Injured Polish Worker Loses Appeal for Extra Benefits

(CN) – A Polish immigrant injured after years of working off the books lost his bid for benefits Thursday at the European Court of Justice.

Largely following the advice of Advocate General Melchior Wathelet, who issued a recommendation on the case in February, the court upheld a benefits scheme in which the United Kingdom bestows “worker status” only on those who have completed an uninterrupted 12-month period of registered work.

The ruling came in an appeal by Polish national Rafal Prefeta, who worked consistently in the United Kingdom since 2009 but only obtained a worker registration certificate on Jan. 5, 2011, two months and six days before an off-the-job injury put him out of commission.

Though the UK gave Prefeta a jobseeker’s allowance, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions refused to grant him extra support that is available for registered workers.

The Fifth Chamber of the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice supported that decision Thursday.

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