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January family, parental benefit payouts delayed for some recipients

Children's play area in the waiting area at SKA's Tallinn customer service office.
Children's play area in the waiting area at SKA's Tallinn customer service office. Source: Social Insurance Board

Payouts to more than a thousand family and/or parental benefit recipients in Estonia may be delayed this month due to a technical issue.

The Social Insurance Board (SKA) has personally contacted the 1,220 individuals affected by the glitch, and is doing everything it can to get the money sent to its recipients.

According to Kristina Pähkel, acting director of SKA's Benefits Department, it's yet unclear what caused the technical glitch, but employees at the Health and Welfare Information Systems Center (TEHIK) are doing everything in their power to ensure that benefit money reaches its recipients as soon as possible.

"The exact cause of what happened is still under investigation," Pähkel said. "We pay out pensions and benefits via IT systems developed nearly 25 years ago. Unfortunately, unforeseen problems arise when managing outdated systems. We're trying to resolve them as quickly as possible so that these benefits reach their recipients, for whom these are crucial sources of income."

Affected this time are recipients who had updated their bank account info; due to a glitch in the system, benefits were paid out to the recipients' previously indicated bank accounts instead. SKA has reached out directly to everyone impacted by the issue.

While the law doesn't explicitly stipulate by what date benefits must be paid out to their recipients each month, it has been common practice that family and parental benefits are paid out on the 8th of each month.

The majority of those impacted by the current issue will receive their payouts no later than January 10.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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