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HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

European Law: Priority rules in the event of overlapping entitlement to family benefits - background

Article 68 of Regulation (EC) 883/2004 and Article 60 of Regulation (EC) 987/2009


One of the main principles of the EU co-ordinating legislation is to ensure that no-one is disadvantaged when moving their state of residence or employment from one Member State to another and also to ensure that no-one unfairly benefits from such a move.

To prevent such unfair treatment, where entitlement to family benefits arises simultaneously for the same member of the family in more than one Member State, the legislation sets out a series of priority rules which help to determine which Member State will be primarily responsible for the payment of family benefits, so that the person moving between Member States cannot obtain dual entitlement.

Those priority rules are contained in Article 68 of Regulation (EC) 883/2004 and the practical application of those rules is dealt with in Articles 58 - 60 of implementing Regulation (EC) 987/2009.