FAQ : Brexit

Last update : May 11, 2021

We have updated the FAQ below to reflect how the 2 agreements that were signed in 2020 work together.

The 1st agreement is the withdrawal agreement that was signed on January 31, 2020, to provide a framework for mobility circumstances between the European Union and the United Kingdom over the period from February 1st through December 31, 2020. It sets forth an original mechanism that safeguards pre-existing social security entitlements and extends these entitlements for individuals whose cross-border circumstances continue beyond December 31, 2020.

The 2nd agreement is the trade and cooperation agreement that was signed on December 30, 2020, and includes a social security protocol. It draws extensively on the principles set forth by the European social security coordination regulations and incorporates equality of treatment, the aggregation of periods, the application of a single social security legislation, and the exportability of benefits. The main differences pertain to family benefits and to disability and unemployment benefits.

Please email any questions on Brexit to brexit@cleiss.fr

You are a French citizen

You are a French citizen/ You are residing in the UK/ health

I established permanent residency in the United Kingdom on or before December 31, 2020. Do I still qualify for health care coverage in the United Kingdom as from January 1st, 2021?

Under the withdrawal agreement, French citizens who were residing in the United Kingdom before the transition period ended on December 31, 2020, keep their access to the NHS (National Health Service) beyond that date under the same rules as before.

In order to qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government. This online-only application must be completed by June 30, 2021, on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

Will the periods of contributions I have accrued in France still count toward my UK retirement pension?

  • If you have worked in France before the transition period ends on December 31, 2020, your periods of employment in France will be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of your UK retirement pension entitlements, whatever the effective date is for your retirement pension claim. The Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply.

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, your periods of contributions in France can be taken into account by the United Kingdom.

I am drawing only a French pension (old-age, disability, survivor’s, etc.) and was already residing in the United Kingdom before the transition period ended. Did my health insurance coverage change effective January 1st, 2021, and if so, what are the current rules?

As you were residing in the United Kingdom prior to December 31, 2020, the withdrawal agreement provides that your health insurance coverage along with your rules for membership will remain unchanged for as long as your circumstances remain the same. You continue to qualify for the same benefits under the same rules as before: your health care expenses in the United Kingdom are covered by the UK social security system on behalf of France, which is the competent State for your health insurance coverage.

Important: you will need to complete an online application for permanent residency (“settled status”) in the United Kingdom: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, contains similar provisions on health care coverage for pensioners to those which currently apply under the European social security coordination regulations. These new provisions apply to circumstances beginning after January 1st, 2021.

I have worked both in France and in the United Kingdom prior to December 31, 2020: will my periods of employment in each country be counted toward my French and British retirement pensions as from January 1st, 2021?

Any periods of employed accrued prior to December 31, 2020, will be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of your retirement pension entitlements in France and the United Kingdom, regardless of when you actually claim your pensions, as the Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply to these entitlements.

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, periods of employment in France and the United Kingdom can be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of your French and UK retirement pensions. This will be implemented beginning January 1st, 2021.

I am drawing a French and British retirement pension while residing in the United Kingdom, in France, or in another EU member State. Will my pensions continue to be paid after the transition period, i.e. from January 1st, 2021?

Under the withdrawal agreement, entitlements accrued before the end of the transition period, i.e. prior to December 31st, 2020, will remain the same, whatever happens with the negotiations on the future relationship as it pertains to social security. This means that if you were already drawing a pension, it will continue to be paid to you in your State of residence.

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, all benefits except for disability and unemployment benefits are exportable. However, these benefits can also be paid outside France if allowable under domestic legislation, which is the case for disability pensions. Moreover, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

I am drawing only a French pension and residing in the United Kingdom. I will be coming to France for a short temporary stay and would like to be able to receive medical care there. Will my medical expenses in France be covered and, if so, what will the rules be?

As you are only drawing a French pension, you retain health insurance coverage under the French Social Security system. You are covered under the withdrawal agreement, which means that you can receive medical treatment when you come back to France, regardless of the reason for your stay, and be covered for all the care you receive here (medically necessary and scheduled treatments) pursuant to French regulations. You will need to contact the last health insurance fund to which you belonged before you left France to apply for reimbursement of your health care expenses, or alternatively to the local health insurance fund where you are staying in France.

Please be aware that, to make sure they qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government (online application).

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, has similar provisions on health care coverage for pensioners to those which currently apply under the European social security coordination regulations. Retirees drawing only a French pension who choose to reside in the United Kingdom from January 1st, 2021, will remain members of the French social security system and their health care expenses will be covered during temporary stays in France.

I am drawing only a French disability pension and residing in the United Kingdom. What will change on January 1st, 2021 as concerns the payment of my pension, the S1 form, and if there is a request for a medical examination?

Under the withdrawal agreement, the current Social Security coordination rules pursuant to the European regulations will continue to apply. You will continue to be paid your disability pension where you currently reside, on the basis of your previously accrued entitlements and in accordance with the “exportability” principle. Your health care expenses will continue to be covered by the United Kingdom on behalf of France based on your S1 form for as long as your circumstances remain the same.

Please be aware that, to make sure they qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government (online application).

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, all benefits except for disability and unemployment benefits are exportable. However, these benefits can also be paid outside France if allowable under domestic law, which is the case for disability pensions. Moreover, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

You are a French citizen/ You are working in the United Kingdom/ Social security benefits

I am UK-insured and working in the United Kingdom on December 31st, 2020, while my family is residing in France and my spouse is not working. Will I continue to draw UK and any French family benefits from January 1st, 2021, and if so, what will the rules be?

Under the withdrawal agreement, assuming that your circumstances remain the same after December 31, you will continue to draw family benefits under the same rules as currently. The State that pays family benefits is determined based on several factors: your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, with any applicable supplement being paid by the non-priority State which is determined on the basis of the children’s residency.

In your case, the British fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits. France will then pay a supplement if total French family benefits come to a higher amount than your UK entitlement.

Please be aware that, to make sure they qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government (online application).

Family benefits are not covered under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021. This means that, as from January 1st, 2021, these benefits will no longer be coordinated and will be awarded under domestic legislation only. However, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

I am French-insured and working in France while my spouse is working and residing in the United Kingdom with my children. Will I continue to draw French and any UK family benefits after January 1st, 2021? If so, what will the rules be?

Under the withdrawal agreement, assuming that your circumstances remain the same after December 31, you will continue to draw family benefits under the same rules as currently. The State that pays family benefits is determined based on several factors: your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, with any applicable supplement being paid by the non-priority State which is determined on the basis of the children’s residency.

In your case, the UK fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits because that is your spouse’s State of employment as well as your children’s State of residency. France will then pay a supplement if total French family benefits come to a higher amount than your UK entitlement.

Please be aware that, to make sure they qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government (online application).

Family benefits are not covered under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021. This means that, as from January 1st, 2021, these benefits will no longer be coordinated and will be awarded under domestic legislation only. However, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

I am French-insured and working in France while my family is residing in the United Kingdom; my spouse is not employed. Will I continue to draw French and any UK family benefits after January 1st, 2021? If so, what will the rules be?

Under the withdrawal agreement, assuming that your circumstances remain the same after the transition period ends on December 31, 2020, you will continue to draw family benefits under the same rules as currently. The State that pays family benefits is determined based on several factors: your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, with any applicable supplement being paid by the non-priority State which is determined on the basis of the children’s residency.                                          

In your case, the French fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits because that is your State of employment and your spouse is not working in the United Kingdom. The UK will pay a supplement if total UK family benefits come to a higher amount than your French entitlement.

Please be aware that, to make sure they qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government (online application).

Family benefits are not covered under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021. This means that, as from January 1st, 2021, these benefits will no longer be coordinated and will be awarded under domestic legislation only. However, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

I am in salaried employment under the French scheme and posted to the United Kingdom. Which social security scheme do I come under from January 1st, 2021?

If your posting to the United Kingdom began prior to January 1st, 2021, it will be able to continue up to the end date that appears on your A1 portable document, even if your assignment is scheduled to end after December 31, 2020. This means that your A1 remains valid through the date shown on it. If necessary, your A1 form (at the outset, A1s were given a cutoff date of December 31, 2020, by the French authorities) will be extended in order to cover the full length of your assignment as originally scheduled. You will need to contact the fund that issued your original form.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, allows for postings to and from the United Kingdom to continue. With the exception of posting extensions (postings have now been strictly capped at 24 months), the other main rules, including the prior notification requirement, remain in place. The A1 portable document will need to be used for assignments beginning on or after January 1st.

I am a self-employed worker and have self-posted to the United Kingdom. Which social security scheme do I come under from January 1st, 2021?

If you self-posted to the United Kingdom prior to January 1st, 2021, your posting will be able to continue up to the ending date which appears on your A1 form, even if this date falls after December 31, 2020. This means that the A1 will remain valid until its original cutoff date.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, allows for postings to and from the United Kingdom to continue. With the exception of posting extensions (postings have now been strictly capped at 24 months), the other main rules, including the prior notification requirement, remain in place. The A1 portable document will need to be used for assignments beginning on or after January 1st.

I am a French civil servant serving in the United Kingdom as of December 31, 2020. Which social security scheme do I come under starting January 1st, 2021?

Under the withdrawal agreement, the rules for individuals already engaging in mobility between the UK and France on January 1st, 2021, remain unchanged as the social security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply. Civil servants will continue to belong to the social security system of the State which they are serving and thus remain a member of the French social security system.

As this same rule is taken up by the trade and cooperation agreement, the circumstances for individuals engaging in mobility between the United Kingdom and France after January 1st, 2021, remain the same.

As a French citizen working in the United Kingdom, I have been in France for more than 6 months, where I have been working remotely due to the Covid crisis. I was not able to return to the United Kingdom before the transition period ended on December 31, 2020. What is my current social protection status?

All of the States that apply the European social security coordination regulations, including France and the United Kingdom, have adopted a flexibility measure to offset the impact of remote work made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure has allowed workers’ applicable social security legislation to remain unchanged for a period originally scheduled to end on August 31, 2020, and then extended to December 31, 2020. Under your particular circumstances, you remain covered by the UK social security scheme and your coverage continues after December 31, 2020. It should be added that due to the public health crisis, and for this reason alone, the member States have agreed to extend this flexibility measure through June 30, 2021.

You are a French citizen/ You are residing in the United Kingdom/ You are planning to return to France/ Pension

I have worked both in France and in the United Kingdom: will my periods of employment in each country be counted toward my UK and French retirement pensions after January 1st, 2021?

All periods of employment accrued prior to January 1st, 2021, will be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of both your French and your UK retirement pension entitlements, whatever the effective date is for your retirement pension claim, as the Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply.

If you are currently working in the United Kingdom and continue to work in the UK beyond December 31, 2020, the Social Security coordination rules will continue to apply under the withdrawal agreement. Any periods of employment you accrue in the United Kingdom before and after that date, along with your periods accrued in France, will be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of both your French and your UK retirement pension entitlements.

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, periods of employment in France and the United Kingdom can be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of your French and UK retirement pensions.

I am drawing a French and British retirement pension while residing in the United Kingdom, in France, or in another member State. Will my pensions continue to be paid after January 1st, 2021?

Under the withdrawal agreement, any entitlements accrued before the transition period ends on December 31, 2020, will remain the same, whether or not there is an agreement on the future relationship as it pertains to social security: if you are drawing a pension, it will continue to be paid to you in the State where you reside.

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, all benefits except for disability and unemployment benefits are exportable. However, these benefits can also be paid outside France if allowable under domestic legislation, which is the case for disability pensions. Moreover, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

You are a French citizen/ You are residing in the United Kingdom/ You are planning to return to France/ Social security benefits

How do I qualify for Social Security coverage when I move back to France?

If you move back to France after the transition period ended on December 31, 2020, the withdrawal agreement stipulates that the coordination rules will only apply to the entitlements you accrued based on your UK employment before you moved back to France.

The set of rules that applies to you in France will be determined by your circumstances here (in employment, in paid unemployment, drawing a pension, or no employment):

  • If you start a job in France immediately: you will start paying French social security contributions and immediately join the French social security system with no waiting period;
  • If you were unemployed in the United Kingdom prior to December 31, 2020, you may qualify to continue drawing your UK unemployment benefits for up to 3 months in France while you search for a job here;
  • If you are drawing a retirement pension from the UK scheme only and worked in another European Union member State prior to December 31, 2020, your health care expenses in France will be covered by the UK scheme;
  • If you are drawing a retirement pension from both the UK and the French or another EU member State’s scheme, the coordination rules apply: if you are drawing a French pension, you will then come under the French social security scheme due to your becoming a resident of France.
  • If you have worked only in the United Kingdom and are drawing a pension from the UK scheme only: your health care expenses in France will be covered by the UK scheme.
  • If none of the above-listed circumstances applies: you may still qualify for coverage of your health care expenses in France if you meet certain requirements, including stable and ongoing residency in France.

Will I qualify for unemployment benefits when I move back to France? Can my periods of employment in the United Kingdom be counted toward my unemployment benefit entitlement?

The provisions of European regulation No. 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems will continue to apply through December 31, 2020. This means that if your employment in the United Kingdom is terminated prior to December 31, 2020, the periods of employment you have accrued in the United Kingdom will count toward your unemployment entitlements under the rules set forth by the above-mentioned regulation.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, allows for periods of insurance and employment to be aggregated. How this provision is to be interpreted is currently under analysis.

You are a French citizen/ you are traveling to the UK/ health

I am French-insured and have a serious illness that requires scheduled care in a specialized facility in the United Kingdom. Will this still be possible after the withdrawal date, and what will the rules be?

If you have applied by December 31, 2020, to receive scheduled treatment in the United Kingdom and been approved, or have already been approved for or begun scheduled treatment, you will be able to complete your treatment in the UK on the basis of prior authorization from the French authorities. If your scheduled treatment is approved, your French health insurance fund will issue you an S2 form.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, allows for coverage of scheduled treatment on the basis of prior authorization from the authorities of your State of insurance.

I am French-insured and planning to take a vacation in the UK after January 1st,2021. Will I be covered for any health expenses there and, if so, what will the rules be?

If your vacation in the UK started prior to December 31, 2020, you will be able to use your European health insurance card (EHIC) until the end of your stay. If you need urgent care in the United Kingdom, your card will cut down on any upfront health care expenses you may have.

 The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, has similar provisions on health care coverage to those which applied under the European social security coordination regulations. Your EHIC will remain valid in the United Kingdom and a provisional replacement certificate will be issued to those who do not have an EHIC. This will apply to temporary stays beginning after the transition period ended, i.e. from January 1st, 2021.

Vous êtes français / Vous étudiez au RU / Santé

I am a student and began a course of study in the United Kingdom prior to December 31, 2020. I will complete my studies in 2023. Can I continue to use my EHIC in the United Kingdom after January 1st, 2021?

The withdrawal agreement protects the pre-existing entitlements of young French citizens who are ongoing residents of France and were already studying in the United Kingdom before the transition period ended. They will still have an EHIC (a “Brexit” European health insurance card (EHIC or CRA EHIC)) to use in the United Kingdom for the duration of their studies.

Important: French citizens studying in the United Kingdom (who come under the withdrawal agreement) have until June 30, 2021, to apply online for a residency permit (“settled status) on https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

I am a student beginning a course of study in the United Kingdom on or after January 1st, 2021. What happens to my health insurance coverage?

As your course of study will have begun after the transition period ended (on December 31, 2020), you come under the trade and cooperation agreement which has provisions on student health care coverage that are similar to the European social security coordination regulations. You will be able to continue to use your European health insurance card (EHIC).

Important: French students beginning a course of study on or after January 1st will to have a residency permit. (https://www.gov.uk.uk/student-visa).

Students applying for a residency permit for a period of over 6 months will need to pay a surcharge in order to access healthcare on the NHS. They can then apply for reimbursement of this surcharge.

You are a UK citizen

You are a UK citizen/ you are residing in France/ access to healthcare

I am UK-insured (on the basis of employment in the United Kingdom) and residing in France. Did my health insurance coverage change effective January 1st, 2021?

Under the withdrawal agreement, based on the concept of entitlements accrued prior to December 31, 2020, assuming your circumstances remain the same, your health insurance coverage and the rules under which you are covered will not change. You continue to qualify for the same benefits under the same rules as previously, based on the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover,” which you will need to apply for through your UK social security fund. With this document, you will be able to register with the local French health insurance fund where you live in France. Your S1 form will remain valid for as long as you reside in France and provides the same coverage under the same rules as for members of the French social security system.

Important: UK citizens living or working in France as of December 31, 2020, had until July 1st, 2021, to apply online for a residency permit (“titre de séjour”) using the platform http://invite.contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr/BREXIT.

However, those who were not able to apply for a residency permit by the official deadline can still submit an online application until September 30, 2021, as the platform will remain open until that date.

All UK citizens will be required to have a residency permit from October 1st, 2021.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, contains similar provisions on health care coverage for pensioners to those which currently apply under the European social security coordination regulations. These new provisions apply to circumstances beginning after January 1st, 2021.

Important: Like all non-EU citizens, UK citizens moving to France on or after January 1st, 2021, must be issued with a residency permit (“titre de séjour”) (http://accueil-etrangers.gouv.fr/demande-de-titre-de-sejour/).

I am salaried or self-employment in the United Kingdom, belong to the UK Social Security system, and am residing in France. Will my health insurance coverage change on January 1st, 2021, and if so, what will the rules be?

Under the withdrawal agreement, assuming your circumstances remain the same, your health insurance coverage and the rules under which you are covered will not change. You will remain entitled to the same benefits under the same rules as now.

If you have not already done so, you will need to apply to your UK social security fund for the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover.” With this document, you will be able to register with the local French health insurance fund where you live in France. Your S1 form will remain valid for as long as you reside in France and provides the same coverage under the same rules as for members of the French social security system.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, has similar provisions on health care coverage for pensioners to those which applied under the European social security coordination regulations.

I am drawing only a UK pension (old-age, disability, survivor’s, etc.) and residing in France. Did my health insurance coverage change from January 1st, 2021, and if so, what are the current rules?

Assuming that your circumstances remain the same, the withdrawal agreement provides that your health insurance coverage along with the rules for membership remain unchanged. You continue to qualify for the same benefits under the same rules as before.

The European Social Security coordination rules will continue to apply to entitlements accrued before the transition period ended on December 31, 2020.These rules stipulate that if you are drawing a pension from only one State and residing in another State, the State that is paying your pension is responsible for providing your health insurance coverage. This means that your health care expenses in France will continue to be covered by the French social security system on behalf of the United Kingdom

If you have not already done so, you will need to apply to your UK retirement pension fund for the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover.” With this document, you will be able to register with the local French health insurance fund where you live in France. Your S1 form will remain valid for as long as you reside in France and provides the same coverage under the same rules as for members of the French social security system.

If you also begin drawing a French pension and continue to reside in France, the coordination rules stipulate that your health insurance will then be provided directly by the French scheme.

Important: UK citizens living or working in France as of December 31, 2020, had until July 1st, 2021, to apply online for a residency permit (“titre de séjour”) using the platform http://invite.contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr/BREXIT.

However, those who were not able to apply for a residency permit by the official deadline can still submit an online application until September 30, 2021, as the platform will remain open until that date.

All UK citizens will be required to have a residency permit from October 1st, 2021.

You are a UK citizen/ You are residing in France/ your retirement

How will my retirement pension entitlements be calculated if I move to the United Kingdom?

Under the withdrawal agreement, moving to the United Kingdom will not affect the rules under which your retirement pension entitlements are calculated. The social security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will remain applicable by both France and the United Kingdom, whatever the effective dates for your pension claims.

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, periods of employment in France and the United Kingdom can be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of your French and UK retirement pensions.

You are a UK citizen/ you are working in France/ social security benefits

I am French-insured and working in France while my spouse is working and residing in the United Kingdom with my children. Do I continue to qualify for UK and any French family benefits as from January 1st, 2021? If so, what are the current rules?

Under the withdrawal agreement, assuming that your circumstances remain the same after December 31, 2020, you continue to qualify for family benefits under the same rules as before. The State that pays family benefits is determined based on several factors: your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, with any applicable supplement being paid by the non-priority State which is determined on the basis of the children’s residency.

In your case, the UK fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits because that is your spouse’s State of employment as well as your children’s State of residency. France will then pay a supplement if total French family benefits come to a higher amount than your UK entitlement.

Please be aware that, to make sure they qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government (online application).

Family benefits are not covered under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021. This means that, as from January 1st, 2021, these benefits are no longer be coordinated and are now awarded under domestic legislation only. However, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

I am French-insured and working in France while my family is residing in the United Kingdom; my spouse is not employed. Do I continue to qualify for French and any UK family benefits as from January 1st, 2021? If so, what are the current rules?

Under the withdrawal agreement, assuming that your circumstances remain the same after the transition period ended on December 31, you continue to qualify for family benefits under the same rules as before. The State that pays family benefits is determined based on several factors: your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, with any applicable supplement being paid by the non-priority State which is determined on the basis of the children’s residency.

In your case, the French fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits because that is your State of employment and your spouse is not working in the United Kingdom. The UK will pay a supplement if total UK family benefits come to a higher amount than your French entitlement.

Please be aware that, to make sure they qualify for the entitlements set forth under the withdrawal agreement for EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period, EU citizens must apply to the UK authorities for permanent residency (“settled status”) according to the rules that have been determined by the UK government (online application).

Family benefits are not covered under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021. This means that, as from January 1st, 2021, these benefits are longer be coordinated and are now awarded under domestic legislation only. However, any pre-existing entitlements remain the same under the withdrawal agreement.

I am a UK student coming over to study at a French school. What social security coverage am I entitled to as of January 1st, 2021?

If you began your studies in France before December 31, 2020, and continue studying beyond that date, your health insurance coverage along with the rules for membership remain unchanged. You will need to show your new “Brexit” European health insurance card (“CEAM” or “EHIC”) with country code “FR” on it.

Important: UK citizens living or working in France as of December 31, 2020, had until July 1st, 2021, to apply online for a residency permit (“titre de séjour”) using the platform http://invite.contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr/BREXIT.

However, those who were not able to apply for a residency permit by the official deadline can still submit an online application until September 30, 2021, as the platform will remain open until that date.

All UK citizens will be required to have a residency permit from October 1st, 2021.

If you come over to study at a French school after the transition period ended on December 31, 2020, you come under the trade and cooperation agreement, which has provisions on student health care coverage that are similar to the European social security coordination regulations. You can continue to use your EHIC.

Important: UK citizens who come over to study at a French school after the transition period ended, i.e. on or after January 1st, 2021, must be issued with a residency permit (“titre de séjour”).

You are a UK citizen/ you are traveling to France/ health care

I am UK-insured and planning to take a vacation in France after January 1st, 2021. Will I be covered for any health expenses there and, if so, what will the rules be?

If you have an old EHIC, it will remain valid up to its expiration date. The Provisional Replacement Certificate (“PRC”), or proof of entitlement to reciprocal healthcare if you do not have an EHIC, will also remain valid.

The UK authorities began issuing a special “citizens’ rights EHIC (EHIC CRA) on November 17, 2020, for UK-insured citizens with an expired EHIC who come under the withdrawal agreement. As from January 11, 2021, other UK-insured individuals, who come under the trade agreement and do not currently have an EHIC, are issued with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This card replaces the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and is issued by the United Kingdom to those applying for a new or renewal EHIC.

I am UK-insured and my doctor recommends that I receive the treatment I need for my illness at a specialized hospital in France. Will this still be possible after January 1st, 2021, and what will the rules be?

If your care is authorized by your UK health insurance fund or begun before the transition period ends, you can receive your full course of treatment in France.

You will need to apply for and receive prior authorization from your UK health insurance fund. If your UK fund approves your application, it will issue you with an S2 form which you will need to submit to the French authorities. Without approval, you will need to pay the full amount of your care out-of-pocket.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, allows for coverage of scheduled treatment on the basis of prior authorization. This will apply to applications submitted after the transition period ends on January 1st, 2021.

You are a company

You employ workers from the UK/ social security

You are a French-based company and want one of your employees to be able to work in the United Kingdom. Which country’s Social Security system will your employee belong to beginning January 1st, 2021?

If your employee is posted to France prior to January 1st, 2021, their posting will be able to continue up to the assignment end date which appears on their A1 form.

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, companies can continue to post employees to and from the United Kingdom. With the exception of posting extensions (postings have now been strictly capped at 24 months), the other main rules, including the prior notification requirement, remain in place. The A1 portable document will need to be used for assignments beginning on or after January 1st.

You are a UK-based company and want one of your employees to be able to work in France. Which country’s Social Security system will your employee belong to beginning January 1st, 2021?

If your employee is posted to France prior to January 1st, 2021, their posting will be able to continue up to the assignment end date which appears on their A1 form. 

Under the trade and cooperation agreement, which applies from January 1st, 2021, employees can be posted to France for a period of up to 24 months. However, the new rules for posting need to be formally accepted by each of the States. These provisions are currently being analyzed by France, which has until the end of January, 2021, to announce whether or not it upholds the rules for postings to and from the United Kingdom.

One of your employees works on an ongoing basis both in France and in the United Kingdom. Which country’s Social Security system will they belong to after January 1st, 2021?

If your employee continues to work both in France and in the United Kingdom after December 31st, 2021, their Social Security membership will not change as the social security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply. Your employee will remain a member of only one State’s social security systems, as determined by the criteria implemented under the above-cited regulations. Indeed, the employee will have social security membership in their State of residency. If your employee is a resident of France, their health insurance fund will be their local CPAM office (or MSA office if they are employed in agriculture).

If your employee’s working conditions change, you will need to contact the fund to which your employee belongs in their State of residence (if the percentage of work carried out in each State changes), or otherwise your company’s local fund (if your employee will be working in only one State) so that the fund can reassess your employee’s circumstances, which include their citizenship. Up through December 31, 2020, the use of remote work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will not affect the employee’s applicable social security legislation.

The trade and cooperation agreement, which will apply from January 1st, 2021, contains special provisions for those working in at least 1 EU member State and the United Kingdom; a portion of these are similar to those set forth by the European coordination regulations (EC) No. 883/2004 and 987/2009. This will apply to circumstances beginning after the transition period ends on January 1st, 2021.