Are unpaid services received to be considered part of income?

Art. 2 of Annex VII of Staff regulations provides for an allowance for dependent children to be paid to officials. The allowance is granted automatically for children under 18, and on application for children between 18 and 26 in education or training, with supporting evidence, and provided the child is deemed to be dependent on his/her parents within the meaning of the same Article. If the child has his/her own income, this must be below a given threshold in order to be regarded as dependent. PMO decides whether the child fulfils income requirements according to Revised Conclusion 223/04 by the Heads of Administration.
This was the case for the son of a colleague, under 26 years of age and receiving a bursary for a doctorate. He therefore had an income, which happened to be just below the ceiling provided for by the rules. PMO however rejected the application for recognition of the status of dependent child. Their reasoning was that since applicable tuition fees were fully covered by the studentship and therefore not charged to him, tuition fees were part of the child’s income, which thus exceeded the limit. After long and inconclusive exchanges with PMO, the colleague decided to file an Art. 90(2) complaint, which eventually was accepted. PMO was forced to reverse its decision and approve the request for the dependent child allowances.
It is therefore important to be aware that unpaid goods or services cannot be considered as income within the meaning of Annex VII in any decision involving the calculation of the person’s income according to Revised Conclusion 223/04.

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