Mirga v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Samin v Westminster City Council: SC 27 Jan 2016

The claimants, a Polish national and an Austrian national, appealed against decisions of the Court of Appeal upholding decisions that they were not entitled to certain benefits, namely income support and housing assistance respectively, pursuant to the provisions of United Kingdom domestic law.
Held: The claimants’ appeals failed. When she applied, Ms Mirga was not eligible for income support because she was a ‘person from abroad’, and could not claim to be a ‘worker’ as she was an A8 national who had not done 12 months’ employment and thus could not qualify under the A8 Regulations. Her right of residence under EU law was qualified by the words ‘subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in the Treaties and by the measures adopted to give them effect’, which include the Accession Treaty and the 2004 Directive, and hence the A8 Regulations and the EEA Regulations respectively.
Mr Samin was not a ‘worker’ within the EEA Regulations because heis now incapable of work and had not worked for 12 months in the UK. His Article 18 rights were limited to ‘the scope of the Treaties’, and came into play where there is discrimination in connection with a right in the TFEU or another EU treaty.
As to the argument that the measures were disproportinate, where a national of another member state is not a worker, self-employed or a student and had no, or very limited, means of support and no medical insurance, it would undermine the whole thrust of the 2004 Directive if proportionality could be invoked to entitle that person to have the right of residence and social assistance in another member state, save perhaps in extreme circumstances.

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed
[2016] UKSC 1, [2016] HLR 7, [2016] 2 All ER 447, [2016] 2 CMLR 31, [2016] 1 WLR 481, [2016] AACR 26, [2016] WLR(D) 33, UKSC 2013/0161
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
European Union (Accessions) Act 2003, Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006
England and Wales
Appeal fromSamin v City of Westminster CA 21-Nov-2012
The court was asked whether an EU migrant worker was entitled to the protection of the homelessness provisions of the 1996 Act: ‘he is if he is a migrant worker from another EU country, exercising his EU rights as an Austrian citizen to work in . .
CitedMirga v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 4-Dec-2012
. .
CitedBrey v Pensionsversicherungsanstalt ECJ 19-Sep-2013
Judgment – Freedom of movement for persons – Union Citizenship – Directive 2004/38/EC – Right of residence for more than three months – Article 7(1)(b) – Person no longer having worker status – Person in possession of a retirement pension – Having . .
CitedDano v Jobcenter Leipzig ECJ 11-Nov-2014
ECJ Judgment – Free movement of persons – Citizenship of the Union – Equal treatment – Economically inactive nationals of a Member State residing in the territory of another Member State – Exclusion of those . .
CitedJobcenter Berlin Neukolln v Alimanovic ECJ 15-Sep-2015
ECJ Judgment – Reference for a preliminary ruling – Freedom of movement for persons – Citizenship of the Union – Equal treatment – Directive 2004/38/EC – Article 24(2) – Social assistance – Regulation (EC) No . .
CitedBaumbast and Another v Secretary of State for the Home Department ECJ 17-Sep-2002
The first applicant, his wife and her children had been granted leave to stay in the UK. At the time the leave was withdrawn the children were settled in schools, and were granted indefinite leave. The second applicant was the mother of children who . .
CitedDansk Jurist-Og Okonomforbund v Indenrigs-Og Sundhedsministeriet ECJ 26-Sep-2013
ECJ Equal treatment in employment and occupation – Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of age – Directive 2000/78/EC – Article 6(1) and (2) – Refusal to grant availability pay to civil servants who have . .
CitedSaint Prix v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions ECJ 19-Jun-2014
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Article 45 TFEU – Directive 2004/38/EC – Article 7 – ‘Worker’ – Union citizen who gave up work because of the physical constraints of the late stages of pregnancy and the aftermath of childbirth . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Benefits, European

Updated: 09 January 2022; Ref: scu.559350