For long-term care benefits, two legislative policy options (with 2 sub-options) were considered:
1.The competent Member State provides long-term care benefits in cash and reimburses the cost of benefits in kind provided by the Member State of residence (following the existing principles for sickness benefits with clarifications),
2.The Member State of residence provides all long-term care benefits with reimbursement by the competent Member State 2a) no supplement by the competent Member State 2b) with supplement.
Three options were discarded:(1) the introduction of a safeguarding provision, (2) making the residence State responsible for providing all long-term care benefits without reimbursement and (3) making the competent Member State responsible for providing all long-term care benefits (export).
Option 1 is the preferred option to ensure the stable application of the rules.
For unemployment benefits: Three legislative policy options were considered to ensure the uniform application of the aggregation and calculation rules for unemployment benefits:
1.Aggregation after only one day of employment,
2.Aggregation after a period of a)one or b)three months of employment,
3.Using reference earnings received in Member State of previous employment for the calculation of unemployment benefits after either a)one or b)three months of employment in the competent Member State,
4.horizontal option for the recognition of insurance periods for aggregation.
The preferred option 2b will be combined with an obligation for the Member State of previous employment to provide unemployment benefits where this condition is not fulfilled and the horizontal option. This will ensure a minimum level of integration in the host Member State before entitlement to claim unemployment benefits and a consistent approach by Member States. Further, mobile workers will be protected when they do not fulfil this period in the Member State of last activity.
Two legislative policy options were considered to extend the minimum period for an export of unemployment benefits:
1.Extending the minimum period for an export of unemployment benefits from three to six months with discretion to export the benefit for the whole period of entitlement,
2.Extending the period of export of unemployment benefit to the whole period of entitlement,
The preferred option is 1 combined with a reinforced cooperation mechanism between employment services concerned to support cross-border job search.
Three legislative policy options were considered for unemployment benefits for frontier and other cross-border workers:
1.Providing a choice for frontier workers as to where to claim unemployment benefits in the same way as for other cross-border workers,
2.Making the State of last activity responsible for the payment of unemployment benefits with the sub-options of a) requiring frontier workers to register with the employment service of the responsible State or b) giving them a choice between registering with the employment service of the competent State or their State of residence,
3.Making the State of last activity responsible for the payment of unemployment benefits when the frontier worker worked there for at least 12 months and attributing otherwise the responsibility to the Member State of residence with the sub-options of a) requiring frontier workers to register with the employment service of the responsible State or b) giving them a choice between registering with the employment service of the competent State or the State of residence.
The preferred option 3a offers the best compromise as regards an equitable and administratively cost-effective burden sharing.
For social benefits, the options contemplated have been legislative (amending the regulation):
1.a) Allowing a derogation to the equal treatment principle in Article 4 concerning social assistance only,
b) Allowing a derogation to the equal treatment principle in Article 4 concerning a wider array of tax financed benefits,
c) Allowing a precise derogation to the equal treatment principle concerning special non-contributory cash benefits in Article 70;
2.Removing special non-contributory cash benefits providing subsistence income from Regulation 883/2004,
3.A non-legislative (clarifying the rules through a communication) has also been considered.
In order to achieve the objective of ensuring legal clarity and transparency in the most efficient and effective way the preferred option is a combination of 1a and 1b.
For family benefits, as an alternative to the status quo, two legislative options were considered concerning the link between the level of family benefits received and costs incurred:
1.Indexation of exported family benefits to State of residence of the child a)upwards & downwards adjustment or b) downwards only,
2.State of residence has primary competence to pay family benefits.
The option of removing the obligation to export family benefits was considered but discarded for legal reasons.
In addition, a horizontal legislative option for coordinating child-raising allowances was considered. This has three variants a) individual rights for salary-related child-raising allowances with mandatory obligation for the secondary competent Member State to derogate from the anti-overlapping rules (i.e. pay the benefit in full), b) the same approach as (a) but for all child raising allowance (salary-related and flat rate) and c) the same approach as (b) but with an optional derogation from the anti-overlapping rules (i.e. a secondary competent state can either pay in full or pay a "top-up" only where its benefits are higher than the State with primary competence).
The preferred option is to maintain the status quo combined with horizontal option c. This combination ensures that primary responsibility for family benefits is retained by the Member State of economic activity where a parent pays taxes and social security contributions; this protects family members and upholds the best interests of the child. By introducing the horizontal option c, it is also possible to promote a balance between work and family life during periods of child-raising by placing a greater emphasis on individual rights and supporting those Member States who are actively promoting greater gender balance without imposing this obligation