January 17, 2021

Obliged to return 10,000 euros because her 84-year-old dependent mother is not considered a family burden | My rights section

Obliged to return 10,000 euros because her 84-year-old dependent mother is not considered a family burden | My rights section

Justice forces a woman to repay more than 10,000 euros that she received during two years as a subsidy for people over 55 years of age. The reason is that his application did not meet two of the requirements demanded by the regulationsWhen he was unemployed, he was still 49 years old, and the person in his charge was neither his spouse nor his son, but his elderly dependent mother of 84 years of age.

The Public Service of State Employment (SEPE) was wrong to grant the subsidy and now a Catalan court (in a judgment that you can consult here) forces you to return the total. A decision that, given the circumstances, has been described as disproportionate by one of the magistrates of the case, who voted against passing on the pensioner the error of the managing entity.

Family burden

According to the sentence, the woman was not entitled to the subsidy granted. On the one hand he did not fulfill the requirement of having family responsibilities under his charge. The precept limits this benefit for family burden to the assumptions that the family member maintained is the spouse, children under 26 years old or disabled older children. In addition, the beneficiary had not reached the age of 55 when the strike ended, as required.

However, following the request of the SEPE, the woman alleged that At no time had he hidden his situation or his data, that his mother was a relative directly in his charge and that her economic situation did not allow her to hire an external caregiver to attend her

In spite of this, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia is sharp in its resolution and obliges it to return the income. As you reason, the law prevents this consequence from being relaxed because it forces the reimbursement of these amounts "regardless of the cause that gave rise to the improper perception". Nor does it consider that the woman was in a serious situation of economic precariousness because, although it was shown that she lived with her mother of 84 years seriously ill, it was not clear that she herself was in poor health or lacked any other type of income.

Disproportionate interference

The sentence has a vote against one of the magistrates, who was against to force the beneficiary to return the amounts received and already spent in the care of his mother. It understands that it supposes a disproportionate interference in their right to property, as is clear from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. For this, he takes into account that the error was made by the managing entity and that the woman did not hide any data. This, he explains, generated a legitimate expectation in the beneficiary about her right to receive the subsidy that, on the other hand, destined to cover the basic needs of the family. In these circumstances, he exposes, the action of the Administration, forcing the reimbursement of more than 10,000 euros, is disproportionate and violates his right to property.


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