Reducing benefits to a degree of survival impedes the right to property

JUDGMENT 

Krajnc v. Slovenia 31-10-2017  (no. 38775/14)

see here

SUMMARY 

Truck driver ceases to work due to epileptic seizures. An excessively reduced disability allowance, results in a serious survival problem. Infringement of the right to property protection

PROVISION

Article 1 of the First Additional Protocol

PRINCIPAL FACTS 

The applicant, Slavko Krajnc, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1952 and lives in Celje
(Slovenia). He was a professional truck driver until he could no longer work due to epilepsy. The case
concerned a reduction in his disability benefit.

In 2005 Mr Krajnc was granted a monthly allowance of 390 euros (EUR) while waiting to be
reassigned to a suitable position of employment that would not put himself or others at risk on
account of his epilepsy. He received this allowance for the next six years, until 2011, when he
sustained a shoulder injury and the pension authorities reassessed his level of disability. Finding that
his capacity to work had further reduced, the authorities granted him a disability allowance
amounting to EUR 190 per month. Mr Krajnc appealed against this decision to the pension
authorities, arguing that his benefit had been considerably reduced even though his disability had in
fact worsened. The pension authorities rejected his appeal and he therefore lodged a claim with the
labour courts. However, the courts dismissed his claim in 2012, finding that new legislation
introduced in 1999 applied in his case; in particular, the new legislation did not contain the right to a
waiting period allowance, but provided for a disability allowance for those, like Mr Krajnc, whose
disability had worsened after 1 January 2003. He appealed, pointing out that he was unable to
survive on the newly determined allowance. The higher court confirmed the lower court’s position,pointing out that his case concerned a change in the level of his disability, which had required a fresh determination of his disability benefit in accordance with the new legislation. In 2013 the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal on points of law and the Constitutional Court refused to accept his
complaint.

Relying on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), Mr Krajnc alleged that the reduction
in his disability benefit had been excessive.

THE DECISION OF THE COURT 

Violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1

Just satisfaction: EUR 10,000 (pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 2,352 (costs and
expenses)(echrcaselaw.com editing). 

 


ECHRCaseLaw

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