Information

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Currently living in an EEA country or Switzerland or Gibraltar

If you currently live in an EEA country or Switzerland or Gibraltar

Check which countries are included in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Assistance from Social Security Scotland

If you currently live in an EEA country or Switzerland or Gibraltar you may be able to apply for:

You'll still need to meet the general eligibility rules to be able to get any of these. For example, you may need to be a carer or a young person.  

Some EEA countries do not have cold enough winters to qualify for Child Winter Heating Assistance.

Additional rules

You do not need to have applied in the UK before you moved. 

You must be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (unless you are moving to Republic of Ireland or Gibraltar). 

You might be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement if you're:

  • an EEA or Swiss national and you moved to the UK before 1 January 2021
  • a UK national and you moved to an EEA Country or Switzerland before 1 January 2021
  • you’re joining a family member who was in either the EEA country or the UK before 1 January 2021

If you need further information about your rights visit the GOV.UK page Withdrawal Agreement explainer for part 2: citizens’ rights

Ireland and Gibraltar have their own agreements with the Scottish Government. If you’re a British or Irish national and moved to Ireland from the UK you may be eligible regardless of when you moved.

If you’re any nationality living in Gibraltar and moved there from the UK you may also be eligible regardless of when you moved.

Residency

If you live in an EEA country, Switzerland or Gibraltar, Social Security Scotland need to ask about residency details to make a decision on your application.

Social Security Scotland may need to ask you about:

  • competent state
  • habitual residency
  • genuine and sufficient link to Scotland

Competent state

Social Security Scotland need to check that the UK is your competent state while living abroad. For example, you or your family member are in receipt of a UK state pension. 

Habitual residency

Social Security Scotland need to check that you have a settled purpose and have lived in your chosen European Economic Area country or Switzerland or Gibraltar for a reasonable time.

Genuine and sufficient link

This is if you do not live in Scotland, but have a link to Scotland. For example, you or a family member have spent a significant part of their life in Scotland. 

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