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HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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European Law: Priority rules in the event of overlapping entitlement to family benefits - Articles 68(3) of Regulation (EC) 883/2004 and Articles 6 and 60 of Regulation (EC) 987/2009

Article 68(3) of Regulation (EC) 883/2004 and Articles 6 and 60 of Regulation (EC) 987/2009

Where a claim for family benefits (Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit or Guardians Allowance) is received, and applying the priority rules (see CBTM10204, CBTM10205, CBTM10206 & CBTM10207), it is decided that the UK legislation is applicable but not by priority right; the claim should be forwarded to the competent Member State (MS) without delay and the claimant notified of this action. The competent Member State is required to treat the claim as made on the date it was submitted to the first institution and must make a decision whether to accept competency within two months.

If the other Member State does not make a decision on whether to accept competency within that two month period, the UK’s provisional decision would apply and that Member State must pay its benefits in full from the date of the claim and notify the UK of the date and the rate of payment. The UK would then consider whether a supplement payment is appropriate.

Where two or more Member States are unable to agree between themselves which Member State is competent to pay family benefits, the following rules apply:

  • if the children live in one of the Member States involved, the Member State of residence of the children should pay family benefits on a provisional basis until an agreement can be reached; or
  • if the children do not reside in one of the Member States concerned, family benefits should be paid on a provisional basis by the Member State where the application for family benefits was first submitted.

Where no agreement can be reached between Member States after one month, the matter may be referred to the Administration Commission who will seek to make a decision within 6 months of the date that the matter was referred. Meanwhile, the MS paying under the bullets above continues paying.