In what situation can I claim?
There are cases in which your rights to social security or obligations depend on your habitual residence. The principle of EU law is that the social security legislation of only one EU Member State can be applied to you at any given moment. In order to define which country's legislation applies, the habitual residence criterion may be used.
According to European regulations, you have the same rights in the country in which you reside, as its citizens. If you work, you are part of the social security system of the country under whose legislation you have started work. For example, if you have been sent on a business trip to another Member State, the legislation of Bulgaria continues to apply to you. This rule is valid if the duration of the business trip is up to 24 months.
If you are an independently insured person registered in Bulgaria but you go to another Member State to provide services, Bulgarian legislation applies to you if you reside in Bulgaria. Seafarers are subject to the social security legislation of the country under whose flag their ship sails, etc.
However, if you do not work or work simultaneously in two or more EU Member States, the social security legislation which protects you is defined mainly on the basis of the habitual residence criterion. According to European legislation, the criteria for defining habitual residence do not coincide with the address on your identity document.
These criteria serve only for determining the applicable social security legislation and where contributions and/or tax are payable. In Bulgaria this is monitored and defined by the National Revenue Agency.
What conditions do I need to meet?
The criteria used to determine habitual residence are set out in Regulations 883/2004 and 987/09. The social legislation that applies to you is determined by the following.
Forms you may need to fill in
Transferable document A1: issued in Bulgaria by the National Revenue Agency, showing the applicable social security legislation in particular cases of employment and independent employment. This document is not issued for work in only one state, for economically inactive persons, etc.
Know your rights
The laws and web pages of the institutions which determine your rights can be found by following the links below. These are not European Commission pages and do not represent the opinion of the Commission:
- Information brochure about social security in the EU;
- Information brochure about the coordination of social security systems in the EU;
- National Revenue Agency.
European Commission publications: