Claiming benefits when overseas

When you work for the UK government as a member of the Armed Forces you're known as a Crown servant.

This means that if you are posted abroad, you may still be able to claim tax credits and other benefits, just as if you were living in the UK, so you won’t be out of pocket.

Claiming tax credits

The Tax Credit Office will treat you as being in the UK if any of the following applies:

  • you are, or were just before you were posted abroad, 'ordinarily resident' in the UK 
  • you've had a series of postings abroad, with no breaks in between - and you are or were 'ordinarily resident' in the UK immediately before the first of those postings 
  • you were in the UK just before you were posted abroad and the reason you were in the UK was connected to your posting - this can apply to a single posting or to a series of postings

See Child Benefit and tax credits for more information.

did you know?

The Royal British Legion can help with your questions about state benefits. Find out if there's a branch overseas where you're posted or contact them online or by phone. 

Other benefits

You and your dependants may also be able to claim the following benefits:

Money fitness tip


Whatever your circumstances, stay MoneyFit by claiming benefits and tax credits, to help your money go further.

  • Maternity Allowance
  • Child Benefit 
  • Personal Independence Payment 
  • Incapacity Benefit (ongoing claim)
  • Jobseekers Allowance (in some European Union countries only) 

Use the Benefits calculators on the website to find out what you or your family may be eligible for.


National Insurance Contribution credits

If you are accompanied by your spouse or civil partner on an overseas posting, they will have a gap in their National Insurance contributions record (a contribution record is what qualifies someone to receive some contribution-related benefits and their State Pension).

The government has agreed that when a spouse or partner accompanies serving personnel on an overseas posting, they will receive class 1 National Insurance credits for the time they are abroad.

See National Insurance credits on for how to apply. Make sure you are MoneyFit by printing off the form from the website and getting it signed and stamped by your Families or Welfare officer before submitting your claim.

Overseas benefits

If posted in an EU country you may be able to to claim local additional benefits, for example Kindergeld in Germany. Speak to your Unit admin.


Last reviewed: 18/07/2019