Latvia: Welfare Minister Petraviča promises to pay a benefit of 500 euros for each child by March 31

Amendments to the Law on Coping with the Consequences of Covid-19 Infection, prepared by the Ministry of Welfare, have been submitted for consideration at the government meeting, the aim of which is to provide one-time support to families with children.

The draft law stipulates that a benefit of 500 euros will be paid for a total of 364,097 children and 182 million euros will be spent for this purpose. This one-off financial support will be covered by the contingency budget program. EUR 500 will be paid for each child to a person who, in the period from 1 March 2021 until the end of the emergency, is entitled to childcare allowance for a child under one year of age, family state benefit or supplement to family state benefit for a disabled child, or who, due to the birth of a child, is entitled to maternity benefit and the child was born before the end of the emergency.

Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča is convinced that this is an important step in helping people whose incomes have fallen sharply during the crisis:

“This is an unprecedented form of support that I initiated a year ago, at the beginning of the pandemic. I am pleased that we have finally been able to secure financial support. On the positive side, families will not be sorted by income, as almost every household has suffered in a crisis situation. For some, this money will allow them to buy a computer for distance learning, others will spend it on clothing, household items or everyday necessities. In talks with coalition partners, I will also try to gain support for my proposal for EUR 200 in financial support for seniors and people with disabilities. ”

The benefit of 500 euros for each child will be paid by the State Social Insurance Agency (SSIA) automatically – without an application. Taxes, debt collection and deductions will not be deducted from the aid paid. This support will not be taken into account when assessing eligibility for low-income / poor family (person) status.

The Minister of Welfare emphasizes that families will receive support of 500 euros for each child until March 31, but persons who will become entitled to the benefit from March 1 until the end of the emergency – within 30 days after childcare benefit until one year of age request. If the money cannot be transferred together with the family state benefit, then a separate payment will be made.

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