by Benson Agoha | EU Law
Immigrants coming to Britain to find work may be excluded from claiming certain benefits, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice today.
The ECJ said in a press release No. 101/15, dated 15 September, 2015, that a "Member State may exclude Union citizens who go to that State to find work from certain non-contributory social security benefits."
Continuing the statements said foreigners who go to Germany to obtain social assistance or whose right of residence arises solely out of a search for employment are excluded from entitlement to German benefits by way of basic provision (‘Grundsicherung’).
In the judgment in Dano, 2 the Court of Justice recently held that such exclusion is also lawful in the case of Member State nationals who go to another Member State with no intention of finding employment there.
In a clarification application brought by the German Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht, Germany) in which it sought to ascertain whether such an exclusion is also lawful, concerning Union citizens who have gone to a host Member State to search for employment and have already worked for a period in that state, where those benefits are granted to nationals of the host member state who are in the situation.
Explaining further, the ECJ said the question arose in proceedings between the Jobcenter Berlin Neukölln and four Swedish nationals (a woman and her three children) who left the country and returned ten years later.
The ECJ said two of the children worked for a while (less than a year) and stopped. They were paid basic benefits or subsistence allowance usually given to the long-term unemployed.
But in 2012, the ECJ said the German Jobcenter in Berlin stopped further payment of benefits to the family because they no longer qualify to claim because their residency arose purely out of need for employment.
The German court then sought the view of the ECJ on the matter. Today, ECJ held, in its judgment delivered today, "that denying Union citizens whose right of residence in the territory of a host Member State arises solely out of the search for employment entitlement to certain ‘special noncontributory cash benefits’, which also constitute ‘social assistance’, does not contravene the principle of equal treatment."
Read the full statement released by the ECJ on the judgement today here >> [ EU MEMBERS MAY NOT QUALIFY TO CLAIM NON-CONTRIBUTORY BENEFITS].