- Entitlement to family allowances
- Applying for family benefits
- Different family models
Entitlement to family allowances arises both with a birth of a child, and when a child joins a family in another way – for example, when a child is adopted or taken under guardianship or replacement care. Family allowances are paid to one parent or guardian, and the recipient can be changed during the benefit payment period.
In general, the state pays family allowances to all children until they turn 16 years of age. Children studying in a basic school, upper secondary school or in a vocational educational institution which operates on the basis of basic education have the right to receive family allowances 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).
You are entitled to family allowances if:
- A child was born to you;
- You have adopted a child, taken a child into foster care, or are the child’s legal guardian;
- You are the spouse of a parent raising a child, and the child lives with you;
- You are not married but your partner has a child from previous marriage or partnership, and at least one mutual child lives in your family as well;
- You raise a child who is separated from his or her family;
- You are at least 18 years of age, study in a basic school, upper secondary school or in a vocational educational institution which operates on the basis of basic education, and have moved to live separately from your parents;
- You are the child’s actual custodian and use the parental leave instead of the parent (entitled only to child care allowance)
You are entitled to Estonian family allowances if both you and the child are permanently living in Estonia, and if you are:
- Estonian citizens;
- Foreigners living in Estonia under a residence permit or a right of residence;
- If you live in several countries, you are entitled to family allowances if you reside in Estonia for at least 183 days during 12 consecutive months – meaning that you are a resident as defined by the Income Tax Act.
For receiving the family allowances, you must file an application to us after registering the child at the population register – or, if a new child is born into a family that already has children, we ask for the parents’ approval to allocate the allowances on the basis of the previous application.
We ask for the parents’ approval for allocating the allowances based on the previous application if:
- A new child is born for a couple already registered as parents, and we are still paying family allowances for the older child(ren).
We send an email to both parents after you have registered the child at the population register and need at least one parent’s approval. More information is available HERE.
You should file an application for receiving family allowances if:
- A child is born to you for the very first time;
- A child is born into a blended family;
- The family’s existing children are already grown up and no family allowances are paid for them;
- You wish to change the recipient or bank account where the allowances are paid to.
More information about filing the application is available HERE.
Starting from the childbirth, you have six months to file the application or to give your consent. Should you file the application or give your consent later, we shall pay out the allowances retroactively for up to six months.
When a new child is born to the same parents, we can allocate the allowances based on a previous application
When a new child is born into a family that already has children for whom we pay any family allowances, we can allocate the child’s allowances based on a parent’s previous application.
We will send an email to both parents after you have registered the child at the population register.
The emails will be sent to addresses marked on the application filed in connection with your older child. If the emails are missing, we shall use the email addresses listed at the population register or connected to your personal identification codes.
If you do not receive an email from us, it is possible that it was sent to an address that you no longer use, or you have not redirected the email address connected to your personal identification code in the eesti.ee portal. D not worry if this happens – receiving and replying to this email is not mandatory for receiving the allowances. If the other parent has received the odder, then please give your consent to that; also, you can always file a new application to us.
We expect at least one parent’s consent to the emailed offer during 6 months after the child was born. Upon receiving the consent, we shall allocate the foreseen family allowances using the same preferences as you had specified for your older child(ren) (recipient name, bank account number, etc.).
For example, if parental benefits and any other family allowances are currently paid out to the mother but the supplementary contributions to the father’s funded pension account, the same ordeal shall also be applied for the newborn’s allowances.
Should the parents wish to make any changes to how we were previously paying out the allowances, it is sadly not possible to take the previous application as a basis, in which case we ask you to submit a new application with correct data.
All amounts of the allowances for the newborn child depend on the sizes of allowance which apply when the child is born. When calculating the parental benefit, our calculations shall be based on the income received before the birth of the new child. Exceptions apply to the parental benefit calculation should the new child be borne before the older child turns 2 years and 6 months old. Read more about it HERE.
We will email our decision about allocating the allowances. You can also access the decision in the state portal eesti.ee.
We recommend to submit the application for family allowances in the state portal eesti.ee.
Services related to family allowances are gathered in the Family section. Most of the allowances can be applied for through the service: Application for parental benefit, family allowances and additional contributions to the pension system. The electronic application is already pre-filled using your data in the population register.
NB! In this service you can also grant your approval to have the allowances paid out to the other parent.
Should you not wish to submit an electronic application, you can also:
- Email the digitally signed application to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Mail the application to Endla 8, 15092 Tallinn;
- Submit the application by visiting a suitable Social Insurance Board customer service branch.
Make sure to take your ID-card or passport with you when visiting us!
All family-related application forms are available on our website: Family benefits’ application forms.
The period for handling family allowance applications is up to 10 workdays, and the first allowance is paid out within 30 days starting from the official decision. Usually, the first payment is made within a week starting from the decision.
- When the child’s parents separate, we shall continue to pay family allowances to that parent who had been the recipient to date, unless the parents agree on otherwise.
Both parents’ approval is required for changing the recipient of family allowances. More information about changing the recipient is available HERE.
In a situation where the parents cannot reach an agreement as to who is the recipient of family allowances, they have the possibility to turn to court.
- Either you or your partner / spouse is entitled to receive family allowances for all children if your family raises, in addition to your mutual children, also children of your partner or spouse from their previous partnership. If you have agreed which one of you is the recipient of the family allowances, that parent should file an application to us, together with another parent’s agreement for diverting the benefits.