According to the newly adopted law, the allowance for the first and second child will increase to 80 euros per month from January 1, the allowance for a large family will increase to 650 euros for three to six children, and to 850 euros per month for seven or more children.
The Riigikogu The unicameral parliament of Estonia. adopted the Family Benefits Act initiated by the government and the Family Act Amendment Act, the purpose of which is to improve the livelihood of families with children, support the birth rate, and ensure that support for families with children is linked to the increase in wages and the cost of living. Special attention is given to single-parent families and families with children, i.e. family types with a higher than average risk of poverty or where raising children entails higher costs for the family.
According to the law, the allowance for the first and second child will increase from 60 euros as of January 1, and the allowance for a child of a single parent will increase from 19.18 euros to 80 euros per month. The allowance for a family with children increases from 300 to 650 euros for three to six children, and from 400 to 850 euros per month for seven or more children. From May 1, 2024, the allowance for families with children will be indexed with the pension index.
At the same time, the requirement to study for children aged 16–19 as a condition for paying child support will disappear, which will enable both family support with children and child support to be received by families where the child does not continue studying for some reason, e.g. due to special needs. In order to encourage learning, the rule remains that if a 19-year-old is studying in the current academic year, the allowance will continue to be paid until graduation or the end of the academic year.
The new regulation also states that in the case of the death of a child under the age of three, the state allows both the mother and the father a parental allowance of one month.
In addition, the law provides for a change in the regulation of the calculation of alimony stipulated in the Family Act, according to which the allowance of a family with children is taken into account in the amount of 50 percent when calculating the minimum alimony. The purpose of the amendment is to more clearly and fairly consider the payment of support for a family with children when calculating alimony.
In families where the payment of family allowances has already been stopped due to children under the age of 19 not studying, according to the draft, the right to family allowances, whose payments will be made retroactively by the end of March at the latest, will be restored. Families themselves do not need to submit an application or documents for this.