Navigation path

Updated : 11/09/2014

family

Family benefits

In the EU, the country responsible for your social security, including family benefits (child benefits, child-raising allowances, maternity/paternity leaves, and so on), depends on your economic status and your place of residence - not your nationality.

Make sure you understand under which country's social security you should be covered. You may not choose which country you are covered by!

Beware that family benefits differ greatly within Europe.

Which country pays your family benefits?

In general:

  • If you settle in another EU country and are covered by that country's social security system, you will be subject to your host country's family benefit regime
  • If you are however posted abroad for a short assignment (less than 2 years) while staying covered by your home country's social security, your home country remains responsible for paying your family benefits
  • If the members of your family do not live in the country where you are insured, you could be entitled to family benefits from different countries.

If two or more countries are involved, the relevant national authorities will take account of both parents' situations and decide which country has primary responsibility for paying the benefits. Their decision will be based on "priority rules" .

If the benefits you receive from the "primary" country turn out to be lower than what you would have received from the "secondary" country where you also had rights (because you work there or because that country pays you a pension), the secondary country will pay a supplement equivalent to the difference between the two benefits. In this way, you are ensured of receiving the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.

&nbps;

Priority rules

Scenario: you are the only parent entitled to family benefits, and you are entitled to family benefits in more than 1 country because:

  • you work in 1 country and receive a pension from 1 or more other countries:

    then the country where you work will be primarily responsible for paying your family benefits . You might also be entitled to a supplement in the country that pays you a pension.

OR

  • you live in 1 country and work in another:

    then the country where you work will be primarily responsible for paying your family benefits .

OR

  • you receive a pension from 2 different countries:

    Then the country where your children live will be primarily responsible for paying your family benefits.

    If they live in a country that does not pay you any pension, priority will be given to the country where you have been insured the longest.

In all cases, if the family benefits you receive from the primary benefit-paying country are lower than those you would receive in any of the other countries in which you have rights, those other countries will have to pay you a supplement to make up the difference.

Scenario: you and your children's other parent are both entitled to family benefits in more than 1 country because:

  • you both work in the same EU country but live in another:

    then the country where you work will pay your family benefits, in accordance with its own rules.

OR

  • the 2 of you work in different countries:

    then, if you or the other parent work in the country where your children live, that country will pay your family benefits, in accordance with its own rules, and the other country could provide you with the differential supplement.

OR

  • you work in an EU country and your children’s other parent receives a pension from another EU country:

    then the country where you work will pay your family benefits, in accordance with its own rules.

    You might be entitled to a supplement in the country that pays a pension to your children’s other parent.

OR

  • you both receive pensions from several EU countries.

    If you are entitled to a pension in the country where your children live, that country will pay your family benefits, in accordance with its own rules.

    If you are not entitled to a pension in the country where your children live, you will receive family benefits from the country where you or the other parent have been insured the longest.

OR

  • you receive a pension from one EU country and your children's other parent works in another EU country.

    Then the country where your children's other parent works will pay your family benefits, in accordance with its own rules.

    You might be entitled to a supplement in the country that pays your pension too.

The total amount of your family benefits should be equal to the highest benefits available.

If you are divorced and your ex-husband or wife receives benefits but does not use them to maintain your children, you can contact the family benefits authority in the country where your children live and ask to have the benefits paid direct to you instead, since you are the person who is actually maintaining the family.

Where to apply for family benefits?

You can apply for family benefits in any country where you or your children's other parent are entitled to benefits. The authority in the country in which you apply will share your application with all countries that are competent in your case.

If you apply for benefits in due time in one country, you will be considered to have applied in due time in any other EU country in which you have rights to family benefits. You cannot be refused benefits to which you are entitled because the country where you applied initially forwarded your files too late to the competent authority in another country.

Check with the national authorities what deadlines apply to family benefits. If you miss the deadline, you could lose your entitlement.

National authorities are obliged to cooperate with each other and exchange all the information required to deal with your application. To overcome the difficulties linked to language differences, national administrations use standard documents (former E forms) when exchanging information.

&nbps;

Family benefits differ greatly within Europe

EU countries are free to establish their own rules on entitlement to benefits and services. All countries offer some family benefits but amounts and conditions differ widely. In some countries you will receive regular payments, while in others your family situation may give rise to tax benefits rather than payments.

To avoid potentially serious misunderstandings that could have a significant impact on your overall income, find out about the social security system in your host country.

Here you can find specific information on family benefits in the country that is responsible for paying them to you:

Choose :

European employment advisers can generally also provide basic information on the family benefits you will be entitled in your new country.

Help and advice

Help and advice

Haven't found the information you need? Do you have a problem to solve?

Footnote

In this case, the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

Retour au texte en cours.