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Czech authorities make one-time benefit per child available to low-income families as of next month

4.7.2022 8:47
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

Families in the Czech Republic whose incomes were less than CZK 1 million [EUR 40,400] last year will be receiving a one-time benefit of CZK 5,000 [EUR 200] per child under the age of 18 living in their households. The awards process should begin in August. 

The Senate passed a Government-sponsored bill to that effect last month. Senators adopted the bill submitted by Senator Zdeněk Nytra, who chairs the club of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and TOP 09 party in the Senate, without debate. 

The next step is for it to be signed into law by the Czech President. The cabinet wants to ameliorate the impacts of inflation on families by making the benefit available. 
 
"This is a response to the current situation of high inflation," said Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka (Christian Democrats - KDU-ČSL). The measure will cost the state approximately CZK 7.8 billion [EUR 315 million]. 

Households already receiving benefits per child on a regular basis will automatically be sent the one-time support. Other parents will be able to apply for it.

The benefit can be claimed on behalf of roughly 1.56 million children, according to the background documentation for the law. The minister has rejected criticism of the measure as being too broadly implemented.

Jurečka claims that if the benefit were to actually be issued across the board there would be about 2.1 million children for whom it could be claimed. "Roughly one-third of parents, because their households are higher-income, will not be able to draw on this form of support," he said.

Who is eligible for the benefit?

The law says the claim can be made for children who are not yet 18 as of 1 August. The state will also disburse this benefit for children who will be born between August and year-end. 

Children must be permanent residents of the Czech Republic and be residing here in order to claim the benefit. They must live in the same household as their legal guardians and be financially supported by them.

Foreign nationals who have long lived and worked in the Czech Republic may also claim the benefit. It can be drawn by foster parents, by partners or spouses of biological parents, and by widows or widowers of a deceased biological parent.

How is income eligibility calculated?

The same types of income will be decisive as are considered when applying for regular child allowances or housing allowances - earnings from business, employment, rents and other revenues count as income for these purposes, such as alimony, copyright residuals, profits from real estate sales or sales of a company, property or stocks. Tradespeople who pay the flat rate for health insurance and social security contributions will have at least half of the national average wage assessed as their income.

Who can apply for this benefit and how?

The applicant is always a child's legal guardian, who submits a solemn declaration of income on behalf of both legal guardians/parents. Those considered eligible for regular child allowances as of June will automatically be paid this one-time benefit in August. 

Other legal guardians will be able to submit a simple application for the benefit, either online or in person at a CzechPOINT office, especially those at local or regional authorities. A list of the authorities handling these applications will be published.

After the decision to award the benefit is made, the money should arrive by the close of the following month. The opportunity to apply will be open for one year.

How will this benefit be disbursed?

In the customary way, like all other allowances and benefits. A cashless transfer to a bank account or postal savings account will be used.  

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Krize, pomoc, Poverty, Senát



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