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News > Press Releases 2013 > EU court deals with Slovak benefits issue also on the initiative of the Czech ombudsman

EU court deals with Slovak benefits issue also on the initiative of the Czech ombudsman

25. 07. 2013

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has started dealing with the issue of long-time care benefits that Slovakia is not paying to its citizens living in the Czech Republic, on the initiative of Czech ombudsman Pavel Varvarovsky.

 

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has started dealing with the issue of long-time care benefits that Slovakia is not paying to its citizens living in the Czech Republic, on the initiative of Czech ombudsman Pavel Varvarovsky.

Under Slovak law, three Slovak care benefits for the severely disabled, namely the carer's allowance ('peňažný príspevok na opatrovanie'), disability allowance ('peňažný príspevok na osobnú asistenciu') and cash allowance for compensation of increased costs for severely disabled persons ('peňažný príspevok na kompenzáciu zvýšených výdavkov') are provided only to those who live in Slovakia.

Slovak seniors living in the Czech Republic and receiving old-age pensions from Slovakia and needing another person's help over their health condition have been complaining with the Czech ombudsman for several years. They do not have a title to Czech care benefits and Slovakia is reluctant to pay them to its citizens living abroad.

The problem affects many people who are getting into a difficult social situation.

The ombudsman has alerted the European Commission to Slovakia permanently refusing to pay out long-time care benefits to its pensioners staying abroad, which is a duty that ensues from directives of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

Varvarovsky as well his predecessor Otakar Motejl conducted many negotiations with various offices about the issue. The Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry offered in 2011 an agreement under which it would pay out the benefits in accordance with Slovak legal regulations and the Slovak side would compensate the costs, but Slovakia dismissed the solution.

European Commission referred the Slovak Republic to the EU's Court of Justice on the 30 May.

Press Releases of the European Commission: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-476_en.htm 

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