Pensions, child benefits to increase in 2018
Several changes to support and benefits will take effect in the administrative area of the Ministry of Social Affairs next year, including parental benefits, old-age pensions and dental benefits.
In 2018, child benefits for a family's first and second children will be €55 each, and €100 each for any additional children, the ministry said on Thursday.
As of March 1, the parents of triplets or larger multiple births will receive a benefit in the amount of €1,000 per month for one parent until the children reach 18 months of age, the intention of which is to allow the parent to hire someone to assist them with childcare.
In addition, as of March, recipients of parental benefits can earn an income of no more than half the ceiling of the parental benefit, which next year will be €1,544 per month, without the parental benefit being paid to them being reduced. Those earning more than this will be ensured a parental benefit of no less than €470 per month.
Prescription drugs will also become more affordable next year. According to a new system, if an individual's prescription drug costs total between €100-300 per year, they will pay 50 percent less for their medications; those whose drug costs exceed €300 per year will have to pay 90 percent less.
Next year, dental care reimbursements for adults will increase from the current €30 to €40 per year, and a reimbursement of €85 wil be introduced for patients with specific medical conditions which make dental care access a must, such as diabetes and Sjögren's Syndrome.
Unpaid company directors who become unemployed will also be entitled to equal access to unemployment insurance benefits as well as job-seeking assistance.
The consolidated budget of the administrative area of the Ministry of Social Affairs will be €4.46 billion next year, and will increase by €625 million from 2018-2021.
Editor: Aili Vahtla