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IMPORTANT POINTS ON PENSION CREDIT: (Due to many requests from gurkhas.com visitors, this information was kindly forwarded by GWO Capt. (Retd.) Gary Ghale so as to clarify important points on the Pension Credit. We hope it will be helpful to many others too, to dispel any confusions)
a. Frequency of Visit to Nepal – elderly Gurkhas who are in receipt of Pension Credit (PC) could have their PC stopped if they go to Nepal too frequently – this
indicates to the authorities that their interest to settle is more inclined towards Nepal than in the UK. This also applies to any British expatriates who come back to settle in the UK. All their investments, savings, property, friends and family in Nepal will all be taken into account when making this decision.
b. Overstay in Nepal Beyond the Entitled 13 Week Period – their PC will be stopped and they will have to go through the Habitual Resident Test (HRT) - this means they will have to wait for 6 months before they can re-apply for the benefit. If overpayment has been made after the 13 week period, they will be asked to pay back the amount giving options on payments. They may be prosecuted if they fail to pay back the owed money.
c. Couple Separate – should elderly Gurkhas in receipt of PC separate, they will have to go through the HRT and apply for benefits respectively.
d. Pension Credit Cheque Payment – this practice will cease from 1st April. Therefore it is vital that those who have been receiving cheques until now, must open up a bank account forthwith and inform their relevant Pension Services Centre accordingly. Without a bank account, they will not receive any PC.
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