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Overview of family benefits

In Estonia, a universal system of family allowances is in use: every child is valuable and has the right to state support.
The right to receive family benefits comes with the birth of a child as well as a child joining the family in other ways, for example, adoption and care of a child or taking a child under guardianship.

Before the child is born

Maternity leave

For a working mother, the mother's parental benefit always includes maternity leave. The right to stay on maternity leave arises 70 days before the expected date of birth of the child. 

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Paternity leave

If a child is about to be born into the family or has already been born, the father has the right to use 30 working days of paternity leave, and we pay the father's parental benefit for this period.

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After the child is born

Register the child's birth in the population register

The birth of a child must be registered within the first month of the child's life on the portal For a valid reason, the deadline for birth registration can be extended to two months.

The service is available to all parents, regardless of whether they are married to each other or not. 

You can find more detailed information about registering a child's birth on the page of the state portal. Birth registration and the name selection


Confirm the birth allowance offer in self-service

We pay a birth allowance of 320 euros for each child

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eesti kaart

Find out about the conditions for paying birth allowance from your local government.

Many local governments pay birth allowances. The conditions for payment of the allowance and the size of the allowance differ by local governments.

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Child allowance

We pay child allowance for each child from birth to 19 years of age. 

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vastsündinu nutab

Mother's parental benefit and maternity leave

All mothers-to-be are entitled to maternity benefits. A working mother becomes entitled to a mother's parental benefit before the birth of a child, a non-working mother with the birth of a child.

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väikelaps isa süles

Father's parental benefit and paternity leave

If a child is about to be born or has already been born to the family, the father has the right to use 30 calendar days of paternity leave from 30 days before the birth of the child until the child turns three years old. We pay the father's parental benefit for this period

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laps ema ja isa vahel

Shared parental benefit and parental leave

We pay the shared parental benefit in order to maintain the previous average income of the parent staying at home with the child..

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If you have many children


Allowance of multiple births

For a family raising multiples of three or more children, the allowance is paid until the children turn 18 months old

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kirjud mütsid

Allowance for families with many children

If we pay a child allowance to one parent with at least three children, we also pay an allowance for a family with many children. 

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If you are raising a child alone

poiss kõrvaklappidega

Single parent's child allowance

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laps ronimisseinal

Maintenance allowance

If the other parent does not pay maintenance allowance for the child, it is possible to receive the allowance from the state

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laps ronib nöörredelil

Survivor's pension

If the child's parent is dead, we pay the child a survivor's pension.

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Parents can take advantage of various additional leave options with regard to their children.

purjekad merel

Child leave and child leave of a parent of a disabled child

All parents with at least one child up to 14 years of age are entitled to parental leave. The parental leave days of a parent of a disabled child can be used by parents who have a disabled child up to 18 years of age.

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Unpaid child leave

A mother or father raising a child up to 14 years old or a disabled child up to 18 years old can take up to ten working days of unpaid child leave each calendar year.

Nursing breaks

If the mother goes back to work before the child is 18 months old but wants to continue nursing, she is entitled to additional nursing breaks for which you will maintain your average salary if you do not receive parental benefit.

You can use at least 30-minute extra breaks every three hours to nurse your baby. If you have two or more children up to one and a half years old, the extra break for nursing the children must be at least one hour. Reach an agreement with the employer to use additional breaks. Additional breaks are included in your working time

Your parental benefit increases at the turn of the year if

  • you receive parental benefits at the minimum monthly salary
  • the parental benefit calculated on the basis of your income is lower than the minimum wage established for the new year.

In both cases, the new parental benefit amount is equal to the minimum monthly salary for the new year.

The remaining parental benefits are not recalculated. For example, the recalculation does not apply to situations where

  • parental benefit is equal to the rate of parental benefit
  • you received the maximum amount of parental benefit, and a new amount of the maximum parental benefit has been established in the new year.

The recipient of the benefit can be changed if desired. 

If you decide to do so, please keep in mind that:

  • The other parent must agree to the change of recipient. If the Social Insurance Board does not receive the consent of the other parent, the Social Insurance Board initiates a procedure, involving the local government if necessary, to find out in which parent's family the child grows.
  • We will start paying family benefits to the new recipient next month. 
  • When the recipient of the parental benefit changes, we assign the benefit to the new recipient from the 1st of the month following the submission of the application. Since the parental benefit is paid retrospectively for the previous month, it will reach the new recipient the following month.
    For example, if a new recipient submits an application in May, we will start calculating the benefit for them from June 1, and we will make the first payment to the new recipient in July.
  • We will start making additional contributions to the mandatory funded pension to the new recipient from the day the application is submitted.

You have several options to initiate the change of the recipient of parental benefits:

1) Submit an application via self-service

It is the most convenient for a parent who does not receive benefits to initiate the change of beneficiary in self-service. To do this, you need to log in to the self-service and under "My allowances and services" select the allowance that you want to assign to yourself and initiate the change of recipient. If the application has been submitted, the other parent, who is currently the beneficiary, must accept and confirm the change in their self-service. Only then will the application reach the Social Insurance Board, and we can start processing it.

2) Send us a message

In order to start communication with us, you need to log in to self-service and select "Messages and notifications" from the menu. Both parents must send us a notification that they want to change the recipient of the family benefit. The parent who currently does not receive family allowances must inform for which child and from when he wants to receive benefits. The current family benefit recipient must agree with the change of family benefit recipient in their notification.

If desired, a request to change recipients can also be submitted

  • with the digital signature of both parents to the email address [email protected]
  • signed on paper by post at Paldiski mnt 80, 15092 Tallinn
  • at the customer service of the Social Insurance Board (be sure to bring an ID card or passport. If you come alone, bring a written consent signed by the other parent).

Parental benefit is calculated for each recipient personally based on his/her previous earnings. The period for which we base the income will always be the same as the previous recipient.
The exception is the situation where the parental benefit of the previous recipient has been calculated based on the income of the previous child's parental benefit. If the other parent has not received parental benefit in connection with the previous child, we take as a basis the income prior to the start of the new child's parental benefit.

Receiving family benefits can be affected by various life events. We can get information about most of them from different registers. However, information about some events does not reach the registers, or it does not reach there in time. Therefore, it may happen that we continue to pay benefits in a situation where there is no longer the right to do so. We have to reclaim such benefits later (read more below about the repayment of family benefits that have been received).

You can contribute to receiving the correct benefits if you inform us of the changes!

You must notify us when

  • you move to another country, or your child moves to live or study in another country
  • your child's other parent (or guardian, carer, parent's spouse, or parent's partner, if you have children together) starts working in an EEA country or Switzerland
  • you receive family benefits from a foreign country
  • your child without secondary education interrupts or completes their studies in another country
  • you start working or open a business account while receiving parental benefits and earn income that exceeds half the upper limit of the benefit. In 2023, it will be 2145.65 euros
  • paternity of your child will be established
  • your spouse or partner adopts your child

Notify us of changes in a free form in our self-service or

If you change your surname, we receive information about it from the population register. There is no need to notify us separately. However, you must definitely notify your family of the name change at your bank, where the family benefits are received. To do this, contact your bank by phone, and if necessary, go to the bank with an identity document and a name change document.

If your name remains unchanged in the bank, the allowances will be returned to us. If the money is returned for two consecutive months, we will stop paying you family benefits. We can resume payments after you correct your name at the bank. If the name has been changed in the bank, please let us know so that payments can continue.

If a parent who receives family benefits dies and you are the other parent of the children, we will send you an offer for family benefits through our self-service.
We expect confirmation of the offer within six months.

If the only parent of the family dies, or both, and you take the child(ren) left without parents into your family, first contact the local government where you live. They help to prepare the necessary documents related to raising the child/children. You can sign an agreement for the care of the child in the family, or we will help you initiate the procedure for establishing guardianship of the child in court. Read more about becoming a foster family.

If you have adopted a child, taken guardianship, etc., contact us in self-service or email at [email protected] to receive benefits.

If you have received family benefits to which you were not entitled, they must be paid back.

We will send you a letter about this before making a decision on the refund. If you have additional information that may affect the amount to be recovered, please submit it within 15 days. Write to us by email at [email protected], via self-service, or by post at Paldiski mnt 80, 15092 Tallinn.

The amount of unjustly received benefits can be repaid either as a lump sum, in installments based on a justified application, or through offsetting.

If you wish, we can set off the overpaid amount from future benefits. It can also be done in parts.

If you do not agree with us on the method of payment, we have the right to deduct the overpaid amount from the benefits paid to you in the future.

We can offset the overpaid family allowance, alimony, and maintenance allowance from the following months' family allowances.

When offsetting family allowances, you will receive at least 80% of the amount assigned to you.

If you have not returned the family benefits that were paid unjustifiably and offsetting is not possible, we will issue a repayment injunction. If you have received an injunction but do not fulfill it by the deadline, we have the right to give it to the bailiff for enforcement. In this case, you also have to pay the costs of the enforcement procedure.

The payment of family benefits can be suspended and terminated both at our initiative and at your initiative.

You have the right to waive family benefits and additional contributions to the funded pension if

  • you do not want to receive family benefits, and the funded pension
  • waives family benefits in favor of the other parent

You have an obligation to opt-out if

To opt out of receiving benefits, send a free form notification via self-service or by email at [email protected]

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

  • when separating the child from the family
  • you stay in a detention facility as a prisoner, detained person, or person in held custody without your child under the age of three (incl.) (if the child stays with you, you have the right to continue to receive all family allowances except parental benefit)
  • it has not been possible to deliver benefits paid as home delivery for at least two months
  • your family benefit payment has been returned from the bank for at least two months
  • a procedure for locating a missing person has been initiated against you or your child
  • a search procedure has been initiated against you or your child for evading a service of imprisonment.

We will stop paying all family benefits when

  • you have submitted an application to stop paying family benefits
  • the family changes residence and settles in another country
  • you have been deprived of custody of the child
  • a guardian has been appointed for your minor child
  • your child has been placed in a foster family, family home, or a substitute home

We will continue to pay benefits if the reason for the suspension or termination has ceased.

Let us know about changes in a free form

Perehüvitiste tulumaksustamine

Family benefits are subject to income tax

  • parental benefit
  • child leave benefit and child leave benefit for the parent of a disabled child.

The following benefits are not subject to income tax:

  • family allowances (child allowance, child care allowance, birth allowance, single parent child allowance, allowance for a family with many children, child allowance of a conscript or a person serving in alternative service, guardianship allowance; adoption allowance) and maintenance allowance (maintenance allowance during court, enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings)

You can use income tax exemption from parental benefit. To change the amount of the income tax exemption or to waive the tax exemption, submit an application after receiving the parental benefit decision at; the service opens in a new tab, in the self-service of the Social Insurance Board by post or email. The application can be submitted every month, and what is stated in the application becomes valid the following month.

Please note that the amount of the income tax exemption depends on how high your total gross income (i.e., the amount before taxes are deducted) is.


Last updated: 16.10.2023

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