The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has decided, regarding the case C-713/17 Ayubi, that persons granted refugee status must also be entitled to the same level of social assistance as nationals of the host country in accordance with the EU’s recast Qualification Directive, regardless of whether they have temporary or permanent residence.

In recent years, a number Austrian provinces introduced rules precluding refugees with a temporary residence permit from access to the needs-based minimum benefit (BMS) under the same conditions as Austrian nationals, and instead offered them lower levels of support. In Upper Austria, refugees received 405€ per month and an additional 155€ subject to compliance with integration measures, while nationals received 921.30€.

The CJEU clarified in Ayubi that the right to social assistance under Article 29 of the Directive is attached to refugee status and not to the residence permit issued to people granted protection. Accordingly, refugees are entitled to social benefits under the same conditions as nationals, irrespective of the duration of validity of their residence permit.

The same is not true for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, to whom Member States are allowed to grant lower levels of social assistance under the Directive.

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AIDA: A version of this information was first published by AIDA*

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.