle, but the way things are at the moment, I don't want to go putting thoughts into their heads. BAF To your statement I would say: 'why not'. I personally don't think it right that anyone entering the UK, who has paid zilch in NI contributions, is allowed to draw benefits from day one, but I guess that is life. Will My wife paid full NI contributions for over 20 years, up until her accident at work, which has wrecked her back for life. Also she gets NI credits due to her being on IB, so she has a full record as regards to her NI contributions. Likewise I also have a full record.  
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