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For recipients of family benefits

 

Payment of family benefits

We pay family benefits on the 8th day of each month. We pay most family allowances and, during court proceedings, maintenance allowance for the current calendar month.
We pay parental benefit for the previous calendar month.

We pay maintenance allowance during enforcement proceedings for the previous month by the 10th day of the following month.

If the day of payment falls on a day off, we make the payment on the preceding working day.

We pay family benefits according to your request as follows:

  • to your Estonian bank account;
  • to the bank account of another person of your choice if you submit to us a digitally signed application, an application at our customer service office or a notarised application;
  • to your foreign bank account at your expense.

If we already pay you pension or benefits for disabled persons as home delivery by post, you may also receive family benefits the same way.

You can view received payments in the eesti.ee portal under “My pension, allowances and benefits”.

You can view decisions on the grant of benefits under “Applications I have submitted to the Social Insurance Board”.

 

Changing your account number


If you want to change your current account number, you can do it using the electronic state portal service “Changing my bank account with the Social Insurance Board”.

If you give us the new account number before the 20th day of the month, benefits will be paid to that bank account starting from the following month.
In case the notification is sent after the 20th, benefits will be paid to the new bank account after next month.


Income tax on family benefits

Out of all the family benefits only parental benefit is subject to income tax (20%). Other family allowances are tax exempt.

You are entitled to exemption from income tax in relation to parental benefit. After receiving a decision on the grant of parental benefit you have to submit an application in the eesti.ee portal under Applying for exemption from income tax.  You can change the amount of exemption from income tax or waive the tax exemption under the same service.
An application may be submitted each month. For the new amount of exemption from income tax to take effect as of the next month the application must be submitted no later than on the 19th day.

Please note that the amount of exemption from income tax depends on your total gross income (amount before taxes):

  • If your one month’s gross income is up to 1200 euros (total of up to 14,400 euros per year), you are entitled to maximum tax exemption – 500 euros per month which means 6000 euros per year.
  • If your one month’s gross income ranges between 1200 and 2100 euros (annual income of 14,400–25,200 euros), the amount of tax-exempt income starts to decrease from 500 euros and the closer it is to 2100 euros the smaller your tax-exempt income.
    Find the exact amount by using the Tax-exempt income calculator.
  • If you earn over 2100 euros gross (over 25,200 euros per year), the entire income is subject to income tax and the amount of tax-exempt income is 0 euros. 
     

Example. In connection with the birth of your second child you start receiving parental benefit as of 10.04.2019. In the first month of payment of parental benefit you are also paid the parental benefit and maternity benefit difference of €1500. The amount of parental benefit for 21 days of April is €840. In the first month – May – you receive a total of €2340. Since that amount exceeds 2100 euros, you are not entitled to exemption from income tax in the first month. The amount of parental benefit for May is €1200 which is paid in June. On your application, that amount is subject to exemption from income tax in the amount of €500.

Read more about the imposition of income tax here: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/pension-benefits/benefits-and-pension-taxed-income-tax


Recalculation of parental benefit when a new year begins
 

Your parental benefit increases when a new year begins if:

  • You receive parental benefit at the rate of the minimum monthly wage;
  • The parental benefit calculated on the basis of your income is smaller than the minimum wage set for next year.


In both cases the new parental benefit amount equals the minimum monthly wage of the new year.

Other parental benefits are not recalculated.

For example, recalculation does not concern situations where:

  • Parental benefit equals the rate of parental benefit;
  • You have been receiving parental benefit in the maximum amount and a new maximum parental benefit amount is set for next year.

 

 

Working while receiving parental benefit

It is allowed to keep working and receive income while receiving parental benefit.

Whether you will keep receiving parental benefit in the full amount or whether we will reduce the benefit depends on the amount of gross income (amount before taxes).

If one month’s income is lower than half the maximum limit of parental benefit, parental benefit is not reduced. If the income is higher than half the maximum limit of benefit, we reduce the parental benefit. In 2019 half the maximum limit of benefit is 1659.90 euros.

If you know your wage will be higher than 1659.90 euros (amount before taxes), please send us an e‑mail (info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee) stating the amount of your gross wage. In that case we will consider that you get that amount each month and we will reduce your parental benefit (see the calculation). Should your income be lower in some months, we will pay more parental benefit after receiving information from the Tax and Customs Board.

Please let us also know if your income is higher on a single occasion. Be sure to indicate the relevant month of payment.

Please note that the calculation is based on when you are paid your income, not for which month you get it.

To inform us of your monthly wage you can also ask your company’s accountant to fill out and sign the relevant form (PDF).
 

How is parental benefit recalculated?

Formula: Parental benefit - [(gross income - 1659.90 euros) : 2] = reduced parental benefit.

We deduct half the maximum limit of parental benefit from your monthly gross income and we divide the difference by two. We deduct that amount from the amount of parental benefit granted to you. And that is the new reduced amount of parental benefit.

Please note that if the reduced parental benefit is lower than the rate of benefit, we will pay you the benefit at the rate of parental benefit. In 2019 the rate of benefit is 500 euros.

Example 1. The parental benefit granted to you is 1500 euros, your gross income in the current month is 1700 euros. Therefore, we will reduce the parental benefit according to the formula: 1500 - [(1700 - 1659.90) : 2] = 1500 - 20.05 = 1479.79 euros.

Example 2. The parental benefit granted to you is 500 euros, you get a bonus of 2000 euros in the current month. Therefore, we will reduce the parental benefit this one time according to the formula: 500 - [(2000 - 1659.90) : 2] = 500 - 170.05= 329.95 euros. Since this reduced amount of parental benefit is lower than the rate of parental benefit, we will pay parental benefit at the rate of parental benefit, which is 500 euros in 2019.

If during parental benefit your employer pays you several months’ wage all at once in one month, we deem you received income in several months. We will not reduce the parental benefit if one month’s amount is lower than half the maximum limit of benefit.
Please submit to us a written statement from your employer showing when you should actually have received your wage.

Example 3. Your employer was supposed to pay you wage of 800 euros in October and 800 euros in November, but instead paid 2400 euros in December. If you submit to us your employer’s statement that the wage paid in December was for three months, we deem you received 800 euros a month for three consecutive months. In that case your parental benefit is not reduced in December.

There are some exceptions when we do not reduce parental benefit:

  • Your income is higher because in the first month of payment of parental benefit you were also paid income earned before the beginning of parental benefit. We deem the month of payment of parental benefit to be the calendar month for which benefit is paid.
  • Your income is higher because in the last month of payment of parental benefit you were also paid income earned after the end of parental benefit.
  • The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund paid you benefit in case of your employer’s insolvency.
  • Due to the fault of your employer you were not paid in a timely manner income earned before parental benefit.
 

 

Change of recipient of family benefits

Parents have the right to decide which of them will receive family benefits and contributions to mandatory funded pension. It is possible to change the recipient of family benefits.
Most benefits may be received by different people. For instance, if one parent receives family allowances, then additional contributions to mandatory funded pension may be received by the other parent.

It is important to note that if one parent has taken parental leave, that parent has the right to parental benefit and child care allowance. The parent who receives benefits (parental benefit, child care allowance) also has state funded health insurance. Therefore it is important to make sure that a mother staying at home with children is not left without health insurance because the father receives the benefits.

Parental benefit may be paid to the father of a child instead of the mother when the child is 71 days old. If the father wants to receive parental benefit immediately when the child attains the age of 71 days, he must be the first one to apply for parental benefit. If the mother files an application first and we have already granted parental benefit to the mother, a change of the recipient must be applied for. If the recipient is changed, we grant the benefit to the new recipient as of the month following the submission of an application.

 

Applying for change of recipient

If so far you have received family benefits and additional contributions to mandatory funded pension and the other parent wants to receive them from now on, you must first submit an application for waiver of benefits. And the other parent must in turn submit an application for receiving benefits.

Both applications can be submitted in the state portal eesti.ee: https://www.eesti.ee/est/teenused/kodanik/perekond_1/
vanemahuvitise_peretoetuste_ja_kogumispensioni_sissemaksete_taotlemine
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If you like, you can also submit the applications:

  • with both parents’ digital signature to the e-mail address info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee;
  • signed on paper via mail to the address Endla 8, Tallinn 15092;
  • at a customer service office of the Social Insurance Board (be sure to take your ID card or passport with you; if you come alone, bring the other parent’s signed written consent).

The application forms are available (in Estonian) at https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/et/organisatsioon-kontaktid/blanketid#Pereh%C3%BCvitiste%20blanketid.

We start paying family benefits to the new recipient from the following month. Additional contributions to mandatory funded pension from the day of submission of the application. If the recipient of parental benefit is changed, we grant the benefit to the new recipient as of the month following the submission of an application. If parental benefit is paid afterwards for the previous month, it will reach the new recipient the month after the next one.

For example, if the new recipient submits an application in May, we start calculating them benefit as of June and we make the first payment in July.

Calculation of parental benefit in case of change of recipient

Parental benefit is calculated for every recipient personally based on their previous income.  The period the income of which we take as a basis always remains the same as for the previous recipient.
An exception is a situation where the parental benefit of the current recipient was calculated according to the income which served as the basis for the parental benefit for the last child (read more here: When a child is born shortly after the last one) and the new applicant for parental benefit has not received parental benefit in connection with the last child. In that case, income of the new applicant earned before the parental benefit for the new child is taken as the basis.

Example. There are two children in a family. The first child was born on 15.12.2014 and the second child on 19.08.2016. The mother received parental benefit for the first child and will receive parental benefit again as of 01.11.2016. The basis for the calculation of her parental benefit is income earned in 2013 because it is higher than income earned in 2015. The father of the child wants to receive parental benefit as of 01.01.2017. Since the father has not received any parental benefit for the first child, we take his income earned in 2015 as the basis for the calculation of his parental benefit.

 

Changes affecting the receipt of family benefits

Various life events may affect the receipt of family benefits. We get information on most of them from different registers.
Information on some events does not reach registers or does not reach them in time. Therefore it may happen that we keep paying benefits when the right to them no longer exists. We must reclaim such benefits later.

You can help us pay benefits correctly by informing us of any changes.

You are required to inform us if:

  • You relocate to another country or your child relocates to or starts school in another country;
  • A member of your family – parent, guardian, caregiver, parent’s spouse or parent’s unmarried partner, if you have common children – starts work in a Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement or the Swiss Confederation;
  • You receive family benefits from a foreign country;
  • Your child suspends or discontinues their studies in a foreign country;
  • You start working while receiving parental benefit and you earn income exceeding half the maximum limit of benefit. In 2019 it is 1659.90 euros;
  • The paternity of your child is established;
  • Your spouse or unmarried partner adopts your child.

     

Let us know of any changes:

 

Name change

If you change your surname, we get information about it from the population register. You are not required to notify us separately. However, you are definitely required to notify of your name change the bank where you receive your family benefits.  You must go to the bank with your identity document and name change document.

If your name is not changed in the bank, your allowances will bounce back. If the money bounces back in two consecutive months, we will suspend payment of family benefits to you.

We can continue payments after you have corrected your name in the bank. 
Once your name has been changed in the bank we can continue the payments, so let us know:

 

Family benefits in case of death of a parent

If a parent who receives family benefits dies and you are the children’s other parent, you must submit an application to us for receiving family benefits.

If the only parent or both parents die and you take an orphaned child(ren) into your family, you must first contact your local government. They will help you with all the necessary documents in connection with raising the child(ren). You can enter into a foster care contract or get help with initiating guardianship proceedings in court. Read more about becoming a foster family.

Then submit to us an application for receiving family benefits. You can submit the application in the state portal under “Application for parental benefit, family allowances and additional contributions to mandatory funded pension”.

If you like, you can also submit an application for family allowances:

 

Refund of overpaid family benefits

If you have received family benefits to which you had no right, you must refund these.
We will send you a notification before making a reclaim decision. If you have additional information which we must take into consideration or which may affect the amount reclaimed, please send it no later than within 15 days. Please send the information to the e-mail address info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee or via mail to the address Endla 8, 15092 Tallinn.

You can refund benefits received without basis by making a lump-sum payment or in justified cases in instalments. If you like to refund in instalments, please submit an informal application to the e-mail address info@sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee (digitally signed) or at our customer service office.

You can transfer overpaid amounts to the Social Insurance Board’s bank account:

  • SEB Bank: EE761010002033069006
  • Swedbank: EE742200001120057958

Be sure to set out the name and personal identification code of the recipient of benefit and the type of benefit.

At your request we can offset overpaid amounts against future benefits. By agreement it is possible to do this in instalments.

If you do not make an agreement with us concerning the manner of refund of overpaid amounts, we have the right to withhold these from your future benefits.

We will offset overpaid parental benefit:

  • Against parental benefit paid in the following months.
  • If parental benefit has ended, against family allowances paid to you.
     

We will offset overpaid family allowances:

  • Against family allowances paid in the following months;
  • Against parental benefit or maintenance allowance paid to you.
     

When offsetting against parental benefit we will retain for you at least half the rate of parental benefit, which is 250 euros in 2019. When offsetting against family allowances or maintenance allowance we will withhold up to 20% of the amount of family allowances or maintenance allowance granted to you.

If you are no longer paid any family benefits we will issue a precept for the refund of overpaid amounts.  If you have received a precept for the refund of overpaid amounts and you fail to comply with the precept in a timely manner, we have the right to send the precept to a bailiff for compulsory enforcement. In that case you are also required to cover the costs of the enforcement proceedings.

 

Suspension and termination of payment of family benefits

The payment of family benefits may be suspended and terminated on our as well as your initiative.

You are entitled to waive family benefits and additional contributions to mandatory funded pension if: 

  • You do not want to receive family benefits or funded pension;
  • You waive family benefits in favour of the other parent;
     

    Or required to waive if:

  • You relocate from Estonia;
  • You relocate to another European Union Member State and neither of the parents remain working in Estonia (read about Rules for payment of family benefits in European Union Member States);
  • The child is no longer being raised in your family.

     

Submit to us an application for waiving benefits in the state portal under “Application for parental benefit, family allowances and additional contributions to mandatory funded pension” and indicate which allowances you are waiving.
 

If you like, you can also submit an application:

The application form is available among Family benefits forms.
 

We suspend the payment of family benefits in the following cases:

  • The child is separated from the family;
  • You are being held at a detention facility as an imprisoned person, a detained person or an arrested person without your child up to 3 years of age (inclusive) (if your child is with you, you are entitled to keep receiving all family allowances other than parental benefit);
  • It has not been possible to deliver benefits paid by way of home delivery by post for at least two months;
  • Your family benefits payment has bounced from the bank for at least two months;
  • Proceedings for the establishment of the whereabouts of a missing person have been initiated concerning you or your child;
  • Search proceedings have been initiated concerning you or your child because of evasion of service of imprisonment.

     

    We terminate the payment of all family benefits if:

  • You submit an application for the termination of the payment of family benefits;
  • The family changes their place of residence and relocates to another country;
  • You are deprived of the right of custody over the child;
  • A guardian is appointed to your minor child;
  • Your child is placed in a foster family, family home or substitute home.


We will continue the payment of benefits if the reason for suspension or termination ceases to exist.


Let us know of any changes: