Written by: Senior Lawyer Bjørg S. Granerud and Associate Haakon Toms
For several years, NAV has claimed that a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme must be in the country to retain the right to sickness benefits, work assessment allowance and care benefits. That a member must be in the country to receive cash benefits is, among other things, stipulated in Sections 4-2, 8-9 and 11-3 of the National Insurance Act.
But on 1 June 2012, EEA Regulation (EC) no. 883/2004 of 29 April 2004 was implemented in Norwegian law. Article 21 no. 1 of these regulations states that a member of the National Insurance Scheme who is in another EEA member state shall retain the right to cash benefits he or she has accrued in Norway. The regulations apply as Norwegian law and take precedence where they conflict with Norwegian provisions.
This means that all members of the National Insurance Scheme who receive work assessment allowance can freely travel to another EEA country without losing their entitlement to work assessment allowance, as long as the activity and reporting duties are complied with.
Therefore, NAV has violated Norwegian law by prosecuting or claiming reimbursement of cash benefits that have been paid to a member of the National Insurance Scheme when the member was in an EEA member state.
The financial loss on the part of the individual is not limited to the cash benefits that NAV has reclaimed. There is also an entitlement to further benefits from NAV, wrongful prosecution and other financial consequences resulting from the mismanagement.
Advokatfirmaet Økland & Co has extensive experience with welfare and social security law. Previously, we have also assisted many clients in reducing or removing claims for compensation aimed at them by NAV.
If you are unsure whether you are affected, please contact Senior Lawyer Bjørg S. Granerud or Associate Haakon Toms at Advokatfirmaet Økland & Co for an assessment.