Number of subsistence benefit recipients in Estonia up 61 percent on year

Euro bills and cents.
Euro bills and cents. Source: Karin Koppel/ERR

In the first nine months of 2022, subsistence benefits have been paid out to nearly 21,000 families, or 61 percent more than during the same time last year. To date this year, Estonia has paid out a combined €27 million in subsistence benefits, the Ministry of Social Affairs said Monday.

In the first three quarters of 2021, a total of 46,848 applications for subsistence benefits were approved. According to the ministry's latest statistics, meanwhile, 75,564 such applications have been approved in the same time this year.

In the first nine months of 2022, a combined €27 million has been paid out in subsistence benefits in Estonia, up from €12.4 million in the same time last year. The number of families to receive subsistence benefits has also increased by 12,165.

A total of 27,599 subsistence benefit applications were approved and €10.8 million in subsistence benefits paid out in the third quarter of 2022.

"It is the state's duty to ensure people's ability to cope financially and protect people who have ended up in a difficult position economically due to rising energy prices and the prices of goods and services," Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform) said.

"In addition to child and family benefits and steps related to improving the lives of elderly people, this year we've also raised the subsistence level as well as allocated one-off support payments to the elderly as well as to children, which will reach people in November," she added.

Subsistence benefits are calculated, for either a person living alone or a family, based on the previous month's total net household income, housing costs due this month and the subsistence level. As of June 1 this year, the subsistence level for a person living alone or the first member of a family is €200 per month, with additional subsistence levels set at €240 per month per minor and €160 per month per additional adult.

Beginning July 1, individuals or families who have ended up in a difficult economic situation are eligible to apply for housing loan repayment compensation in addition to subsistence benefits, similarly to previously available rent payment reimbursement.

In order to receive these benefits, applicants must submit their application by the last business day of the month to the social welfare department of the local government where they reside, regardless of their official registered address, together with proof of right to use the living quarters — i.e. a document proving ownership or rental contract — bills due this month, and documentation confirming the income of all household members living in the home.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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