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Thread: How Harshly Is The Habitual Residency Rule Enforced Against Irish Citizens?

  1. #1

    Default How Harshly Is The Habitual Residency Rule Enforced Against Irish Citizens?

    This is the rule where to get certain social welfare payments eg what used to be called dole you have to have lived in this country or the common travel area that is the British Isles for 2 years continuously before you are entitled to it. It is supposed to be universally applicable to all claimants including Irish citizens and has been used as an excuse to deny payments for sure.
    I think when pushed they relent as it's by all accounts unconstitutional and they don't want to open the floodgates if it's proven so, where possibly all people living here would be fully entitled on losing a job to claim.
    Also has the UK desire to end the common travel area with us now been put firmly on the backburner as I seem to remember it was reported as such along with their national ID scheme.

  2. #2
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    I've had to sign on a few times over the last couple of years, and didn't have to prove residency at all. I had to show were i was living for the previous six months to get the rent supplement though.

  3. #3

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    The way you are treated may depend on your location and even though according to their rules you as an Irish citizen may have to satisfy the habitual rescidency requirement, it may be more strictly enforced against non-nationals. As I have said, a knowledgeable friend has told me it's unconstitutional when used against Irish citizens and they when pressed may relent in case of opening floodgates! Given that Thousands of Irish people were forced out of this country, it's outrageous in the extreme that this rule is there at all!! We after all pay children's allowance to take care of children, who have never set foot in this country and in cases it's at a level beyond the average industrial wage in some of those countries!

  4. #4

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    I heard Ring, Blueshirt social affairs spokesperson complaining about the way Irish citizens are being treated under it and that the interpretation is not clear cut and liable to change at a whim.
    It's basically obscene and a citizen can be caught under it, ie left with no social welfare entitlement when he/she comes back from Oz or The US, the common travel area, which I thought was just The British Isles seems to have broadened, depending on the Social Welfare officer to include The EU as a whole.

  5. #5
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    How harshly?

    Have a look at this story written by Jennifer Hough in the Examiner today

    WHEN Penny Fennessy’s elderly father suffered a stroke she gave up her life in England and moved to the small town of Clogheen in Tipperary to care for him.

    Although otherwise in good health, since his stroke, 63-year-old Patrick cannot drive or walk very far.

    Penny and her father share his one-bedroomed cottage at the foot of the picturesque Knockmealdown Mountain.

    Despite caring for her father on a 24-hour basis, Penny has been turned down for a carer’s allowance.

    As a result Penny and her father are being forced to survive solely on her father’s pension and emergency welfare payments.

    Despite being assured she would qualify for the allowance before she left England, Penny has been waiting almost a year for an appeal against the decision to refuse her the allowance. [...]


    I just want to care for my Dad | Irish Examiner

    Since the legislation was implemented in 2004, at least one returning Irish citizen has been refused assistance from the state every day due to an apparent failure to satisfy the HRC.

    From 2004 until the end of 2009, at least 3,407 Irish people have been refused welfare upon arrival back in Ireland. This is despite assurances from several ministers that the clause would not affect Irish people returning home.

    The latest pledge came in February when Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin stated in the Dáil: "Irish nationals returning to live in Ireland on a permanent basis should experience no difficulty in demonstrating that they satisfy the requirements of the habitual residence condition."
    Last edited by He3; 29th July 2010 at 10:34 PM.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

  6. #6

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    It is one of the most underestimated and under reported and generally unknown disgusting elements in our society at the moment!

  7. #7
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    looks like a lot o fpeople are affected by this - Over 3,000 returning Irish refused dole - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

    so if you do emigrate it will be very difficult to come back

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike kelly View Post
    looks like a lot o fpeople are affected by this - Over 3,000 returning Irish refused dole - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

    so if you do emigrate it will be very difficult to come back
    We have no job for you so leave. But if you do come back for whatever reason you are a non-citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sham96 View Post
    We have no job for you so leave. But if you do come back for whatever reason you are a non-citizen.
    citizens and non-citizens are treated equally. If you are a Nigerian or Pole, you have excatly the same staus as an irish citizen when it comes to welfare entitlements.

  10. #10
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    The residency clause only means that you have to show a common link to Ireland! That means if you are travelling or have been resident outside Ireland, and you decide to return, your common link can be your home, family, Irish bank account, moving all your furniture and possessions back to Ireland, closing down foreign bank accounts, looking for a job in Ireland, leaving foreign employment, and being able to show proof of the same.

    There are many elements of Social Welfare law that are and have been misinterpreted by public servants who are charged with administrating our public services. The question that needs to be asked is whether this misinterpretation of legislative provisions is deliberate and intentional, or maybe its just indicative of another element of maladministration!

    Obviously, there are other elements in our public services who seem to think that excessive bureaucracy and intitutional barriers will disincentivise alot of people from claiming benefits. Some do so in the hope that those claimants they are refusing don't know their way around Irish Social Services, they dont have the pre-requisite knowledge, and if and when their claim is refused, they either won't challenge that decision, or they won't have the resources or means at hand to put forward an effective case for appeal!

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