Court of Appeal rules on ‘genuine and sufficient link’ test for disabled EU claimants

Kavanagh & Anor v The Secretary of State for Work And Pensions

Two disabled people who moved to the UK from other EU countries have won an important case which entitles them to disability-related benefits in the UK from shortly after they arrived rather than having to wait two years.

The case, brought by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Harrow Law Centre, will enable disabled EU citizens and their carers who have a “genuine and sufficient” connection to the UK to receive social security support at an earlier point if they relocate to the UK.

The ruling overturns an Upper Tribunal finding that denied both households benefits. And it confirms that the “genuine and sufficient” link which must be demonstrated by claimants in these circumstances is to the UK, rather than to its social security system.

Commenting on the judgment, CPAG’s Head of Litigation Carla Clarke said: 

“This is a strong judgment which recognises that justice requires decision makers to take a wide view of all the relevant facts and motives where a genuine and sufficient link to the UK must be proved for benefit purposes.

Both of our clients already had strong family ties to the UK and a clear intention to settle here when they first claimed disability benefits, yet they were denied help with the extra costs of disability because, as today’s judgment finds, the criteria for proving a sufficient link to the UK has been too narrowly applied.

She added that the ruling “means that disabled EU citizens, including UK citizens, who relocate or return to the UK from another EU country because their carer is fundamentally connected to the UK will receive the financial help they need because of their disability at a much earlier point.”

For more information see Appeal Court Breakthrough for Disabled Eu Benefit Claimants available at www.cpag.org.uk