Freedom of movement and parental benefit

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The Swedish Supreme Court has granted a leave to appeal in case 6869-17, in which The Swedish Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) has denied parental benefit to a woman that is a resident in Sweden but has worked in Germany.

The case revolves around whether the Swedish Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) interpreted correctly Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems when it denies the woman in question parental benefit. The Swedish Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) claims that the woman belongs to the German social insurance system, a claim that is opposed by both the woman and the German authorities.

The decision made by The Swedish Social Insurance Office’s (Försäkringskassan) was based on the Swedish government’s explanation to the EU-commission, according to which the parental benefit shall be classified as a maternity/paternity cash benefits and not as a family benefit. Indeed, the Member States have the opportunity to choose how to define a certain benefit, however; The Court of Justice of the European Communities has at the same time the right to determine whether benefits falls within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and how the benefits should be classified.

The Court of Justice of the European Communities has previously, in cases Kuusijärvi C275/96 and Bergström C-257/10, established that the Swedish parental benefit is a family benefit. However, this interpretation was in relation to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employees, etc. which preceded Regulation 883/2004.

Both the Administrative Court and the Court of appeal have referred the case back to The Swedish Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) as they consider that the authority has taken its decision based on wrong premise i.e. that the benefit should be treated as a family benefit.

However, The Swedish Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) has appealed that decision and The Swedish Supreme Court has now to decide if parental benefits should be considered as family benefit according to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004-on the coordination of social security systems.

Translation: Enesa Malagic, Delphine Hobé

 

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