Pensioners living alone were due their allowance Monday, on top of the regular state pension.
This means a total of over €10 million will be paid out by the Social Insurance Board (Sotsiaalkindlustusamet), the body responsible for the allowance.
Kati Kümnik, head of the department for allowances at the board, said that over the past four years that he allowance has been paid public awareness of the option has grown, as well as population register data used to calculate who is eligible becoming more up-to-date.
The number of people receiving the allowance grew from 79,800 in 2018 to 87,500 in 2019, and to 89,900 this year – over 9,000 of whom were new recipients.
"Among the recipients of the subsidy there are over 3,300 'brand new' pensioners who weren't in retirement yet last year. There are also over 6,000 new recipients who did not live alone last year, according to population register data," Kümnik added.
However, inaccurate population registry data can deprive a pensioner of the allowance due to them, if it shows any other individual living in the same dwelling when, in fact, they do not.
The board thus advises residents to check their data is up-to-date.
People who received the allowance last year but are no longer among the recipients this year number approximately 5,700, BNS reports.
The criteria, in addition to be registered as living alone, are a pension of less than €582 per month, between April 1 and September 30 for that year.
Exemptions also apply if another individual registered living at the address is the legal guardian of that person, plus any another individuals under the guardianship of same, if the individual receives 24-hour care, or if another person registered at the address is entitled to receive maintenance from the person within the meaning of the Family Law Act.
Editor: Andrew Whyte