German Court Rules in Favor of Social Rights for Bulgarians

January 31, 2013, Thursday // 01:53

EU citizens from Bulgaria and Romania are entitled to healthcare and social benefits in Germany even without a valid working permit, a German court has said.

EUobserver has noted that the ruling that may overturn welfare restrictions sought by the German government.

The case was filed by Lazarinka R., a 24-year old from Bulgaria who had come to Germany to live with her boyfriend - a Greek with German residency, who left her when she got pregnant, her lawyers have told the Spiegel magazine.

She then filed for a working permit, but was rejected and subsequently refused pregnancy care.

"The plaintiff's appeal was successful. She fulfilled all the requirements for a claim and was not excluded, as a Bulgarian citizen, from [social] benefits," the Federal Social Court, Germany's top appeal court for social security cases said in its ruling.

Since Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, EU law obligates Germany to grant nationals from the bloc's other member states the same social welfare payments as its own nationals.

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