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Kinds of family allowances

 

Childbirth allowance

Childbirth allowance is a one-time allowance in the amount of 320 euros paid when a child is born. In the case of triplets (or more siblings), the allowance is 1,000 euros per child (which totals to 3,000 euros in the case of triplets).

To receive the childbirth allowance, an application must be filed; or, when a new child is born to the same parents, we email an offer to receive benefits according to the previously filed application, and the parents only need to grant their approval.

The most convenient way to file the application is by using the electronic state portal service, which enables to apply for all family allowances at once. The state portal applications are pre-filled with data and we have outlined the allowances that you are entitled to. Read more about applying for the family allowances HERE.

 

Child allowance

Child allowance is paid to children until they turn 16 years of age. The allowance is paid to children who continue their studies until they finish school, or until the end of that schoolyear during which they turn 19 years of age. Schoolyear begins on September 1st and ends on August 31st (in the final year of secondary school, on June 30th).

The amount of the child allowance depends on the number of children in the family:

  • Family with one or two children eligible for the child allowance - 55 euros per child per month (60 euros in 2019);
  • Family with three or more children eligible for the child allowance - 100 euros per child per month starting from the third child.

Example. A family has three children: a 4-year-old, a 10-year-old, and a 17-year-old who studies at a high school. The family is paid 55 euros (euros in 2018) of child allowance for the first and second child, and 100 euros for the third child – which totals 210 euros.
If a new child is born to that family, the family will have 4 children eligible for the child allowance. Then, the 55-euro allowance will be paid for the 10- and 17-year-old, and the 100-euro allowance for the 4-year-old and the newborn – which totals 310 euros.
If the 17-year-old graduates from school, they are no longer eligible for child allowance and the family will then be paid allowance for three of their children. In this case, 55 euros will be paid for the 10- and 4-year-old, and 100 euros for the newborn – which totals 210 euros.

To receive the child allowance, an application must be filed; or, when a new child is born to the same parents, we email an offer to receive benefits according to the previously filed application, and the parents only need to grant their approval.

The most convenient way to file the application is by using the electronic state portal service, which enables to apply for all family allowances at once. The state portal applications are pre-filled with data and we have outlined the allowances that you are entitled to. Read more about applying for the family allowances HERE.
 

Presenting data about studying

We get data about studying children from the Estonian Education Information System EHIS. This means that if your child is younger than 19 and studies in Estonia, you do not need to file a separate certificate. The schools will enter data into EHIS about their students.

We would like to draw your attention that if data has not reached EHIS by the time when the allowances are paid out at the beginning of a new schoolyear (for instance, when the child has changed schools, etc.), a small gap could occur in the allowance payments. The allowance will be paid out retrospectively, as soon as possible after receiving the required information.

If the child studies abroad, the EHIS does not have this data and you must present a school certificate about studying abroad to us each year. We kindly ask you to email the certificate to info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee, mail it to Endla 8, 15092 Tallinn, or submit it to your closest Social Insurance Board local office.

We kindly ask you to inform us, should the child quit their studies for any reason during the schoolyear. If the child allowance payments continue for a child who is no longer entitled to the allowance, you must later return the excess payments.

 

Child care allowance

One parent of the family is entitled to receive child care allowance (after the end of the parental benefit payments) if the family has:

  • an up to 3-year-old child – 38.36 euros per month per each up to 3-year-old child.


In addition, a smaller child care allowance is paid for 3 to 8-year-old children if:

  • the family has one up to 3-year-old child, and another child between 3 and 8 –19.18 euros also per the 3-8-year-old per month;
  • the family has 3 or more children eligible for the child allowance – 19.18 euros per month for each 3-8-year-old.

If the child turns 8 during the first grade, we shall pay the child care allowance until the end of the first grade (meaning August 31st). If the child turns 8 during the second grade or is not studying, we shall pay the child care allowance until the end of the child’s birthday month.

The parental leave can also be given and the child care allowance paid to some other person instead of the parents. In this case, the child care allowances paid to that person may not exceed 115.08 euros per month.

Example. A family has three children (2, 3, and 6-year-olds). A child care allowance (38.36 euros per month) is paid for the 2-year-old. The child care allowance is paid for the 3 and 6-year-olds on the condition that, in a family with 3 kids, the child care allowance is paid to all children until the age of 8. The child care allowance paid to the 3 and 6-year-olds is 19.18 euros per month per child.

In total, the family is paid child care allowance 38.36 + 19.18 + 19.18 = 76.72 euros per month.

In addition, this family also receives child allowance for all children, which is 55 euros for the first and second child, and 100 euros for the third child – totalling 210 euros per month. So, in total, the family receives 286.72 euros as family allowances per month.

You are entitled to the child care allowance after the end of the parental benefit payments. We do recommend to file the child care allowance application together with the first family allowances’ application. This enables us to begin the child care allowance payments as the parental benefit payments end.

Do note that if one parent is using the parental leave, they are the one entitled to the child care allowance. The parental leave is taken from the employer. Read more about the parental leave HERE.

The state pays social tax for the person on parental leave, which means that the person has valid health insurance! More information about health insurance is available HERE.

A family does not get simultaneous parental benefit and child care allowance payments. This means that if we pay parental benefit for one child, we stop the child care allowance payments for all the children in the family for that period.

You will also not get child care allowance for the child and the period that you are paid the maternity benefit or adoption benefit. These benefits do not influence the child care allowances paid for your other children.

To receive the child care allowance, an application must be filed; or, when a new child is born to the same parents, we email an offer to receive benefits according to the previously filed application, and the parents only need to grant their approval.

The most convenient way to file the application is by using the electronic state portal service, which enables to apply for all family allowances at once. The state portal applications are pre-filled with data and we have outlined the allowances that you are entitled to. Read more about applying for the family allowances HERE.


NB! Please note that from September 1, 2019, we will no longer grant childcare allowance!
Read closer about the change: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/changes-family-benefits-act-starting-september-2019#child_care_allowance_will_no_longer_be_paid

 

Parental Benefit

Parental benefit: its’ aim, amounts, and payment period
 

The parental benefit aims to enable the parent to stay at home with a small child, by guaranteeing the average income of the preceding calendar year. The parental benefit is meant as a replacement income for a person raising a child under the age of 3; it should be paid to that parent who is more away from work due to raising the child, or who daily cares more for the child.

Note that the state guarantees health insurance to the parent who is paid the parental benefit (and child care allowance, after its’ end). More information about health insurance is available HERE.

The parental benefit amount is calculated separately for each recipient, depending on their previous income. The amount depends on the amount of paid social tax, declared for the income earned during the calendar year before the right to the parental benefit arose. (Read more about parental benefit calculation HERE.)

The parental benefit is also paid if you did not earn any income taxable with the social tax during the year preceding the childbirth. In this case, the benefit is paid in the amount of the minimum wage that applied on January 1st of the previous calendar year (470 euros in 2018 and 500 euros in 2019).

If the average monthly income calculated based your total last year’s income was below the minimum salary rate, we will pay you the parental benefit equal to the minimum salary rate. The minimum monthly salary rate is 500 euros in 2018.

The maximum parental benefit amount is three times the average Estonian salary from the last but one year. We shall pay this amount if your average monthly income is equal to or greater than this amount. In 2018, the maximum parental benefit is 3,089.55 euros and in 2019, it will be 3,319.80 euros.

The parental benefit payment period depends on whether the mother worked before childbirth and was on maternity leave. In this case, the parental benefit shall be paid for 435 days starting from the day following the end of the maternity leave. (The parental benefit payment period can be calculated using the calculator on the Ministry of Social Affairs’ website.)

If the mother was not on a maternity leave, the parental benefit is paid starting from the childbirth until the child turns 18 months old.

If you were entitled to a maternity leave but you did not take it for some reason, we shall pay you a parental benefit for the first 70 days in the extent of the minimum monthly salary (in 2018, 500 euros per month).

To receive the parental benefit, an application must be filed; or, when a new child is born to the same parents, we email an offer to receive benefits according to the previously filed application, and the parents only need to grant their approval.

The most convenient way to file the application is by using the electronic state portal service, which enables to apply for all family allowances at once. The state portal applications are pre-filled with data and we have outlined the allowances that you are entitled to. Read more about applying for the family allowances HERE.

Who and when is entitled to receive the parental benefit?
 

The right to the parental benefit begins on the day following the last day of the pregnancy and maternity leave. This means that if the mother worked before the childbirth and used the maternity leave, the right to the parental benefit begins when the maternity leave ends. The maternity leave usually ends 70-110 days after the child is born.

If the mother did not work before childbirth and was not entitled to the maternity leave nor to receive the maternity benefit, they are entitled to the parental benefit when the child is born.

Only one parent is entitled to the parental benefit simultaneously. In general, the mother is entitled to the benefit for the first 70 days. Later, the parents can decide who shall receive the benefit. Should the father wish to receive the parental benefit from the next day after the child turns 70 days old, the father must apply for the parental benefit first.

Also note that if one parent is on parental leave from their employer, then that parent has the pre-emptive right to use the parental benefit. This eliminates the possibility of a situation where one parent is on a parental leave; the other parent is working and receives the parental benefit as well. Also, the state guarantees health insurance (until the child turns 3 years old) to that parent who is the recipient of allowances. It is important to note that a mother, who is actually at home with the child, would not lose health insurance! Read more about health insurance HERE.

The parental benefit recipient can be changed, if desired. The parental benefit shall be calculated based on the earlier income of that parent about to receive the benefit. If the recipient changes, the benefit shall be allocated to the new recipient starting from the first day of the month following the filing of the application, and as the parental benefit is paid for the previous months, the new recipient will get it the second month. For example, if the new recipient files the application in May, the benefit will be calculated starting from June, and the first payment shall be made to the new recipient in July. More information about changing the parental benefit recipient is available HERE.

Simultaneously, the family can receive only one parental benefit. Should you or the other parent already receive a parental benefit and the next child is born before the current parental benefit period is over, the family is entitled to choose which of the calculated parental benefits to use. The parental benefit amount does not depend on the number of children.

During receiving the parental benefit, it is allowed to earn income. If your monthly income is smaller than half of the maximum benefit amount (1544.78 euros in 2018; 1659,90 euros in 2019), then your parental benefit amount will not decrease. Should your income exceed this figure, we shall decrease the parental benefit amount paid out to you.

Similarly to a salary, the parental benefit is taxed with the income tax. Read more about earning during the parental benefit payment period HERE.
 

Parental benefit amount calculation


The parental benefit amount is calculated based on your last year’s income for which your employer has paid social tax (salary, bonuses, etc.). Your last year’s income shall also include the incapacity for work benefit that the Health Insurance Fund paid if you were transferred to an easier job.

The income from the year preceding the right for the parental benefit shall be taken into account. Note that the right for the parental benefit begins on the next day when the maternity leave ends – usually, 70-110 calendar days after the child is born. It is important to note if the child is born on the last months of the year, and the maternity leave ends at the beginning of the following calendar year.

  • Example 1. An expecting mother remains on the maternity leave in November 2017, and the child is born in December. The maternity leave ends and the right for the parental benefit begins only in February 2018. In this case, the parental benefit amount will be calculated based on 2017 income (calendar year preceding the right for the parental benefit), not 2016 which is the calendar year preceding the childbirth. The parental benefit amount shall be calculated based on 2017 income.

    For calculating the parental benefit amount, the entire yearly income shall be added up (gross salary, before tax deduction) and then divided by the number of months. To get the number of months, we shall discount the number of days you were on sick leave, care leave, maternity leave, or adoption leave from 365 days, and divide the result by 30. If you were transferred to an easier job, then these days will not be subtracted. If you did not have any instances of incapacity for work, your yearly total income shall be divided by 12 months.
  • Example 2. In 2017, you received a total income of 14,015.15 euros. The employer paid 4,625 euros social tax for you. You were not on sick leave.

    The child was born on March 19th, 2018. The parental benefit amount will be calculated based on year 2017, and your yearly income shall be divided by 12.

    14,015.15 / 12 = 1,167.93 euros – your parental benefit amount.


NB! Please note that as of September 1, 2019, the period for calculating the parental benefit will change!
Read more about the change: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/changes-family-benefits-act-starting-september-2019#child_care_allowance_will_no_longer_be_paid 
 

 

Parental Benefit Amount Calculation if You Worked Abroad Last Year

 
If you worked abroad last year, it is important whether you worked in some European Economic Area country, or Switzerland, or somewhere else. If you worked last year in some European Economic Area country, or Switzerland, we shall treat the time spent working there as if you worked in Estonia. Time working somewhere else in the world will not be taken into parental benefit calculations.

We calculate the parental benefit amount only based on income earned in Estonia, but with the assumption as if you had received the same income during the months you worked abroad. For example, if you worked 6 months in Estonia and 6 months in Europe, our parental benefit calculations will be based on your monthly income in Estonia and we shall assume that you had earned the same income also during the 6 months that you actually worked in Europe.

If you did not receive any income in Estonia during the last year, you will be paid the minimum parental benefit.

Possible exceptions apply if you worked in some European Economic Area country, or Switzerland, during the past calendar year, and started working in Estonia in the current year. Should you now remain on the maternity leave and begin to receive parental benefit, we shall, as an exception, make our calculations based on income earned in Estonia during the current year, and calculate the parental benefit amount using that amount.

  • Example 1. Your child is born in 2018. You worked abroad for several years and do not take on a job in Estonia before the birth. As you have not earned any income in Estonia, you will receive a parental income in the extent of the 2018 minimum salary (500 euros).
  • Example 2. In 2017, you worked 6 months in Estonia and 4 months in Finland. The right for the parental benefit arises in 2018. The average monthly salary is calculated based on the income earned in Estonia during 2017. Let’s assume this is 900 euros. The same monthly income (900 euros) shall be calculated for the time you were working in Finland. For calculating the parental benefit amount, 10 worked months shall be multiplied by the average income, and divided by the number of calendar months: 10 x 900 / 12 = 750 euros.
  • Example 3. In 2016, you only worked in Finland. You came back to work from 1 February 2017. You resided on maternity leave on 05.05.2017. The child was born on 12.07.2017.
    The right for the parental benefit started on 22.09.2017, which means we should calculate your parental benefit based on 2016 income. As you did not have any income in Estonia during 2017, we shall consider that you worked in Finland in 2016 (which is a partner state to the European Economic Area), which means we can include the income earned in Estonia during 2017. During the period 1 February 2017 – 4 May 2017, your average income in Estonia was 600 euros per month. You will get a parental benefit in the amount of 600 euros.
     

Parental benefit calculation if another child is born


The Family Benefits Act favours the sequential births of children. If the age difference between two children are under two and a half years, and the parent did not receive any income during the year preceding the birth of the next child, or if this was smaller than the income that was used to calculate the parental benefit for the older child, we shall calculate the benefit for the newborn based on the same amounts that were used for calculating the benefit to the older child.

We shall use the bigger amount – if you have received greater income before the new child is born, we will calculate the benefit for the new child based on the bigger amount.

  • Example 1. The first child was born 17 March 2014, and the parental benefit will be calculated based on 2013 income. Your income in 2013 totalled 14,178.79 euros. For 74 days, you were on sick leave, which makes the number of months (365 – 74): 30 = 9.7. The parental benefit totals 14,178.79 : 9.7 = 1,461.73 euros.
    The second child was born on 26 April 2016. You did not have any income in 2015, and your children’s age difference is less than two and a half years. Therefore, the parental benefit will be calculated based on that used for calculating the first parental income, and you will also get 1,461.73 euros for the second child per month.
  • Example 2. The first child was born 2 October 2016. Your maternity leave ended in December 2016, and your parental benefit was calculated based on your income in 2015. Your income in 2015 was 14.178,79 euros. For 74 days in total, you were on sick leave, which makes your monthly parental benefit for the first child 1,461.73 euros (see the calculation in the example above).
    After spending time at home with the first child, you went back to work and in 2017, you earned an income of 17,227.27 euros.
    Your second child was born on 12 March 2018, which means your kids’ age difference is under two and a half years. As the income earned before the birth of the second child was higher than that which was used for calculating the parental benefit for your first child, the 2017 income of 17,227.27 euros is used as a calculation basis this time. Let’s assume that you were on sick leave for the total of 60 days in 2017. In this case, your new parental benefit will be calculated as follows:
    Number of days:  (365-60):30= 10.17
    Parental benefit per month: 17,227.27 / 10.17 = 1,693.93 euros
    Yearly total income: 17,227.27

     

Compensation for the parental benefit and maternity benefit gap
 

Should your second child be born before the first one is 2 years and 6 months old, and the Health Insurance Fund has paid maternity benefit to you for the first child, you might also be entitled to the compensation for the parental benefit and maternity benefit gap.

You do not have to apply for it separately – we shall calculate it for you, should your allowances total comply with compensation rules. The parental benefit and maternity benefit gap shall be paid out together with the first parental benefit payment.

The compensation for the parental benefit and maternity benefit gap is paid if the amount for one maternity benefit day is less than the amount for one parental benefit day. The compensation is paid to you for the number of days between the childbirth until the beginning of the parental benefit payments.

It is important to note an exception – should the children be born with a small age difference, and the parental benefit is still being paid when the second child is born. You will not be paid the compensation for the parental benefit and maternity benefit gap during the period you are paid parental benefit.

When calculating the parental benefit and maternity benefit gap, we divide one month’s parental benefit by 30 – giving us one parental benefit day amount. From this amount, we subtract the maternity benefit amount paid for one day. The result is multiplied by the number of calendar days from the childbirth day until the maternity benefit payment end date.

  • Example. You are on the parental leave with your first child when the new child is born. Before the second child is born, you stop the parental leave and use the maternity leave and receive the maternity benefit from the Health Insurance Fund – 14.33 euros per day (based on the minimum salary as you did not work during the previous year). As the age difference of your children is less than two and a half years, the parental benefit for the new child shall also be calculated based on the income that was also the basis for calculating the parental benefit for the previous child. The calculated parental benefit amount is 1,168.56 euros, or 38.95 euros per day. The interval between the child’s birthday and parental benefit payment is 91 days. The gap parental benefit and maternity benefit gap is calculated (38.95 – 14.33) x 91 = 2,240.42 euros.
 

Allowance for multiple birth of three or more children

If triplets or more multiple children are born in the family at the same time, the state will pay a supplement to their family. One parent, custodian, or guardian of a family raising triplets or more multiple siblings is entitled for this allowance.

The amount of support is 1,000 euros per family per month, and we pay it until the children reach the age of 18 months.

There is no need to apply for this allowance – we will pay it automatically.

 

Allowance for a family with many children

Should your family have at least three children for whom we pay child allowance, you will also be paid an allowance for a family with many children. This is paid per family, and the recipient is either one of the parents, or a guardian, or the children’s custodian.

  • A family with 3 to 6 children is paid 300 euros per month.
  • A family with 7 or more children is paid 400 euros per month.

You do not need to apply for the allowance for a family with many children separately. It is important to note that for receiving this allowance, the child allowances for the children in this family must be paid out to one and the same parent.

In this case, the allowance for a family with many children shall be paid in addition to other allowances automatically.

 

Single parent child allowance

You are entitled to the single parent child allowance should your child’s birth certificate or the population register lack data about the child’s father, or if your child’s other parent has officially been declared a fugitive.

The single parent child allowance is 19.18 euros per month.

You can apply for the single parent child allowance using the same application as for all other child-related allowances. It is most convenient in the state portal, using the electronic service Application for parental benefit, family allowances and additional contributions to the pension system. For the single parent child allowance, you should tick the “single parent child allowance” option in the electronic service.

Should you apply for this allowance because the other parent has been declared a fugitive, you must add a notice about the initiation of such proceedings (for example, a notice issued by the Police and Border Guard Board).

This allowance shall be paid starting from childbirth, or from the day the parent was declared a fugitive.

The single parent child allowance payment is stopped in the following cases:

  • Acceptance of paternal filiation (under the parents’ joint application);
  • Establishment of paternal filiation during court proceedings;
  • The Police and Border Guard Board officially stops the other parent’s search proceedings;  
  • A survivor’s pension is appointed to the child for the other parent:
  • A survivor’s pension is appointed to the child due to the loss of the single parent’s new spouse, or the child’s step parent.

NB! To avoid the obligation to return the allowance, we kindly ask you to inform us about any changes as soon as possible, which could affect the right to receive the single parent child allowance. For example, if the survivor’s pension has been appointed for the child retrospectively, starting from the father’s death, the single parent child allowance paid for the same period must be returned to us.

 

Conscript’s child allowance 

You are entitled to the conscript’s child allowance if you yourself, or the child’s other parent, is serving in the Estonian Defence Forces, or in alternative non-combatant service.

The allowance is 50 euros per month for each child, until the end of the parent’s service in the Defence Forces. (300 euros in 2019)

Applying for the conscript’s child allowance is most convenient in the state portal, using the electronic service Application for parental benefit, family allowances and additional contributions to the pension system. You should tick the “conscript’s child allowance” option in the electronic service.

To receive the conscript’s child allowance, you must also submit a certificate issued by the Estonian Defence Forces proving the service, or by the Defence Resources Agency proving the alternative non-combatant service. The certificate must state the term of service.

 

Adoption allowance

When you adopt a child, you are entitled to a one-time adoption allowance in the amount of 320 euros per each adopted child.

The allowance is paid to the adopter from whom the child does not descend, and who is not the spouse to the child’s other parent. The adoption allowance is not paid if the family has received the childbirth allowance for the same child.

To receive the childbirth allowance, file an application in six months starting from the adoption court ruling entry into force.

Additional info

 

Guardianship allowance

You are entitled to the guardianship allowance if:

  • You raise a child whose parents do not fulfil their obligation to raise a child and whom the court has appointed under your guardianship;

The allowance is paid until the child turns 18. If the child is still studying at the age of 18, we shall continue with the allowance payments until the end of the academic year during which the child turns 19.

The allowance of 240 euros is paid monthly for each child under guardianship.

The right for the allowance starts on the day when the guardianship court order comes into force.

When applied for later, the allowance is paid out retrospectively, but, at the maximum, for six months preceding the application filing month.

  • Example. The guardianship court order took effect 01.02.2018 and you file the guardianship allowance application on 04.10.2018. We will pay the allowance retrospectively for 6 preceding calendar months, starting from 01.04.2018.

Additional info