Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

A-Z on social security coordination (FAQs) - A

Accidents at work

Legal basis: Regulation 883/2004

The regulation’s provisions on benefits in respect of accidents at work are comparable in many ways to those governing sickness and maternity benefits (see the relevant keywords).

A distinction needs to be made between benefits in kind (medical care) and cash benefits (benefits intended to replace income which is suspended because of the incapacity for work or to give support during rehabilitation measures).

When you reside outside the State where you are insured (i.e. the competent State), you are entitled to receive benefits in kind and benefits in cash in the Member State of your residence. You are also entitled to receive benefits during a stay in the State where you are insured.

Furthermore, you may receive medically necessary care and cash benefits during a stay in a State other than the State where you are insured or where you reside.

In the legislation of many Member States, more favourable conditions and certain special benefits in kind are provided in respect of medical care for persons having sustained an accident at work which do not apply for general sickness/incapacity for work (e.g. exemption of user charges, special equipment of the workstation). The regulation provides that, when you reside or stay outside the State where you are insured, you are entitled to the benefit of special medical care schemes that exist, in the State of residence or stay, in respect of accidents at work (to certify this entitlement a portable document DA1 issued by your competent institution should be presented).

Under the regulation’s rules, medical care is in all cases given in accordance with the legislation of the State in which it is provided, at the expense of the institution with which you are insured at the time the accident at work occurred. Cash benefits are always provided by the competent institution, at its own expense and according to its own legislation.

Note that, when you wish to go to the territory of another Member State to receive medical care there, you have to request authorisation from the institution with which you are insured.
This institution cannot refuse this authorisation where the treatment that is appropriate to your condition cannot be given to you in the territory of the Member State in which you reside within a time limit which is medically justifiable, taking into account your current state of health and the probable course of your illness.
In order to receive medical care in the State of residence, you have to register with the institution of the place of residence. Your right to benefits in kind in the State of residence in respect of a specific accident at work or occupational disease sustained by you is certified by a portable document DA1 which is issued by the institution with which you are insured upon your request. The institution of the place of residence can also directly request a certification of your right to receive benefits in kind there from the institution with which you are insured.


In order to receive medical care in the Member State where you are staying, you cannot use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if this treatment concerns an accident at work or an occupational disease sustained by you. A portable document DA1 does not only certify your right to receive benefits in kind in the State of residence, but also in the State where you are staying. You have to present this document to the provider of the medical treatment in the Member State where you are staying. Prior registration is, however, not necessary.

If you are travelling to another Member State than the Member State in which you are insured or in which you reside in order to receive medical treatment, you have to obtain prior authorisation from the institution with which you are insured.

In order to receive cash benefits in the State in which you reside or stay, you have to follow the same procedure as for sickness cash benefits; that means that you have to file a claim with the institution of the competent State. This should be done within the time limits provided by the legislation of the competent State and, provided the legislation of the competent Member State so requires, by submitting a certificate of the incapacity of work and its probable duration issued by the doctor providing treatment in the Member State of residence or stay.

If the competent State requires such a certificate but the doctors in the place of residence or stay do not issue these certificates, you must apply directly to the institution of the place of residence or stay, which will immediately have the incapacity for work medically confirmed and have the certificate drawn up and immediately forwarded to the competent institution.

It is thus the doctor or the institution of the country of residence or stay which carries out the examination and establishes the start date and duration of the incapacity for work. The institution of the place of stay or residence does so by applying the provisions of its legislation, for instance regarding the procedure to be followed and the criteria for incapacity of work. The competent institution may, if it wishes, have you examined by a doctor of its choice (but may not require you to return to the State where you are insured for the examination if you are unfit to travel or if the competent institution does not pay for the travel or stay in the competent Member State). If it does not make use of this possibility, it is bound by the findings of its counterpart in the State of residence or stay regarding the date of beginning and the length of incapacity for work.

When the competent institution has decided on the claim, both you and the institution of the place of residence or stay will be informed of that decision. If your claim is granted, the competent institution will make the necessary arrangements to have you paid the cash benefits in the country of residence or stay, usually by international money order or by paying it to your bank account in the competent State. After the award of the claim, the institution of the place of residence or stay will, at the request of the competent institution, carry out any administrative checks and follow-up medical examinations, in accordance with the legislation applied by the former institution. The report of the examining doctor concerning, in particular, the probable duration of the incapacity for work, will be forwarded without delay by the institution of the place of residence or stay to the competent institution.

If the competent institution decides to refuse or withhold the cash benefits, it will simultaneously notify you and the institution of the place of residence or stay.
No, it does not. The regulation, which takes priority over national legislation, stipulates that accidents which occur while travelling in the territory of a Member State other than the competent State shall be deemed to have occurred in the territory of the competent State. This rule is an application of the principle of equal treatment of facts/events, also known as assimilation of facts (see the relevant keyword), pursuant to which the competent State, whose legislation attributes legal effects to the occurrence of certain facts or events, must take into account like facts or events occurring in any Member State as though they had taken place in its own territory.

Please refer to 1.4 to find out about the procedure in place for accidents sustained outside the competent State.
Yes, there is. If an accident at work occurs in a Member State other than the competent State, you have to send a declaration or notification of the accident to the competent institution. This declaration or notification shall be carried out in accordance with the legislation of the competent State, even though relevant provisions in the legislation of the State where the accident occurred (e.g. concerning the obligation of the employer to report accidents at work) also remain applicable.

Moreover, the institution of the place of residence or stay must forward to the competent institution the medical certificate together with any relevant information which the competent institution may request.

If there are grounds for holding an enquiry in the territory of the State in which you were travelling when the accident occurred, a person may be appointed for that purpose by the competent institution, which shall inform the authorities of the State where the accident occurred. Both institutions must cooperate with each other in order to determine your entitlement to the relevant benefits.

After you have followed medical treatment, and at the request of the competent institution, a detailed report accompanied by medical certificates relating to the longer-term consequences of the accident, in particular your present state and the recovery or stabilisation of injuries, will be sent. In turn, the competent institution will inform the institution of the place of residence or stay, at the latter’s request, of its decision setting the date of recovery or stabilisation of injuries or, where appropriate, its decision to grant a pension.

Administrative Commission

Legal basis: article 1(n) and article 71-75 Regulation 883/2004

The Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems is composed of a government representative of each of the Member States, assisted, where necessary, by expert advisers. Representatives of the European Commission attend the meetings in an advisory capacity. The Secretariat is provided by the European Commission.

The Administrative Commission deals with administrative questions and questions of interpretation arising from the coordination regulation. In addition, it facilitates the uniform application of the European legislation, in particular by promoting exchange of experience and best administrative practices. Furthermore, the Administrative Commission fosters and develops cooperation between the Member States in social security matters and helps to reach agreements on questions of principle which have arisen between the Member States (see the keywords applicable legislation; dialogue and conciliation procedure). The Administrative Commission also decides on the technical and procedural details for exchanging information between Member States’ institutions, which is necessary for awarding/paying benefits or for determining the legislation applicable. This exchange of information is done by electronic means (see the keywords administrative cooperation; electronic exchange of social security information; structured electronic document). It also plays an important role in the calculation of the costs of benefits which need to be reimbursed and settled between the Member States. The need for amendments and changes to the coordination regulation can be discussed in the Administrative Commission, which can also make any relevant proposal to the European Commission with a view to improving and modernising the legislation.

The Administrative Commission can make interpretative decisions and recommendations. These are published in the Official Journal of the European Union, but they are not formally legally binding. Nevertheless, Member States are bound by these decisions they have adopted and should follow them, on the basis of the principle of good cooperation.

Administrative cooperation

Adoption allowances

Legal basis: Annex I to Regulation 883/2004

Adoption allowances are typically one-off benefits, similar to childbirth allowances (or birth grants) provided in connection with adoption of (a) child(ren). The regulation expressly provides that special adoption allowances listed in an annex (Annex I to Regulation 883/2004) are excluded from the coordination regulations.

The fact that adoption allowances are excluded from the scope of the coordination regulation, does not imply that Member States can discriminate on the basis of nationality or can legitimately impose residence conditions for entitlement to these benefits. The Treaty provisions on equality of treatment and free movement of persons remain applicable. For instance, as a migrant worker or a member of his/her family, you could rely on Article 7(2) of Regulation 492/2011 to challenge an unjustifiable residence condition for entitlement to adoption allowance in the legislation of the State where you work. See also the keywords material scope, free movement of workers and citizen of the EU.

Advances of maintenance payments

Legal basis: Annex I to Regulation 883/2004

Advances of maintenance payments are recoverable advances intended to compensate for a parent’s failure to fulfil his/her legal obligation of maintenance to his/her own child, which is an obligation derived from family law. Therefore, the legislature has considered that these advances should not be considered as a direct benefit from collective support in favour of families and that the coordinating rules should thus not be applied to advances of maintenance payments. Accordingly, the coordination regulation expressly provides that advances of maintenance payments listed in an annex (Annex I to Regulation 883/2004) are excluded from the coordination regulations. It may be noted that, in so providing, the legislature expressly departs from the rulings of the European Court of Justice, which had judged on several occasions that advances of maintenance payments constitute family benefits under Regulation 1408/71.

The fact that advances of maintenance payments are excluded from the scope of the coordination regulation, does not imply that Member States can discriminate on the basis of nationality or can legitimately impose residence conditions for entitlement to these advances. The Treaty provisions on equality of treatment and free movement of persons remain applicable. For instance, as a migrant worker or a member of his/her family, you could rely on Article 7(2) of Regulation 492/2011 to challenge an unjustifiable residence condition for entitlement to advances of maintenance payments in the legislation of the State where you work. See also the keywords material scope, free movement of workers and citizen of the EU.

If you want to read more about this topic, see for example the ECJ ruling in the Offermanns-case (C-85/99)

Aggregation of periods

Legal basis: article 6 Regulation 883/2004

No, it does not. The principle of aggregation of periods, which is one of the basic principles of social security coordination, is designed to avoid this type of problem. The purpose of this principle is to ensure that the exercise of the right to freedom of movement does not have the effect of depriving a worker of social security advantages which s/he would have been entitled to if s/he had spent his/her working life in only one Member State.

Concretely, this implies that the institution of the Member State from which you claim the social security benefit has to take into account, for the purposes of establishing your eligibility to this benefit, the period completed in the other Member State, as though it was completed under its own legislation. Having worked for a total of 7 years, you will qualify for entitlement to the benefit.

The aggregation principle applies not only to periods of employment or self-employment, but also to periods of insurance and residence. It can be used to qualify for entitlement to all benefits covered by the coordination regulation, with special rules applying in relation to invalidity, old-age and survivors’ benefits (in respect of periods completed under a special scheme) and unemployment benefits (see questions 69.1 and 69.2).

Please note that, whereas the principle of aggregation of periods can be used to establish entitlement to a benefit, it cannot be used, once this entitlement is established, for the purposes of the calculation of that benefit. In other words, this principle can help you to satisfy a qualifying period required by the legislation of a Member State from which you claim a benefit, namely when you do not fulfil this condition by virtue of periods completed under that State’s legislation alone. However, aggregation of periods does not guarantee you a higher amount of benefit. In the example given in the question, the State from which you claim a benefit will not be obliged to calculate the amount by reference to your total 7 year-period of employment; only the determining factors (especially earnings) relating to your activity under the legislation of the competent State can be used. For the purposes of calculation of long-term benefits, such as old-age or (some) invalidity pensions, another principle is used, which ensures that each State where you have been insured pays a benefit which is proportionate to the length of the insurance record. This principle is called proratisation (see the keywords old-age pensions, invalidity pensions and survivors’ benefits).

Please also note that the principle of aggregation of periods does not apply to pre-retirement benefits (see the keyword pre-retirement benefits).

Applicable legislation

Legal basis: article 11-16 Regulation 883/2004

An essential task of the coordination rules is to determine which legislation is applicable to you. In so doing, they provide an answer to the question as to where you have to pay social security contributions and according to which scheme you receive social security benefits. Only one Member State’s legislation can apply to you at a time (see question 7.13).

The rules determining the applicable legislation are designed to avoid the complications that would ensue if you were subject to the social security legislation of more than one Member State at a time. In addition, they prevent the possibility that you are left without social security cover because no legislation is applicable to you.

In principle, these rules have an exclusive character; this means that, if the legislation of a Member State is applicable, you may only rely on that legislation, even if you would have greater entitlement under the legislation of another Member State. Nevertheless, in specific cases the coordination rules guarantee that the highest benefit provided by the different Member States is paid, notably in case of family benefits (see the relevant keyword, especially questions 29.6 to 29.11). Furthermore, it is apparent from the case law of the Court of Justice (Bosmann and Hudzinski-case) that in some situations the exclusive character of the legislation applicable does not exclude an entitlement from a State other than the competent State, in the absence of an (effective) entitlement in that competent State.

The rules on the determination of the legislation applicable are also binding; Member States are not entitled to determine the extent to which their own legislation or that of another Member State is applicable. States cannot, for example, require you to be resident on their territory in order to be covered by their legislation, where that legislation is determined to be applicable in accordance with the regulation’s rules.

It should be added that the fact that a State’s legislation is designated by the coordination rules as applicable in your situation, does not necessarily mean that that legislation is also effectively applied to you. For one thing, each Member State is – to a certain extent - free to determine the conditions for insurance and awarding benefits under their national legislation. They do however have to respect the rules of the regulations, especially the obligation of equal treatment (see the keyword discrimination). For another, the Member State competent for applicable legislation is not always the one competent for providing benefits. For instance, and except in some specific cases in which you bore the medical costs incurred during a stay outside the competent State yourself (see the keyword medical care, question 41.3), sickness benefits in kind (medical care) are provided in accordance with the legislation of the State where the care is supplied, even though this is not the competent State in terms of applicable legislation. The latter State, however, will bear the cost of the sickness benefits in kind.
Example 1: Mr. Y lives with his family in Germany and works in France for an undertaking established in Italy.

Example 2: Ms. Z lives with her family in Ireland. She is self-employed in Germany.

If you work in one Member State, you are as a rule subject to the legislation of that State, even if you reside in another Member State and – if you are an employed person – even if your employer has his/her registered office or place of business in another Member State. In example 1, Mr. V is subject to French legislation. Ms. Z in the second example is subject to German legislation.

posting is an important exception to the principle that an employed or self-employed person is subject to the legislation of the State in which s/he works (see the relevant keyword). Other exceptions concern the situation where a person receives specific benefits ( unemployment or other work-related benefits, or an invalidity, old-age or survivors' pension) (see question 60.2 and 69.8 respectively).

Moreover, special rules apply to certain categories of workers: civil servants (see question 7.9), mariners (see question7.10) , flight and cabin crew members (see question7.11) and contract staff of the EU.
You are subject to the legislation of the State in which you work. Your employer has to pay social security contributions in that State, in accordance with the legislation of that State. Your employer cannot be obliged to have an address (e.g. an office) in the State in which you work. In practice, however, it is quite common for an employer to have an office from which social security contributions are paid in the State in which s/he employs personnel. For the sake of convenience, your employer may ask you to assume responsibility for the payment of contributions if s/he does not have such a representation or part of his/her undertaking in the territory of the Member State where you work. Although such an arrangement may sometimes simplify administrative procedures, it is voluntary and cannot be enforced. It also does not change the responsibility and obligations of your employer to inform the competent institution and to guarantee the payment of the contributions.
Example 1: Ms. V lives in Belgium and works in the Netherlands as an employed person for a Dutch employer. She is subject to Dutch legislation. Ms. V then decides to take up an additional employed activity for another employer in Belgium, alongside her work in the Netherlands. From now on, she will work 50% in Belgium and 50% in the Netherlands.

Example 2: Ms. W lives in Bulgaria. She works for the Romanian and Hungarian branches of a company established in Norway with a single employment contract with this company.

Example 3: Mr. X lives in France and works for two French employers, performing his activities for both employers in Belgium and in Luxembourg.

Example 4: Ms. Y lives in Belgium and works in the Netherlands as an employed person. She is subject to Dutch legislation. Ms. W then decides to take up an additional employed activity for another employer in Belgium, alongside her work in the Netherlands. She will work 1 day a week for her Belgian employer and 4 days a week for the Dutch employer.

Example 5: Ms. Z lives in Belgium and works in the Netherlands as an employed person. She is subject to Dutch legislation. Ms. X then decides to take up additional employed activities for an employer in Belgium and an employer in Germany, alongside her work in the Netherlands. She will work 1 day a week for her Belgian employer, 2 days a week for the Dutch employer and 2 days a week for the German employer.

The answer to this question depends on whether or not you pursue a substantial part of your activities in the State where you reside and also on whether you work for one or more employers. If you work for different employers, it also depends on where your employers have their registered office or place of business or, in other words, the place where essential decisions are taken and where the central administration is located.

If you perform substantial activities in your Member State of residence, you are always subject to the legislation of that Member State. In that case, it is not necessary to check if you work for one or more employers. To determine what is substantial, particular account is taken of the share of working time and/or remuneration in your State of residence, amongst other criteria. A substantial part need not necessarily be the major part of activities. Generally speaking, a substantial part means at least 25% of the working time and/or remuneration. However, a lower share of the working time does not necessarily rule out the pursuit of a substantial part of activities, if for instance for remuneration the indicative ceiling of 25% is clearly met.

Thus, in example 1, Ms. V will become subject to Belgian legislation. As she performs a substantial part (at least 25%) of her overall activities in her Member State of residence, namely half of her total working time, she will be subject to the legislation of that Member State.

In the situation where you do not perform substantial activities in the Member State where you reside, the coordination rules make a distinction between working for one employer or for various employers. If you work for one employer, you will be subject to the legislation of the Member State in which your employer has its registered office or place of business.

Consequently, in example 2, the person will be subject to Norwegian legislation, as her employer is established in Norway. The fact that she works in Member States where her employer has branch offices does not alter this conclusion, as she only has an employment contract with the Norwegian company which has its registered office in Norway.

In case you do not perform substantial activities in the Member State where you reside and you work for various employers established in different Member States, their place of establishment will be decisive for the determination of the applicable legislation. If the different employers are established in one single Member State, you will be subject to the legislation of that Member State. However, if they are established in different Member States, the rules are more complicated. If your employers are established in your Member State of residence and in one single Member State other than the residence state, you will be subject to the legislation of the latter “non-residence Member State”. If your employers are established in at least two Member States other than the state where you reside, you will be subject to the legislation of your Member State of residence.

In example 3, Mr. X will thus be subject to French legislation, as he does not perform substantial activities in his Member State of residence France, but both his employers are established in France, so he will be subject to the French legislation.

In example 4, Ms. Y. does not perform substantial activities in her Member State of residence either. She has two employers: one in the Member State where she resides (Belgium) and one outside the Member State of residence (the Netherlands). In this case, she will be subject to the legislation of the “non-residence Member State”, i.e. to Dutch legislation. Her situation is clearly different from that of Ms. Z in example 5, who also has various employers, of which two are however established outside her Member State of residence, namely in the Netherlands and Germany. In such case, it is not possible to appoint one State in which the employer is established outside the Member State of residence. She is subject to the legislation of the Member State where she resides, in this case Belgium.

The decisive role of substantial activities in all situations of working in two or more Member States, regardless of whether one works for one or more employers, was introduced by Regulation 465/2012 in 2012. In other words, this regulation has incorporated the substantial activities requirement in cases of simultaneous and alternative employment for one or various employers established in different Member States. It has also clarified that marginal activities, that is to say activities that are insignificant in terms of time and economic return and amount to less than 5% of the worker's regular working time and/or less than 5% of his/her overall remuneration, are not taken into account for the purposes of determining the applicable legislation. When deciding which Member State is competent, these activities are neglected.

It should be stressed that a situation of simultaneous or alternative employment by multiple employers can thus be governed by Regulation 1408/71 or by the first version of Regulation 883/2004 or by Regulation 883/2004 as amended by Regulation 465/2012, depending on the date on which this situation has commenced. The transitional rules for the changes introduced by Regulation 465/2012 provide that, in case where a person would change applicable legislation under the new rules of Regulation 465/2012, the legislation applicable in accordance with the former version of Regulation 883/2004 continues to be applicable while the relevant situation remains unchanged for a maximum of 10 years from the date of application of Regulation 465/2012, unless the relevant situation of the person changes, or the person concerned requests otherwise. The same goes for the rules introduced by Regulation 883/2004 in comparison to Regulation 1408/71. For more information on the transitional provisions, see question 68.

Once a Member State's legislation is determined as being applicable, you have to pay contributions in , not only in respect of the work carried out there but also for the activities pursued in the other Member State(s). The same applies for the employers' contributions. This obligation concerns all aspects of the legislation determined to be applicable. So if this legislation provides for a limit of contributions to be paid, this applies also to income earned in another Member State (as if this income were received – in addition – in the competent Member State).

Please note that special rules apply to the following categories of workers: civil servants (see question 7.9), mariners (see question 7.10) as well as to flight crew and aircrew members (see question 7.11).

Further details on simultaneous or alternate employment in two or more Member States can be found in Part II of the Practical Guide Practical Guide “The legislation that applies to workers in the EU, the EEA and in Switzerland”, drawn up by the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Schemes.
Example 1: Mr. Z is a self-employed person residing in Switzerland. He works for clients in France (50%), Germany (25%) and Switzerland (25%).

Example 2: Mr. Z gains more clients in Germany, to the detriment of his activities in Switzerland. The share is now 50% clients in France, 40% in Germany and 10% in Switzerland.

Then, Mr. Z decides to transfer his residence to Luxembourg, without engaging in self-employed activities there. He keeps working for clients in France, Germany and Switzerland, in the proportion 50-25-25% respectively.

If you reside in a State where you also work, you are subject to the legislation of that State, provided a substantial part of your activities is carried out there. As for employed persons (see question 7.4), substantial is to be understood in quantitative terms. To determine what is substantial, particular account is taken of the share of turnover and working time, of the number of services rendered and/or of the portion of income arising from the activities in your State of residence, amongst other criteria. A substantial part need not necessarily be the major part of activities. Generally speaking, a substantial part means at least 25% of these criteria. However, a lower share of one or more criteria does not necessarily rule out the pursuit of a substantial part of activities, if for instance for other criteria the indicative ceiling of 25% is clearly met.

If you do not perform professional activities in the State where you reside, or if you do but these do not account for a substantial part of your overall professional activity, you are subject to the legislation of the country where the centre of interest of your activities is situated. To determine this centre of interest, all aspects of your occupational activities must be taken into account, notably the place where your fixed and permanent place of business is located, the habitual nature or the duration of the activities you pursue, the number of services rendered and your intention as revealed by all the circumstances.

Thus, in the example 1, Mr. A will normally be subject to Swiss legislation. Indeed, as 25% of his clients are situated in that country, he can be considered to pursue substantial activities there. This could be different, however, if the share would be consistently less than 25% for one or more other indicative criteria. In example 2, Mr. Z fails to perform substantial activities in his country of residence. In this case, the legislation of the State where Mr. Z has the centre of interest of his activities will be applicable, i.e. France - where consistently the major part of his clients are situated. The same holds for example 3.

You have to pay contributions in the State whose legislation is applicable, not only in respect of the work carried out there but also for the activities pursued in the other Member State(s). This obligation concerns all aspects of the legislation determined to be applicable. So if this legislation provides for a limit of contributions to be paid, this applies also to income earned in another Member State (as if this income were received – in addition – in the competent Member State).

Further details on simultaneous self-employment in two or more Member States can be found in Part II of the Practical Guide “The legislation that applies to workers in the EU, the EEA and in Switzerland”, drawn up by the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Schemes.
Example 1: Mr. X resides in Estonia and works there as an employee. During the weekends, he travels to Slovenia to pursue a self-employed activity.

Example 2: Mr. Y is a Greek national who lives in Belgium. He has been appointed as a member of the board of directors in a Belgian, French and Austrian company. In accordance with the national legislation of these countries, this activity qualifies as self-employed in Belgium, and as employed in France and Austria.

If you work simultaneously as an employed person and as a self-employed person in different Member States, you are subject to the legislation of the Member State in which you pursue activities on an employed basis. The legislation of this State applies in respect of all your activities, including those performed on a self-employed basis in the other Member State. Accordingly, in example 1, Mr. X is subject to Estonian legislation.

If there is more than one Member State of gainful employment, the activities are grouped together and application is made of the rules set out in the answer to question 7.4 (simultaneous pursuit of activities as an employed person in two or more Member States). Thus, as Mr. Y in example 2 carries out employed activities for different employers in two Member States and resides in a third one, the legislation of the latter State, i.e. Belgium, will apply.

There used to be an exception to the principle that the legislation of the country where activities are carried out on an employed basis applies in case of simultaneous employment and self-employment in two or more Member States. When the self-employed activities were carried out in the Member States that were listed in an annex to the regulation (Annex VII to Regulation 1408/71), the person concerned was subject to two legislations. This exception to the principle of a single legislation applicable was abolished in the current regulation, Regulation 883/2004. If you were in this situation prior to the entry into force of the current regulation, i.e. before 1 May 2010, you will continue to be subject to two legislations as long as your situation remains unchanged and for a maximum duration of 10 years, unless you request to be subject to the legislation designated as applicable under the current regulation rules.
If you normally work in two Member States at the same time, you must inform the competent institution of the Member State in which you reside of this fact. That institution will decide on a provisional basis which legislation is applicable to you, taking into account the rules explained in the answer to questions 7.4 and 7.5, and will notify this decision to the competent institutions of the Member State(s) where you work.

If these institutions do not object, the decision becomes final - and thus the provisional determination of the legislation applicable becomes definitive – and this within two months (or less if the institutions involved have reached a common agreement on the legislation applicable before that date).

In case there is a difference of views between the institutions as to which legislation is applicable under the abovementioned rules, the institutions must seek agreement, by entering into a dialogue and conciliation procedure (see the relevant keyword). Meanwhile, you will be made provisionally subject to the legislation of the State where you reside if you exercise a part of your activities there or where you have applied for affiliation in all other cases (see question 7.8).

The competent institution of the State whose legislation is applicable to you (provisionally or definitively) must inform you without delay. At your request, it will issue a certificate stating that you are subject to its legislation, i.e. a portable document A1 (see the relevant keyword). The competent institution of the State whose legislation is applicable has to make the information on your coverage under the coordination rules available to the institution of the State to whose legislation you were last subject. The institutions of the other States concerned shall send the competent institution of the State to whose legislation you are subject all information necessary to assess the contributions for which your employer and/or you are liable and the date on which that legislation becomes applicable.

Further details on the procedures in case of simultaneous employment in two or more Member States can be found in Part II of the Practical Guide “The legislation that applies to workers in the EU, the EEA and in Switzerland”, drawn up by the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Schemes.
In case there is a difference of views between the institutions as to the determination of the legislation applicable, you will be made provisionally subject to the legislation of one of the Member States involved, according to the following order of priority: first, the Member State where you actually work as an employed or self-employed person, if you do so in only one State; second, the Member State where you reside if you pursue part of your professional activities in that State; and third, the Member State the application of whose legislation was first requested if you pursue professional activities in two or more Member States.

In case there is a difference of views between the institutions as to which of them is responsible for providing benefits to you, you will be entitled, on a provisional basis, to the benefits provided for by the legislation applied by the institution of the place where you reside or, if you do not reside on the territory of one of the States concerned, to the benefits provided for by the legislation applied by the institution to which the request was first submitted.

When it is afterwards established that the legislation applicable to you is not that of the State of provisional membership, or that the institution which provisionally granted the benefits is not the competent institution, the institution which is actually competent will be deemed so retroactively, as if the difference of views never existed, at the latest from the date of provisional membership or of the first provisional granting of benefits.

It is noted that a dialogue and conciliation procedure is set up for Member States to reconcile their opposing views (see the keyword dialogue and conciliation procedure).
The answer to this question depends on whether you work only for the administration of a single Member State or whether you pursue different activities in two or more Member States at the same time.

When you pursue activities for the administration of a single Member State only, you are subject to the legislation of the Member State to which the administration employing you is subject (irrespective where and for how long you exercise these activities).

If you pursue different activities in several Member States at the same time, the following rules apply. If you are employed as a civil servant (or a person treated as such) in one Member State, and you are simultaneously employed and/or self-employed in one or more other Member States, you are subject to the legislation of the Member State to which the administration employing you is subject.
If you are simultaneously employed in two or more Member States as a civil servant (or a person treated as such), the general rules for persons employed at the same time in more than one Member State apply (see question 7.4)

If you want to read more about this topic, see for example the ECJ ruling in the Baesen-case (C-610/18).
No, this is not possible. Unlike the former regulation, which provided for two (minor) derogations of the principle of a single legislation applicable, this principle is fully applied under the current regulation (see also question 7.1). Accordingly, under the coordination regulation, only one Member State at a time can be competent.

Please note that the principle of a single legislation applicable does not exclude the possibility of receiving benefits at the same time under two or more legislations; such simultaneous receipt occurs notably for pensions (after having worked in different Member States) and family benefits (in case of overlapping entitlements under different legislations). Furthermore, it is apparent from the case law of the Court of Justice (Bosmann-case) that the exclusive character of the legislation applicable does not preclude that effect is given to an entitlement based on only national legislation of a State other than the competent State, at least not in the absence of an (effective) entitlement under the legislation of the competent State.

It is recalled that the transitional rules of the current regulation provide that the legislation applicable in accordance with the former regulation continues to be applicable while the relevant situation remains unchanged for a maximum of 10 years from the date of application of the current regulation, unless the persons concerned requests otherwise. This means that grandfathered situations of double subjection still exist.
The answer to this question depends on whether you temporarily stop carrying on professional activities, e.g. as a result of sickness, maternity, or whether you permanently cease pursuing professional activities, e.g. due to the termination of your employment contract, to permanent incapacity, invalidity or old-age. Specific rules apply for unemployed persons.

In case you temporarily cease your professional activities, the legislation of the State where you last worked remains applicable to you, even though you reside in another Member State. In case you become unemployed, however, you will receive unemployment benefits from the State where you reside, and that State’s legislation will apply to you. However, you have the opportunity to also register with unemployment services in the Member State of your last employment (see question 69.9).

If, on the other hand, you permanently cease work, the legislation to which you are subject will cease to be applicable to you. If that is the case, and the legislation of no other Member State becomes applicable to you, the regulation provides that you are subject to the legislation of the State in which you reside.
Example: Ms. Y is a German citizen who resides in Denmark. She does not work nor does she receive a social security cash benefit.

The regulation applies to persons who or have been subject to the social security legislation of a Member State. This includes economically inactive persons, who, in accordance with the general rule, are subject to the legislation of the country where they reside.

Accordingly, in our example, Ms. Y is subject to Danish legislation. Provided she satisfies the condition, she is insured for the universal Danish schemes such as the health care and the old-age pension scheme.
The competent authorities of the Member States concerned can, by common agreement, derogate from the regulation’s rules determining the legislation applicable and, thus, agree that you are subject to a legislation other than the one determined by these rules. It is important to note, however, that such agreements can only be used in the interest of persons or of categories of persons.

Your employer, or yourself, if you are a self-employed person, have to submit a request to the competent authority of the Member State whose legislation shall become applicable, which then informs the other competent authority(ies). After investigation, the decision is communicated to you and/or your employer. In case of approval, a certificate stating the legislation applicable (portable document A1) will be issued by the institution of the Member State declared competent.
Unfortunately, these things happen. If, for example, you were subject for years to the legislation of Member State A while you should have been subject to the legislation of Member State B, then, theoretically speaking, the contributions paid in State A and the benefits you received there would have to be "reversed" and Member State B should levy contributions and grant benefits for the relevant period.

As this would involve a whole lot of red tape, another course of action is sometimes taken in practice. The situation is corrected for the future only. The past remains unaltered. You become subject to the legislation of the country to which you should have been subject. However, this solution depends on both countries concluding a specific agreement stipulating that the legislation to which you were erroneously subject in the past, is considered applicable to you for that past period. Unfortunately, such agreements are not the rule.

It should be noted that national rules may prescribe time limits on retroactive corrections.

Assimilation of facts

Legal basis: article 5(b) Regulation 883/2004

Assimilation of facts is the term commonly referred to when talking about the equal treatment of benefits, income, facts and events. As equality of treatment, to which it is closely linked, it is a general principle of social security coordination. According to this principle, the competent Member State, whose legislation attributes certain legal effects to the occurrence of certain facts or events, is obliged to take into account like facts or events occurring in any other Member State as though they had taken place within its territory. Likewise, where, under the legislation of the competent State, the receipt of social security benefits and other income has certain legal effects, the relevant provisions of that legislation shall apply in the same way to the receipt of equivalent benefits acquired under the legislation of any other Member State or to income acquired in another Member State.

The principle of assimilation of facts cannot result in another Member State becoming competent or another legislation becoming applicable. Moreover, assimilation of facts should not be confused with aggregation of periods (see the relevant keyword), which is another principle of social security coordination. Pursuant to this principle, the institution of a Member State whose legislation makes affiliation to insurance or entitlement to benefits subject to the completion of periods of insurance, residence or (self-)employment, must take into account such periods accomplished in any other Member State as though they were periods completed under the legislation it applies. Periods completed under the legislation of another Member State should be taken into account by applying the latter principle, not the principle of assimilation of facts.

Examples of the assimilation of facts include:
 
  • as regards equal treatment of facts or events:
    • child-raising periods (see the relevant keyword): the institution of the competent State must take into account periods of child-raising completed in the State of residence as if this child-raising took place in its territory; in addition, the regulation also provides an extension of this taking into account of child-raising periods in specific cases in which the Member State concerned is no longer the competent State.
    • accidents at work/occupational diseases (see the relevant keywords): accidents at work occurred or occupational diseases contracted on the territory of a Member State other than the competent State shall be deemed to have occurred/contracted in the territory of the competent State; the same applies e.g. in cases in which no waiting period is requested under national legislation for invalidity pensions which are claimed after an accident at work when this accident occurred when the legislation of another Member State was applicable.
    • occupational disease (see the relevant keyword): if the legislation of a Member State under which an activity likely to cause the occupational disease was pursued provides that benefits are only granted when the disease in question was diagnosed within a specific time limit following cessation of the last activity likely to cause the disease in question, the competent institution, when assessing the fulfilment of this condition, also has to take account of similar activities pursued under the legislation of any other Member State.
  • as regards equal treatment of benefits or income:
    • special non-contributory cash benefits (see the relevant keyword): if the benefit claimed is a supplement to a social security benefit, such as a minimum subsistence benefit supplementing an old-age pension, the State of residence may not refuse such a supplement for the sole reason that the applicant is not entitled to an old-age pension under its own legislation but only to a pension paid by another Member State.
    • contributions by pensioners for sickness benefits in kind (see the keyword collection of contributions): the Member State competent to make deductions in respect of contributions for medical care can calculate the amount of social contributions on the basis of the total income, including pensions paid in other Member States.

In some cases, the regulation derogates from the principle of assimilation of facts. This is the case as regards access to voluntary insurance in a Member State (e.g. in the event of simultaneous compulsory insurance in another Member State), which is subject to the condition, inter alia, that the person concerned has been previously subject to that State’s legislation because or as a result of an activity as employed or self-employed person (see the keyword voluntary insurance).

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