Language Switcher Fallback

You are here

Changes in the Family Benefits Act starting from September 2019

  • As of 1 September 2019 the following changes will take effect:

  • Changing the period for calculating parental benefit

    When calculating the amount of parental benefit we will always first subtract the 9 months preceding the month of birth of the child and we will calculate the amount of benefit on the basis of income earned over the course of 12 months preceding those 9 months. This change will affect all who will have the right to parental benefit as of 1 September 2019.
    Read more

  • Child care allowance will no longer be granted as of 1 September 2019

    We will no longer grant child care allowance in connection with children born on 1 September 2019 and later. We will keep paying the benefit to all parents whose children are born before said date and to all who have been granted child care allowance earlier until the expiry of the right or until 31 August 2024 at the latest.
    Read more

 

 First change – changing the period for calculating parental benefit

Who will be affected by the new procedure?

 

Whether or not you will be subject to the new procedure for the calculation of parental benefit depends on when you will have the right to parental benefit. This new procedure will affect all who will have the right to parental benefit as of 1 September 2019. 

Please note that the right to parental benefit arises on the day after the end of the mother’s pregnancy and maternity leave (period for which the Estonian Health Insurance Fund pays maternity benefit) – mostly 70–110 calendar days after the birth of the child.  If the mother of the child did not work prior to the birth of the child and so she had no right to pregnancy and maternity leave and/or to be issued a certificate for maternity leave, the right to parental benefit arises on the day the child is born.

If you have the right to the benefit before 1 September 2019, the transition to the new system will not concern you – we will grant or keep paying parental benefit pursuant to the current procedure.
We will also not recalculate parental benefits granted earlier and we will keep paying them as granted.

That means, that the transition to the procedure concerns you only if:

  • The mother of a child did not work prior to the birth of the child and so she had no right to pregnancy and maternity leave (to be issued a certificate for maternity leave) and the child is born on 1 September 2019 or later.
  • The mother of a child worked prior to the birth of the child and she took a pregnancy and maternity leave (was issued a certificate for maternity leave) and the pregnancy and maternity leave ends on 31 August 2019 or later (the right to parental benefit arises on the day following the end of the pregnancy and maternity leave which means on 1 September 2019 or later).
  • The mother of a child had the right to maternity benefit on other grounds (for example, self-employed persons) and the period of receiving maternity benefit ends on 31 August 2019 or later (the right to parental benefit arises on the day following the end of the period of receiving maternity benefit which means on 1 September 2019 or later).
     

How will we calculate parental benefit in case of consecutive births?
 

If a new child is born before the previous child attains the age of 2.6 years, the current procedure will remain applicable, according to which we will calculate parental benefit according to the amount more favourable for the parent. It means that we will compare the income used for the calculation of parental benefit for the previous child to the income used for the calculation of parental benefit for the subsequent child. We will grant parental benefit on the basis of the amount more favourable for the parent.

Read more here: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-and-child-protection/kinds-family-allowances#Parental%20Benefit%20Amount%20Calculation%20if%20Another%20Child%20is%20Born

Additional info

 
  • If the right to parental benefit arises on 31 August 2019 at the latest,

    we will calculate the amount of parental benefit pursuant to the current procedure – on the basis of income of the calendar year preceding the year when the right to parental benefit arises.  For example, if the right to the benefit arises on 31 August 2019, we will calculate the amount of parental benefit on the basis of income earned during the preceding calendar year which means during 2018.

    A longer explanation on the procedure applicable until 31.08.2019 with examples is available here: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-and-child-protection/kinds-family-allowances#Parental%20Benefit%20Amount%20Calculation

  • If the right to parental benefit arises as of 1 September 2019,

    we will calculate the amount of parental benefit on new bases. Pursuant to the new procedure we will always first subtract 9 full calendar months (average length of pregnancy irrespective of whether or not the child is full term, premature or postterm) from the month of birth of the child and we will base the calculation of parental benefit on income over the course of 12 months preceding those 9 months. The amount depends on the amount of paid social tax, declared for the earned income.
    Even if parental benefit is applied by the father of the child we will calculate his benefit on the basis of the same period.

 
  • Example 1:  If a child is born on 10 September 2019, the new procedure will already apply and we will calculate parental benefit for the parents of that child pursuant to the new procedure. We will subtract 9 full months from the month of birth of the child, that is to say from September 2019 = December 2018. Therefore, the 12 calendar months preceding December 2018 will be taken into account. We will calculate the amount of parental benefit on the basis of income earned from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018.
  • Example 2: A child’s expected date of birth is 14 May 2019 and the child’s mother works prior to the birth of the child and so she has the right to pregnancy and maternity leave (to be issued a certificate for maternity leave/to be paid maternity benefit).
    The child’s mother may decide for herself when she would like to take her pregnancy and maternity leave. This may happen no earlier than 70 to no later than 30 days before the expected date of birth. On this decision it may depend whether the amount of parental benefit is calculated pursuant to the old or new procedure because the end of pregnancy and maternity leave (expiry of certificate for maternity leave) and the creation of the right to parental benefit depends on this.
    If the child’s mother decides to take her pregnancy and maternity leave 70 days before the birth of the child (which means on 5 March 2019) then in that case the date of expiry of the certificate for maternity leave is 23 July 2019 (5 March + 140 calendar days). Since it is before 1 September 2019 the old procedure still applies.
    If the child’s mother decides to take her pregnancy and maternity leave 30 days before the birth of the child (which means on 14 April 2019) then in that case the date of expiry of the certificate for maternity leave is 31 August 2019 (14 April + 140 calendar days). The right to parental benefit arises on the day following the date of expiry of the certificate for maternity leave (1 September 2019) and the new procedure already applies.
 

Second change – child care allowance will no longer be granted as of 1 September 2019

  • In connection with children born on 01.09.2019 and later child care allowance will no longer be paid. The state will gradually incorporate the funds that become available as a result thereof in the parental benefits system during 2020–2022. Read more about the planned changes on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs (in Estonian): http://www.sm.ee/et/vanemapuhkuste-ja-huvitiste-susteemi-taiustamine.
  • We will grant and keep paying child care allowance pursuant to the old procedure to all families where a child is born on 31 August 2019 at the latest.
  • We will also keep paying child care allowance to all who are already being paid child care allowance on 31 August 2019 or to whom we have granted the allowance earlier. 
    We will keep paying child care allowance until the expiry of the right to the allowance or until 31 August 2024 at the latest.

Additional info

The amount of child care allowance is 38.36 euros per month from the time the payment of parental benefit is stopped until the child attains 3 years of age. If there are other children 3–8 years of age in the family, we will also pay child care allowance for them 19.18 euros a month per child. Families with 3 and more children have the right to child care allowance (19.18 euros) for all children up to 8 years of age. 

Please note that parental benefit and child care allowance are not paid to a family at the same time – so during the time we pay the family parental benefit for one child we suspend the payment of child care allowance for all children in the family.

Read more about child care allowance here: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-and-child-protection/kinds-family-allowances#Child%20care%20allowance

 
  • Example 1: A child is born on 31.08.2019 into a family where there already is a child 4 years of age. The old procedure will apply and in connection with the birth of the second child we will grant child care allowance in connection with the newborn (38.36 euros per month) as well as with its 4-year-old sibling (19.18 euros per month). We will pay child care allowance for both children as of the end of payment of parental benefit in connection with the newborn until it attains 3 years of age on 31 August 2022.
  • Example 2: A child is born on 01.09.2019 into a family where there already is a child 2 years of age for whom we already pay child care allowance to the family.
    Since the new child is born after the new procedure goes into effect, we will not grant the family child care allowance for either child in connection with the birth of the child.
    In connection with the 2-year-old child we will keep paying the family child care allowance on former grounds until we start paying parental benefit in connection with the newborn (it usually happens 70–110 days after the birth of the child). As of that moment we will stop paying child care allowance in connection with the 2-year-old child. The reason is that a family will not be paid child care allowance for any child at the same time with parental benefit and by the time the payment of parental benefit is stopped the older child will be more than 3 years of age and the right to child care allowance for that child which arose pursuant to the old procedure will be expired.
  • Example 3: A child is born on 01.09.2019 into a family where there already is a child 4 years of age. Child care allowance will not be granted in connection with either child.