New Needs-Based Additional Child Benefit Proving Unpopular ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR

A new 9.59 euro per child monthly benefit has only been requested by one-fifth of those eligible, possibly because of the need to substantiate income.

Currently all parents receive 19.18 euros per child in state assistance, but as of July 1, less well-off families could receive an extra 9.59-euro benefit, ERR radio reported on Thursday.

Tartu Deputy Mayor Jüri Kõre said that only 220 out of eligible 2,000 families in his city have applied for the extra funding in June and July.

Kõre said that there a number of reasons for the low turnout, including a lack of information, the holiday season and the amount of bureaucracy need for such a small sum.

The deputy mayor said families will have to prove their income, and many have not understood how they can do this.

Out of the nation's 226 local municipalities, zero requests have come from 50, and only one from the poorest municipality of Õru, in Valga County.

According to the Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas, 22,000 families could benefit under the new scheme.