Belgium: Brussels Labour Tribunal rules on social benefits for family who cannot be returned due to medical grounds

Friday, February 13, 2015

The facts of the case relate to a Guinean national and her minor son who, following on from a negative asylum decision by the Council of Aliens Law Litigation (CALL), were given orders to leave the territory. On account of a recurring medical illness the child was placed in social care under the supervision of the judicial services. During this period the mother had been staying with friends and later squatting in a dis-used building where she later applied for urgent social aid from a Public Centre for Social Welfare (CPAS). Contesting the urgency of the application the CPAS found no reason to derogate from its usual procedure of handling requests within a month.

In response, the Labour Tribunal found that in light of a lack of heating, electricity and water in the building as well as possible lengthy appeals against a negative CPAS decision (probable on account of the applicant’s refused asylum application) the Tribunal found that the urgency requirement codified in domestic law had been established.

As to the claim of social benefits the Tribunal submitted that where a removal order cannot be undertaken on account of administrative or medical grounds, the CPAS should not limit benefits to urgent medical care even if the applicant is residing on the territory without the requisite authorisation. As the applicant’s son was under the care of social services, she was unable to leave the territory without her rights under Article 8 of the ECHR being violated. Thus, the Tribunal concludes that the CPAS must provide the applicant with an integration income at a fixed rate

The ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Selma Benkhelifa and Rosalie Daneels for providing us with this information.

Based on an unofficial ELENA translation.

13 February 2015
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Best interest of the child
Child Specific Considerations
Family unity (right to)
Health (right to)
Material reception conditions