Italy - Court of Milan, 5 December 2007, RG 8802/2006

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
05-12-2007
Citation:
Court of Milan, Decision of 05.12.2007 case No RG 8802/2006
Court Name:
Court of Milan, Labour Disputes Division
Relevant Legislative Provisions:
International Law > 1951 Refugee Convention > Art 23
International Law > 1951 Refugee Convention > Art 24
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Italy - Legislative Decree No. 286/1998 - Art 1
Italy - Legislative Decree No. 286/1998 - Art 41
Italy - Law 722/1954
Italy - Law 388/200 - Article 80
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Headnote: 

Foreign citizens with refugee status have the same rights as Italian citizens as regards social assistance and related rights such as, for example, payment of attendance allowance under L.18/80.

Facts: 

The applicant, a Congolese citizen who came to Italy with his wife and son had been granted refugee status. Following the granting of refugee status and as a result of serious illness affecting his son, who needed constant care, he submitted a request to be awarded attendance allowance benefit in accordance with Law No 18/1980 ‘Attendance Allowance’. The request was rejected by the National Social Security Institute (I.N.P.S.), which argued that, according to Law 388/2000, benefits were not payable to foreigners who did not hold an EC Residence permit for long-term residents. 

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court ruled unlawful the application of Law 388/2000 which states that financial benefits ‘that constitute personal entitlements under current social security legislation’ should only be provided to foreigners who hold long-term resident permits. This decision was based on the fact that this legislation, which is general in nature, cannot  be applied to refugees as their legal status is quite unique and is governed by the Law ratifying the Geneva Convention. In particular, as regards issues of social entitlements, Article 24 of that Law equates the status of refugees to that of Italian citizens.

Outcome: 

Applicant’s appeal upheld – entitlement to ‘attendance allowance’ benefit awarded.