In the first half of 2022, the City of Tallinn paid out €5.7 million in subsistence benefits, up from €2.4 million in the same period last year.
This year, a total of 15,044 applications were received, with 6,096 families receiving assistance. At this time last year, there were 8,111 applications and 1,943 families received support.
This represents a €3.3 million increase, twice as many applications (6,933 more), and nearly three times as many households (4,153 more) receiving aid compared with the same period the previous year.
Tallinn Deputy Mayor Betina Beškina (Center) said that the increase in the number of persons receiving subsistence benefits this year was anticipated, and not only due to war refugees from Ukraine who have settled in Estonia.
According to Beškina, one of the main reasons for the overall increase in the cost of living is the hike in energy and heating expenses since last year, as well as the fact that Tallinn has changed the limit for housing bills that are now taken into account when calculating subsistence payments.
"Because a higher maximum limit for housing bills was introduced at the beginning of the year, many people whose housing costs were, for example, on the verge of that limit now have the right and the opportunity to receive financial assistance as well," she said.
A subsistence benefit is financial assistance provided by the local government to an individual or family in need to cover basic necessities such as food, medicine, clothing and housing costs. People can apply for subsistence benefits at their local government.
An individual or family is eligible for subsistence benefits if their monthly net income after housing costs falls below the subsistence threshold. As of June 1, 2022, the subsistence level is set at €200 for the first family member or single individual, €160 for each additional adult family member and €240 per child.
Editor: Kristina Kersa