Decision of the European Ombudsman concerning complaint 167/2021/TM against the European Commission for digitalising the procedures for EU staff members to obtain reimbursement of medical costs
Case 167/2021/TM - Opened on Monday | 22 February 2021 - Decision on Monday | 22 February 2021 - Institution concerned European Commission (No maladministration found )
Dear Mr X,
On 24 January 2021, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the European Commission. You consider that it is not appropriate for the Commission to require retired EU staff members to use online applications for submitting claims for reimbursement of medical expenses.
In your complaint to the Ombudsman, you argue that elderly persons have difficulties using online applications, particularly when the Commission makes regular changes to the online tools and their interface. You would like the Commission to be more flexible and to allow retired EU staff members to submit reimbursement requests by email. You contend that making reimbursement claims became more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate that elderly people may face particular challenges in using online tools. However, by digitalising its reimbursement procedures, the Commission pursues a legitimate interest - to streamline its processes and process reimbursement requests more speedily and more efficiently. In addition, it is still possible to submit claims for reimbursement by post. Regarding your particular situation, we note that the Commission sent you a request form by e-mail, which can be printed and sent by post with the necessary supporting documents. We consider this a reasonable alternative to the online application.
In view of the above, your complaint does not reveal maladministration by the European Commission.
We appreciate that this may not be your desired outcome but we nevertheless hope that you will find the above explanations helpful.
Head of the Case-handling Unit