ECJ ruling: Kindergeld for newly arrived EU citizens in Germany also during the first 3 months

5. August 2022

“A Union citizen who has established his habitual residence in a host Member State cannot be excluded from receiving child benefit during the first three months of his residence because he does not receive income from gainful employment in that Member State. Provided that he resides lawfully, he enjoys, in principle, equal treatment with nationals.”

This was announced by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a press release of 1 August.

This was preceded by a question from a German court. An EU citizen had brought an action against the Lower Saxony-Bremen Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse Niedersachsen-Bremen) because she was denied child benefit for the first three months she lived in Germany. The reason given by the family benefits office was that the lady had not had any “domestic income” during this period. The German court forwarded the issue to the ECJ for clarification, which, in a ruling on 1 August 2022, pointed out that “every citizen of the Union, even if economically inactive, has the right to reside in the territory of another Member State for a period of up to three months […] During this period, citizens of the Union […] enjoy the same treatment as nationals.”

 

However, the ECJ further points out that only those EU citizens who also have their habitual residence in Germany during this period can make this claim. A temporary place of residence is expressly not sufficient.

 

Source: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2022-08/cp220134de.pdf (not available in english)

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