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Birth of a Child

Do I have to register my pregnancy at the Health Insurance Fund?

If you are pregnant, you should contact a doctor or midwife. If you already have valid health insurance cover, you do no not need to register your pregnancy at the Health Insurance Fund.

If a pregnant woman does not have health insurance, to obtain health insurance she must submit to the customer service office of the Health Insurance Fund a certificate issued by the doctor or midwife about the establishment of pregnancy and the application (in Estonian). The insurance ends three months after the expected date of childbirth established by the doctor. After that, the woman who receives parental benefit and child care allowance will be insured by the state until the child turns three.

If you want to change the parent who receives the benefits, the parent who gets family benefits (parental benefit, child care allowance, etc.) has the right for health insurance. Therefore, it is important to consider that for instance a mother who is at home with the child is not left without health insurance when the benefits are paid to the father.

You can check whether you have valid health insurance cover in the State Portal with e-service My personal data in the Health Insurance Fund or by calling the customer service helpline of the Health Insurance Fund at 669 6630.

When can I start my pregnancy and maternity leave?

A working woman has the right for 140 days of pregnancy and maternity leave. You can start your pregnancy and maternity leave 30–70 days before the expected due date (30th–36th week of pregnancy). A certificate for maternity leave is issued by the doctor or midwife who follows your pregnancy. You need to inform your employer about when you intend to start the leave.

To start the pregnancy and maternity leave, let your doctor or midwife know from which date you want to start the certificate for maternity leave. This can be at most 70 days and at least 30 days before the predicted due date. You will be issued a certificate for maternity leave that is electronically accessible to your employer. Before that, you need to inform your employer about when you intend to start the leave.

For what period do I get maternity benefit?

As of 1 April, mothers can use the maternity leave and the monthly mother’s parental benefit instead of the pregnancy and maternity leave and the maternity benefit which were available so far. The mother’s parental benefit is paid by the Social Insurance Board.

Please note! If the expected date of birth of the child is before or on 9 June 2022, the pregnancy and maternity leave applies to the mother and the mother receives the maternity benefit from the Health Insurance Board for 140 days based on their taxable income of the previous calendar year (read more on the website of the Health Insurance Fund).

If the expected date of birth of the child is on or after 10 June 2022, the procedure which will enter into force on 1 April 2022 will be applied and the mother will be able to apply for the mother’s parental benefit and accompanying maternity leave for up to 100 calendar days.

If the mother does not have a valid employment relationship, the new maternity leave procedure will apply to her if the child was born on or after 1 April 2022.

How big is the maternity benefit?

The Health Insurance Fund calculates the amount of maternity benefit on the basis of the social tax paid in the year prior to receiving the maternity benefit. The income and social tax of the year when the maternity benefit is received is not taken into consideration in the calculation. The Health Insurance Fund will get the information about the paid social tax from the Tax and Customs Board; you do not need to submit this information to the Health Insurance Fund yourself.

Maternity benefit is paid starting from the first day from the date of release from employment or service marked on the certificate for maternity leave and the benefit rate is 100%.

More information about the calculation of the maternity benefit can be found on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

The information related to paying the benefit can be checked in the State Portal with e-service My certificates of temporary incapacity for work.

You can check and change your bank account details in the State Portal with e-service My personal data in the Health Insurance Fund. You can also send a paper application to the customer service office or send a digitally signed application to [email protected]

When can I start the paternity leave?

If a child is about to be or has already been born into the family, the child’s father is entitled to parental benefit for fathers and paternal leave of 30 days for working fathers. Paternal leave can be used starting 30 days prior to the estimated due date assigned by the doctor or midwife until the child reaches 3 years of age. Paternity leave can be used as a whole or in parts.

The father must, at the time of receiving the parental benefit, be on paternity leave from all of his employers.

Who is eligible to receive the parental benefit?

  • Fathers, whose child is born on 1 July 2020 or later
  • If the child's biological father is failing to perform his obligation to raise the child and has not already exercised his right to the additional benefit for fathers, the adoptive parent, guardian or foster parent or the mother’s spouse has the right to receive the additional parental benefit.
  • The mother’s spouse also has the right to paternity leave even if the biological father submits a written notice to the Social Insurance Board regarding the decision to waive the right to receive the benefit for fathers.

You can apply for parental benefit for fathers through self-service of Social Insurance Board.

More information about paternity leave can be found in the article "Paternity leave and parental allowance" in the State Portal and on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Where can I register the birth of a child?

In order to register the birth of a child, an application must be submitted within the first month of the child’s life.

If the child was born in a hospital and the child’s birth certificate has been sent to the population register by the hospital, the application to register the birth of the child can be submitted in the e-population register. The service also allows unmarried parents to file birth registration applications. Once an official has completed the birth registration procedure, a notice of the decision and information on how to obtain the child’s birth certificate will be posted on the e-population register.

An application for registration of birth can also be submitted to any local government (in Tallinn, to the Vital Statistics Department). The application must be submitted in person by the parents or guardian of the child. A vital statistics office will register the birth within seven working days of receiving the application.

Upon registration of a birth in the local government, you need to submit the following documents with the application:

  • a medical certificate confirming the birth of the child issued by a medical institution (if the child was born at the hospital, the medical certificate has been added to the population register and there is no need to submit a separate paper certificate)
  • personal identification documents of the parents (if the parents are married, only one of the parents can go and register the birth; in this case, there is no need to submit the personal identification document of the other parent)
  • a marriage certificate, if not entered into the population register
  • if the birth is registered by one of the married parents, there has to be the other parent’s application stating the child’s name
  • acknowledgement of paternity (if needed) that can be submitted either personally in the vital statistics office or in a notarised form.

More information about the registration of birth can be found in the article "Registration of birth and choosing a name" in the State Portal.

How do I get the birth certificate

When a birth is registered, a birth certificate may be issued at the request of parents. Registration of birth and a first time birth certificate is free of charge.

Conducting activities at the national and local government administrations (e.g. applying for family allowances, or for child’s identification documents, etc) presenting a certificate is not required – these authorities will receive child’s birth data from the population register. Employer, school, kindergarten or bank may ask for a birth certificate.

If you have lost your birth certificate or need it to submit it abroad in a foreign language (English, German, French; with a multilingual standard form or CIEC form), you can order a new certificate in the e-population register or by submitting an application to the local government of your county centre or an Estonian representation in a foreign country. A state fee shall be paid for the issue of the certificate. The amount of the state fee for an electronic certificate issued by a local government is 5 euros and for a certificate issued on paper 10 euros; the state fee for a certificate issued by an Estonian representation is 20 euros. A state fee of 10 euros for an electronic document and 20 euros for a paper document must be paid for the issuance of a multilingual standard form together with a birth certificate. For more information, contact the local government of the county centre or an Estonian representation in a foreign country that suits you.

What address will be the place of residence of the infant?

When registering the birth of a child, the place of residence of the child is automatically the address of the child’s mother according to the population register.

You can change the information about your place of residence in the local government of your new place of residence by submitting a notice of residence (in Estonian).

You can submit the notice of residence:

  • in the e-population register
  • at the local government office
  • by submitting a notice of residence to the local government by mail, adding a copy of the page of your personal identification document that has your personal data
  • by e-mailing a digitally signed notice of residence to the local government.

How does the child get health insurance and a family physician?

An infant is automatically registered to the practice of their mother’s family physician. If you want, you can also choose another family physician for your child.

All children have health insurance until the day they turn 19 (this day included). It is important to mark down the child’s place of residence in the population register, as health insurance enters into force for all the children permanently living in Estonia and registered in the population register.

If the child’s information has not reached the database of the Health Insurance Fund after the issue of the birth certificate, you will have to turn to the customer service office of the Health Insurance Fund or call their customer service helpline 669 6630 to receive further instructions.

Does a parent who is on parental leave have health insurance?

A parent who takes care of a child aged under 3 in Estonia has health insurance by the state. However, paying social tax for a person and therefore getting health insurance is related to getting family benefits. The state gives health insurance to the parent who is paid parental benefit.

After the end of the parental benefit period has the right for health insurance this parent, who is on parental leave. Therefore, it is important to consider that for instance a mother who is at home with the child is not left without health insurance when the benefits are paid to the father. In that case can you change the person who have the health insurance.

State also automatically gives health insurance to a parent who raises seven or more underage children in Estonia.

In certain cases, the non-working parent also has the right to get health insurance from the state; the overview of such cases can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

You can check whether you have valid health insurance in the State Portal (login with your ID-card, Mobile-ID, or Smart-ID is required).

What kinds of family benefits are paid in Estonia?

One-off family benefits are the maternity benefit and the adoption allowance. The family benefits paid on a monthly basis are child allowance, childcare allowance (only for families where a child is born on 31 August 2019 at the latest. More information can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board), single parent’s child allowance, guardianship allowance, parent’s allowance for families with three or more children, and disabled child allowance. In addition to that, parental benefit is paid until the child is 435 days or 18 months old; until the child turns 3, the state pays additional contributions to the parent’s mandatory funded pension.

When the parent is in in conscript service or in alternative service, conscript’s child allowance is paid, which can be applied for together with state family benefits.

The state pays family benefits to all children until they turn 16. Children studying in a basic school, an upper secondary school, or a vocational school (including Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre) that operates on the basis of basic education, have the right to get family benefits until they turn 19 or are permanently excluded from the school.

More specific information about the benefits can be found at the website of the Social Insurance Board.

The Social Insurance Board pays the benefits and allowances by bank transfer on the 8th date of each month. If the payment date is on a national holiday or another day off, the payment date is the working day before the day off.

Local governments can also pay benefits to families. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

When and how to apply for benefits?

In order to get family benefits you must first give your child a name and register it. If the child was born in a hospital and the child’s birth certificate has been sent to the population register by the hospital, the application to register the birth of the child can be submitted in the e-population register. The service also allows unmarried parents to file birth registration applications.

An application for registration of birth can also be submitted to any local government (in Tallinn, to the Vital Statistics Department).

No application is required for receiving benefits. Once you have registered your child in the Population Register this information will automatically reach the Social Insurance Board the next day. Social Insurance Board will review which types of allowances your family is entitled to and will send a family benefits offer to both parents through the self service portal of Social Insurance Board.

You will also receive a notification by e-mail. Please check that your correct e-mail address is available in self service portal of Social Insurance Board.

In the self service portal you can choose which types of allowances will be paid to one parent and which types to the other parent. Keep in mind that state health insurance is provided to the recipient of benefits.

You must approve the offer within six months.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact with the Social Insurance Board through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

More information about applying for family benefits can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

The Social Insurance Board pays the benefits and allowances by bank transfer on the 8th date of each month. If the payment date is on a national holiday or another day off, the payment date is the working day before the day off.

Local governments can also pay benefits to families. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

Onto which bank account my family benefits are paid

If you want to find out onto which bank account your family benefits are paid or if while receiving family benefits you want to change the number of your bank account to which the allowances are being paid, please log in to self service portal of Social Insurance Board.

The Estonian Health Insurance Fund (sickness benefit, care allowance etc) saves only one bank account number per person. Thus the person who has applied for various benefits and has listed several bank accounts, will receive all due benefit payments to the last account listed.

You can check and change your bank account details in the State Portal via e-service My personal data in the Health Insurance Fund. You can also change your bank account details by turning to the customer service offices of the Health Insurance Fund or send a digitally signed application to [email protected]

If the Health Insurance Fund does not have your bank details, you must submit these to the Health Insurance Fund yourself.

How big is the child allowance and how do I get it?

Child allowance is paid on a monthly basis to every child since birth until they turn 16. If the child continues their studies, child allowance is paid until the end of the academic year when the child turns 19. The academic year starts on 1 September and finishes on 31 August; for the final year at the upper secondary school, on 30 June.

If a child studies in Estonia, no proof about the studies needs to be submitted. Schools send their students’ data to the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS) and based on these, the Social Insurance Board pays child allowance. If at the beginning of the academic year, there is no information about the child’s studies in the information system by the date that the child allowance is paid out (8th date of each month), the Social Insurance Board will pay the child allowance in September as soon as possible after the information has been received.

There is no information in the EHIS about children studying abroad, which is why you need to submit a school certificate about the child’s studies to the Social Insurance Board every year.

The child allowance for the first and the second child is 60 euros per month and starting from the third child, 100 euros per child a month. The allowance is paid out every month for the current month.

No application is required for receiving family benefits – if you have registered the birth of your child in the Population Register, you will find a benefits offer in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board within a week.

Please check that your e-mail address in the Self service portal of Social Insurance Board is correct – a notification of an offer will be sent to your e-mail address.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

More information about the child allowance is available on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Local governments can also pay needs-based allowances. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

How big is the childbirth allowance and how do I get it?

The Social Insurance Board pays a one-off childbirth allowance to every child. The amount of the allowance is 320 euros. When triplets or more children are born, the amount of the allowance is 1,000 euros per child.

No application is required for receiving family benefits – if you have registered the birth of your child in the Population Register, you will find a benefits offer in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board within a week.

Please check that your e-mail address in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board is correct – a notification of an offer will be sent to your e-mail address.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

Several local governments also pay childbirth allowance to families. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

Who can stay on parental leave?

The mother or the father of the child has the right to stay on parental leave (parental leave) until the child turns three. There can only be one parent on parental leave in one family. If the parental benefit is paid, the parent to whom the benefit is paid must also be on the parental leave. Somebody else can also use the parental leave instead of the parent.

The family can choose the person on parental leave and the person on parental leave can be changed, if needed. You can formalise the parental leave at your employer.

How long do I receive the parental benefit for?

The right to the shared parental benefit arises based on the child. Thus, the parents (mother and father) are entitled to equal periods of receiving the shared parental benefit.

The duration of the period of receiving the shared parental benefit depends on whether or not the mother was employed before the birth of the child.

If the mother was employed before the birth, the duration of the shared parental benefit is usually 475 calendar days (the number of days may be higher if the mother has used less of the mother’s parental benefit days).

If the mother did not have an employment relationship before the birth of the child, the total duration of the period of receiving the shared parental benefit is 515 calendar days.

The duration of the payment period of the shared parental benefit is the same for the mother and the father, but the periods in which the parents can use the shared parental benefit may differ. For example, if the father has used his father’s parental benefit before the birth of the child, he will be entitled to the shared parental benefit from the moment of childbirth, but the mother will only be entitled to the shared parental benefit after the expiry of the mother’s parental benefit.

The parental benefit can be used by single days until the child’s third birthday. This allows the parents to spread the period of receiving the parental benefit over a longer period of time. The parents will still be able to earn income while receiving the parental benefit, as they are allowed to work with the workload chosen by them in parallel with raising the child.

The parental benefit is paid retrospectively for the previous month. The benefit is paid on the 8th date of every month. If the day of the payment of the benefit falls on a public holiday or another holiday, the last working day before the holiday is deemed the payment date.

What is the amount of parental benefit and how is it calculated?

The amount of the benefit is equal to 100% of the average income per one calendar month. The amount of the parental benefit is calculated based on the income of the twelve months preceding the average pregnancy period (i.e. nine months).

While the parental benefit has been calculated on a monthly basis so far, i.e. the same amount of the benefit was paid every month, as of 1 April 2022, the parental benefit is paid based on the daily rate. For the recipient of the benefit, this means that the amount of the benefit will vary somewhat by month, depending on the number of days in the respective month. Thus, the amount of the benefit paid for one full month is no longer exactly the same month-by-month, as it depends on the number of days in the respective calendar month. For example, the amount of the parental benefit paid is higher in the months with thirty-one days compared to the months with thirty days.

Further information about the processes of calculating the parental benefit can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

In 2022, the maximum amount of the parental benefit is 4,043.07 euros, the maximum daily rate is 134.77 euros. If the taxable income of the parent is 4,043.07 euros or higher, the parental benefit is paid at the maximum rate.

If the parent has not received any taxable income within the twelve calendar months, they will receive the parental benefit at a rate of 584 euros per month with the daily rate of 19.47 euros in 2022.

If the income of the parent is equal to the minimum monthly wage or lower, the parent will receive the parental benefit at the rate of the minimum monthly wage, i.e. 654 euros per month with a daily rate of 21.8 euros in 2022.

Income tax is withheld from the parental benefit and is calculated from the first euro payable. If you would like to apply an income tax exemption on the parental benefit, please submit a respective application after the decision on the benefit has been made through the self-service of the Social Insurance Board.

Am I allowed to work during the period I receive parental benefit?

During the period you are paid parental benefit, you are entitled to earn income up to a half of the maximum amount of parental benefit (1910,77 euros in 2021) so that your benefit is not decreased. If your gross income is more than this amount, the Social Insurance Board will decrease the amount of parental benefit paid to you.

If you know that your income will be bigger than the half of the maximum parental benefit, you need to notify the Social Insurance Board. You also need to inform the Social Insurance Board if you know that you will receive a one-off income that is higher than the half of the maximum parental benefit. You can send a notice about your monthly gross income by sending an e-mail to [email protected]

If your monthly gross income is less than the half of the maximum parental benefit, there is no need to notify the Social Insurance Board.

More information about working while receiving parental benefit can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Changing the person receiving the benefit

The recipient of benefits can be changed. If so far the benefits have been received by you but the other parent wants to receive them from now on, please log in to self service portal of Social Insurance Board and send an informal notice of waiver of the benefits.

Social Insurance Board will start paying family benefits to the new recipient from the following month. Additional contributions to mandatory funded pension from the day of submission of the application. If the recipient of parental benefit is changed, Social Insurance Board will grant the benefit to the new recipient as of the month following the submission of the application. Since parental benefit is paid afterwards for the previous month, it will reach the new recipient the month after the next one.

An application for changing recipients can also be submitted as follows:

  • With both parents’ digital signature to the e-mail address [email protected];
  • Signed by hand on paper via mail to the address Endla 8, Tallinn 15092;
  • At a customer service office of the Social Insurance Board (be sure to take your ID card or passport with you; if you go alone, you need take with you the other parent’s signed written consent).

When will I get child care allowance and how big is it?

Childcare allowance is a type of support that is gradually disappearing. In connection with children born on 01.09.2019 and later child care allowance will no longer be paid.

Social Insurance Board will grant and keep paying child care allowance pursuant to the old procedure to all families where a child is born on 31 August 2019 at the latest. Social Insurance Board will also keep paying child care allowance to all who are already being paid child care allowance on 31 August 2019 or to whom we have granted the allowance earlier.

Child care allowance is paid until the expiry of the right to the allowance or until 31 August 2024 at the latest.

More information can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Child care allowance is a monthly allowance which is paid (after the period of parental benefit):

  • 38.36 euros per every child up to 3 years old
  • 19.18 euros per every child aged 3–8 in a family that have a child aged up to 3
  • 19.18 euros per each child aged 3–8 in families with three and more children.

If a child turns 8 years old while attending the 1st grade, the Social Insurance Board will pay the child care allowance until the end of the 1st grade, i.e. 31 August. If the child turns 8 years old in the 2nd grade or if they do not go to school, the Social Insurance Board will pay child care allowance until the end of their birthday month.

Child care allowance is not paid if one of the parents receives parental benefit or during the period for which maternity benefit or adoption benefit is paid in relation to the child. The benefit is paid on a monthly basis for the current month.

How can I start a new maternity leave while on parental leave?

If you want to start a new pregnancy and maternity leave while on parental leave and receive maternity benefit for it, you need to terminate your parental leave. To do this, you have to notify your employer.

You need to notify your employer in a reasonable time before the start of your maternity leave so that they would have time to enter the change into the employment register.

If the following child is born before the previous child turns 3 years old and the Health Insurance Board has paid you a maternity benefit in relation to the birth of the new child, you might have the right to receive compensation for the difference between the parental benefit and the maternity benefit.

You do not have to apply for it separately and the Social Insurance Board will calculate it for you if the amounts of benefits you receive match the conditions of receiving the compensation. The difference between parental benefit and maternity benefit is paid with the first monthly parental benefit.

More information about the conditions of compensating the difference between parental benefit and maternity benefit can be found on the website of Social Insurance Board.

Why should I apply for additional contributions to the mandatory funded pension?

You can apply for additional contributions to the mandatory funded pension, i.e. the second pension pillar. Making additional contributions gives you an opportunity to increase the second pillar pension that you will receive in the future.

Additional contributions are made by the Social Insurance Board to one of the parents at a time. If both parents have a mandatory funded pension account and they want do divide the additional contributions, you can change the recipient of the contributions any time you wish.

You have the right to receive additional monthly contributions from the birth of the child until they turn 3 years old. The amount of additional contributions is 4% of the Estonian average monthly income.

No application is required for receiveing additional contributions to the mandatory funded pension account – if you have registered the birth of your child in the Population Register, you will find a benefits offer in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board within a week.

Please check that your e-mail address in the self service portal Social Insurance Board is correct – a notification of an offer will be sent to your e-mail address.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

In case you are unsure whether you have joined the mandatory funded pension system, you can check it on the website of the Pension Centre.

If a child is born abroad

A medical birth certificate is issued by a hospital when a child is born. The birth of a child has to be registered in the corresponding authority of the foreign country (vital statistics office or other competent body) that issues the child’s birth certificate (with the name of the child and the parents’ information).

If you are an Estonian citizen, live in Estonia, and wish to return here with the child as soon as possible or if you stay to live abroad but want your child to have an Estonian passport or ID card, you need to have the birth certificate certified by apostille (the list of countries that certify their documents by apostille) or legalised (the countries that do not use apostilles).

You can have a document certified by apostille in a competent authority of a foreign country.

You can legalise the document in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country or a representation of the country that issued the document, and after that also in the Estonian representation or the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Estonia.

A translation has to be made from the birth certificate by a sworn translator either into Russian or English (if the document itself is not in Russian or English).

For a child aged up to 1 year, the travel document necessary to return to Estonia (certificate for return) can be obtained from the nearest Estonian embassy or honorary consul. In order to obtain that, one of the parents has to go to the embassy or honorary consul (the document is not issued by post) and submit:

  • an application (can be completed on the spot)
  • a birth certificate of the child certified as required (by apostille or legalised in the home country) and if needed, also a translation made by a sworn translator
  • 2 document photos of the child
  • a written agreement of the other parent to issue a certificate for return for the child.

More information can be found on the article "If a child is born abroad" in State Portal.

Taking care leave to look after an ill child

If a doctor finds that you have to stay home with an ill child, the Health Insurance Fund will pay you care allowance:

  • for taking care of a child aged under 12 or a disabled insured person under 19, for up to 14 consecutive days;
  • for taking care of a child aged under 12 for up to 60 consecutive days when the cause of illness is a malignant tumour and the child’s hospital treatment starts;
  • for taking care of a sick family member at home for up to 7 consecutive days;
  • for taking care of a child under 3 or a disabled child under 16 if the caretaker of the child is ill or being provided maternity care for up to 10 consecutive days.

A doctor can also issue a certificate for care leave for a longer period, but the period of paying care allowance is limited.

The care allowance rate is 80% and the allowance will be paid starting from the first day of the leave indicated in the certificate of care leave. Income tax is withheld on the allowance.

There can also be several people taking care of a sick child, a disabled child, or a family member. In this case, the physician will issue separate certificates for care leave for all of them. The period when care allowance is paid out does not increase due to that; it remains the same as described above.

You can find more information about care allowance on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

What kind of additional days off can I have in relation to children?

In addition to annual leave, an employed parent is entitled to:

  • paternity leave – 30 working days from up to 30 days before the birth of the child to up to the child’s third birthday. Additional parental benefit is paid to the father who is on the paternity leave (including to those fathers who are not employed).
  • breaks to nurse a child: if the mother returns to work before the child turns 18 months old but wishes to continue nursing the child. The breaks are included in working time and the average wage is retained for them. The mother has the right for additional nursing breaks if they do not get parental benefit.
  • parental leave – if you have:
    • one or two children under 14 – 3 working days
    • three children under 14 – 6 working days
    • one child under 3 – 6 working days
  • parental leave for a parent with a disabled child – one working day per month until the child turns 18; altogether 12 working days per calendar year. Please note! When a child with a profound disability attains the age of majority, five working days of additional care leave may be taken per year.
  • unpaid parental leave – for a mother or father raising a child up to 14 years or a disabled child up to 18 years, up to 10 working days every month.

More information about different types of leaves can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

How does adoption work?

An adoptive parent must be at least a 25-year-old person with full active legal capacity. As an exception, the court might allow a person aged 18 to adopt a child if they adopt their spouse’s child or if there is another good reason for adoption.

Spouses can adopt a child together. Only one of the spouses can adopt a child if they are adopting a child of the other spouse or the other spouse cannot adopt a child as they have restricted active legal capacity.

Registered partners will not get a right of custody of the other partner’s children from the registered partnership contract. The parties can agree on communication between the child and the registered partner and the registered partner can apply to adopt the child.

A registered partner can adopt a biological child of their registered partner or a child whom their registered partner has adopted before concluding the registered partnership agreement. The law allows adoption in other circumstances, as well, to avoid grave injustice.

The ruling on adoption is made by the court, based on the application submitted by the adoptive parent.

Please turn to a specialist working at the Social Insurance Board in all adoption-related matters.

More information about adoption can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board, there you can also find the contacts of specialists on adoption, and in the article "Adoption, guardianship, and replacement care" in State Portal.

What kinds of allowances and benefits do I get upon adoption?

The Social Insurance Board pays a one-off adoption allowance: 320 euros per each adopted child. The adoption allowance is paid to an adoptive parent who is not an ascendant of the child and who is not the spouse of the child’s parent. The allowance is not paid if you have previously received a childbirth allowance for the same child.

For receiving family benefits please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal of Social Insurance Board or by e-mail at [email protected]

More information about adoption allowance can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

The Health Insurance Fund pays an adoption benefit for the time that the adoptive parent spends on adoptive parents leave with a child aged under 10 (100% from the first day of the leave). The benefit is paid based on the certificate for adoption leave. The certificate for adoption leave is issued from the day that the relevant court ruling enters into force and it is issued by the child’s family physician.

Information about the proceedings of your certificate for adoption leave can be found in the State Portal via e-service My certificates of temporary incapacity for work or by calling the customer service of the Health Insurance Fund at +372 669 6630. The certificate for adoption leave will be visible in the portal after the physician has completed it and sent it to the Health Insurance Fund. After that, your employer must also complete the certificate for adoption leave.

The Health Insurance Fund will generally pay the benefit onto your bank account within a couple of working days from the date that the information added to the certificate for adoption leave by your employer has reached the Health Insurance Fund.

More information about the adoption benefit can be found on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

Once a child has been adopted and belongs to your family, you have the right to apply for family benefits. More information about the family benefits paid by the state can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Local governments can also pay family benefits. More information about them can be found from your local town or rural municipality government.

Do I have to register my pregnancy at the Health Insurance Fund?

If you are pregnant, you should contact a doctor or midwife. If you already have valid health insurance cover, you do no not need to register your pregnancy at the Health Insurance Fund.

If a pregnant woman does not have health insurance, to obtain health insurance she must submit to the customer service office of the Health Insurance Fund a certificate issued by the doctor or midwife about the establishment of pregnancy and the application (in Estonian). The insurance ends three months after the expected date of childbirth established by the doctor. After that, the woman who receives parental benefit and child care allowance will be insured by the state until the child turns three.

If you want to change the parent who receives the benefits, the parent who gets family benefits (parental benefit, child care allowance, etc.) has the right for health insurance. Therefore, it is important to consider that for instance a mother who is at home with the child is not left without health insurance when the benefits are paid to the father.

You can check whether you have valid health insurance cover in the State Portal with e-service My personal data in the Health Insurance Fund or by calling the customer service helpline of the Health Insurance Fund at 669 6630.

When can I start my pregnancy and maternity leave?

A working woman has the right for 140 days of pregnancy and maternity leave. You can start your pregnancy and maternity leave 30–70 days before the expected due date (30th–36th week of pregnancy). A certificate for maternity leave is issued by the doctor or midwife who follows your pregnancy. You need to inform your employer about when you intend to start the leave.

To start the pregnancy and maternity leave, let your doctor or midwife know from which date you want to start the certificate for maternity leave. This can be at most 70 days and at least 30 days before the predicted due date. You will be issued a certificate for maternity leave that is electronically accessible to your employer. Before that, you need to inform your employer about when you intend to start the leave.

For what period do I get maternity benefit?

As of 1 April, mothers can use the maternity leave and the monthly mother’s parental benefit instead of the pregnancy and maternity leave and the maternity benefit which were available so far. The mother’s parental benefit is paid by the Social Insurance Board.

Please note! If the expected date of birth of the child is before or on 9 June 2022, the pregnancy and maternity leave applies to the mother and the mother receives the maternity benefit from the Health Insurance Board for 140 days based on their taxable income of the previous calendar year (read more on the website of the Health Insurance Fund).

If the expected date of birth of the child is on or after 10 June 2022, the procedure which will enter into force on 1 April 2022 will be applied and the mother will be able to apply for the mother’s parental benefit and accompanying maternity leave for up to 100 calendar days.

If the mother does not have a valid employment relationship, the new maternity leave procedure will apply to her if the child was born on or after 1 April 2022.

How big is the maternity benefit?

The Health Insurance Fund calculates the amount of maternity benefit on the basis of the social tax paid in the year prior to receiving the maternity benefit. The income and social tax of the year when the maternity benefit is received is not taken into consideration in the calculation. The Health Insurance Fund will get the information about the paid social tax from the Tax and Customs Board; you do not need to submit this information to the Health Insurance Fund yourself.

Maternity benefit is paid starting from the first day from the date of release from employment or service marked on the certificate for maternity leave and the benefit rate is 100%.

More information about the calculation of the maternity benefit can be found on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

The information related to paying the benefit can be checked in the State Portal with e-service My certificates of temporary incapacity for work.

You can check and change your bank account details in the State Portal with e-service My personal data in the Health Insurance Fund. You can also send a paper application to the customer service office or send a digitally signed application to [email protected]

When can I start the paternity leave?

If a child is about to be or has already been born into the family, the child’s father is entitled to parental benefit for fathers and paternal leave of 30 days for working fathers. Paternal leave can be used starting 30 days prior to the estimated due date assigned by the doctor or midwife until the child reaches 3 years of age. Paternity leave can be used as a whole or in parts.

The father must, at the time of receiving the parental benefit, be on paternity leave from all of his employers.

Who is eligible to receive the parental benefit?

  • Fathers, whose child is born on 1 July 2020 or later
  • If the child's biological father is failing to perform his obligation to raise the child and has not already exercised his right to the additional benefit for fathers, the adoptive parent, guardian or foster parent or the mother’s spouse has the right to receive the additional parental benefit.
  • The mother’s spouse also has the right to paternity leave even if the biological father submits a written notice to the Social Insurance Board regarding the decision to waive the right to receive the benefit for fathers.

You can apply for parental benefit for fathers through self-service of Social Insurance Board.

More information about paternity leave can be found in the article "Paternity leave and parental allowance" in the State Portal and on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Where can I register the birth of a child?

In order to register the birth of a child, an application must be submitted within the first month of the child’s life.

If the child was born in a hospital and the child’s birth certificate has been sent to the population register by the hospital, the application to register the birth of the child can be submitted in the e-population register. The service also allows unmarried parents to file birth registration applications. Once an official has completed the birth registration procedure, a notice of the decision and information on how to obtain the child’s birth certificate will be posted on the e-population register.

An application for registration of birth can also be submitted to any local government (in Tallinn, to the Vital Statistics Department). The application must be submitted in person by the parents or guardian of the child. A vital statistics office will register the birth within seven working days of receiving the application.

Upon registration of a birth in the local government, you need to submit the following documents with the application:

  • a medical certificate confirming the birth of the child issued by a medical institution (if the child was born at the hospital, the medical certificate has been added to the population register and there is no need to submit a separate paper certificate)
  • personal identification documents of the parents (if the parents are married, only one of the parents can go and register the birth; in this case, there is no need to submit the personal identification document of the other parent)
  • a marriage certificate, if not entered into the population register
  • if the birth is registered by one of the married parents, there has to be the other parent’s application stating the child’s name
  • acknowledgement of paternity (if needed) that can be submitted either personally in the vital statistics office or in a notarised form.

More information about the registration of birth can be found in the article "Registration of birth and choosing a name" in the State Portal.

How do I get the birth certificate

When a birth is registered, a birth certificate may be issued at the request of parents. Registration of birth and a first time birth certificate is free of charge.

Conducting activities at the national and local government administrations (e.g. applying for family allowances, or for child’s identification documents, etc) presenting a certificate is not required – these authorities will receive child’s birth data from the population register. Employer, school, kindergarten or bank may ask for a birth certificate.

If you have lost your birth certificate or need it to submit it abroad in a foreign language (English, German, French; with a multilingual standard form or CIEC form), you can order a new certificate in the e-population register or by submitting an application to the local government of your county centre or an Estonian representation in a foreign country. A state fee shall be paid for the issue of the certificate. The amount of the state fee for an electronic certificate issued by a local government is 5 euros and for a certificate issued on paper 10 euros; the state fee for a certificate issued by an Estonian representation is 20 euros. A state fee of 10 euros for an electronic document and 20 euros for a paper document must be paid for the issuance of a multilingual standard form together with a birth certificate. For more information, contact the local government of the county centre or an Estonian representation in a foreign country that suits you.

What address will be the place of residence of the infant?

When registering the birth of a child, the place of residence of the child is automatically the address of the child’s mother according to the population register.

You can change the information about your place of residence in the local government of your new place of residence by submitting a notice of residence (in Estonian).

You can submit the notice of residence:

  • in the e-population register
  • at the local government office
  • by submitting a notice of residence to the local government by mail, adding a copy of the page of your personal identification document that has your personal data
  • by e-mailing a digitally signed notice of residence to the local government.

How does the child get health insurance and a family physician?

An infant is automatically registered to the practice of their mother’s family physician. If you want, you can also choose another family physician for your child.

All children have health insurance until the day they turn 19 (this day included). It is important to mark down the child’s place of residence in the population register, as health insurance enters into force for all the children permanently living in Estonia and registered in the population register.

If the child’s information has not reached the database of the Health Insurance Fund after the issue of the birth certificate, you will have to turn to the customer service office of the Health Insurance Fund or call their customer service helpline 669 6630 to receive further instructions.

Does a parent who is on parental leave have health insurance?

A parent who takes care of a child aged under 3 in Estonia has health insurance by the state. However, paying social tax for a person and therefore getting health insurance is related to getting family benefits. The state gives health insurance to the parent who is paid parental benefit.

After the end of the parental benefit period has the right for health insurance this parent, who is on parental leave. Therefore, it is important to consider that for instance a mother who is at home with the child is not left without health insurance when the benefits are paid to the father. In that case can you change the person who have the health insurance.

State also automatically gives health insurance to a parent who raises seven or more underage children in Estonia.

In certain cases, the non-working parent also has the right to get health insurance from the state; the overview of such cases can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

You can check whether you have valid health insurance in the State Portal (login with your ID-card, Mobile-ID, or Smart-ID is required).

What kinds of family benefits are paid in Estonia?

One-off family benefits are the maternity benefit and the adoption allowance. The family benefits paid on a monthly basis are child allowance, childcare allowance (only for families where a child is born on 31 August 2019 at the latest. More information can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board), single parent’s child allowance, guardianship allowance, parent’s allowance for families with three or more children, and disabled child allowance. In addition to that, parental benefit is paid until the child is 435 days or 18 months old; until the child turns 3, the state pays additional contributions to the parent’s mandatory funded pension.

When the parent is in in conscript service or in alternative service, conscript’s child allowance is paid, which can be applied for together with state family benefits.

The state pays family benefits to all children until they turn 16. Children studying in a basic school, an upper secondary school, or a vocational school (including Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre) that operates on the basis of basic education, have the right to get family benefits until they turn 19 or are permanently excluded from the school.

More specific information about the benefits can be found at the website of the Social Insurance Board.

The Social Insurance Board pays the benefits and allowances by bank transfer on the 8th date of each month. If the payment date is on a national holiday or another day off, the payment date is the working day before the day off.

Local governments can also pay benefits to families. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

When and how to apply for benefits?

In order to get family benefits you must first give your child a name and register it. If the child was born in a hospital and the child’s birth certificate has been sent to the population register by the hospital, the application to register the birth of the child can be submitted in the e-population register. The service also allows unmarried parents to file birth registration applications.

An application for registration of birth can also be submitted to any local government (in Tallinn, to the Vital Statistics Department).

No application is required for receiving benefits. Once you have registered your child in the Population Register this information will automatically reach the Social Insurance Board the next day. Social Insurance Board will review which types of allowances your family is entitled to and will send a family benefits offer to both parents through the self service portal of Social Insurance Board.

You will also receive a notification by e-mail. Please check that your correct e-mail address is available in self service portal of Social Insurance Board.

In the self service portal you can choose which types of allowances will be paid to one parent and which types to the other parent. Keep in mind that state health insurance is provided to the recipient of benefits.

You must approve the offer within six months.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact with the Social Insurance Board through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

More information about applying for family benefits can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

The Social Insurance Board pays the benefits and allowances by bank transfer on the 8th date of each month. If the payment date is on a national holiday or another day off, the payment date is the working day before the day off.

Local governments can also pay benefits to families. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

Onto which bank account my family benefits are paid

If you want to find out onto which bank account your family benefits are paid or if while receiving family benefits you want to change the number of your bank account to which the allowances are being paid, please log in to self service portal of Social Insurance Board.

The Estonian Health Insurance Fund (sickness benefit, care allowance etc) saves only one bank account number per person. Thus the person who has applied for various benefits and has listed several bank accounts, will receive all due benefit payments to the last account listed.

You can check and change your bank account details in the State Portal via e-service My personal data in the Health Insurance Fund. You can also change your bank account details by turning to the customer service offices of the Health Insurance Fund or send a digitally signed application to [email protected]

If the Health Insurance Fund does not have your bank details, you must submit these to the Health Insurance Fund yourself.

How big is the child allowance and how do I get it?

Child allowance is paid on a monthly basis to every child since birth until they turn 16. If the child continues their studies, child allowance is paid until the end of the academic year when the child turns 19. The academic year starts on 1 September and finishes on 31 August; for the final year at the upper secondary school, on 30 June.

If a child studies in Estonia, no proof about the studies needs to be submitted. Schools send their students’ data to the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS) and based on these, the Social Insurance Board pays child allowance. If at the beginning of the academic year, there is no information about the child’s studies in the information system by the date that the child allowance is paid out (8th date of each month), the Social Insurance Board will pay the child allowance in September as soon as possible after the information has been received.

There is no information in the EHIS about children studying abroad, which is why you need to submit a school certificate about the child’s studies to the Social Insurance Board every year.

The child allowance for the first and the second child is 60 euros per month and starting from the third child, 100 euros per child a month. The allowance is paid out every month for the current month.

No application is required for receiving family benefits – if you have registered the birth of your child in the Population Register, you will find a benefits offer in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board within a week.

Please check that your e-mail address in the Self service portal of Social Insurance Board is correct – a notification of an offer will be sent to your e-mail address.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

More information about the child allowance is available on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Local governments can also pay needs-based allowances. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

How big is the childbirth allowance and how do I get it?

The Social Insurance Board pays a one-off childbirth allowance to every child. The amount of the allowance is 320 euros. When triplets or more children are born, the amount of the allowance is 1,000 euros per child.

No application is required for receiving family benefits – if you have registered the birth of your child in the Population Register, you will find a benefits offer in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board within a week.

Please check that your e-mail address in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board is correct – a notification of an offer will be sent to your e-mail address.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

Several local governments also pay childbirth allowance to families. More information about them is available at your local town or rural community government.

Who can stay on parental leave?

The mother or the father of the child has the right to stay on parental leave (parental leave) until the child turns three. There can only be one parent on parental leave in one family. If the parental benefit is paid, the parent to whom the benefit is paid must also be on the parental leave. Somebody else can also use the parental leave instead of the parent.

The family can choose the person on parental leave and the person on parental leave can be changed, if needed. You can formalise the parental leave at your employer.

How long do I receive the parental benefit for?

The right to the shared parental benefit arises based on the child. Thus, the parents (mother and father) are entitled to equal periods of receiving the shared parental benefit.

The duration of the period of receiving the shared parental benefit depends on whether or not the mother was employed before the birth of the child.

If the mother was employed before the birth, the duration of the shared parental benefit is usually 475 calendar days (the number of days may be higher if the mother has used less of the mother’s parental benefit days).

If the mother did not have an employment relationship before the birth of the child, the total duration of the period of receiving the shared parental benefit is 515 calendar days.

The duration of the payment period of the shared parental benefit is the same for the mother and the father, but the periods in which the parents can use the shared parental benefit may differ. For example, if the father has used his father’s parental benefit before the birth of the child, he will be entitled to the shared parental benefit from the moment of childbirth, but the mother will only be entitled to the shared parental benefit after the expiry of the mother’s parental benefit.

The parental benefit can be used by single days until the child’s third birthday. This allows the parents to spread the period of receiving the parental benefit over a longer period of time. The parents will still be able to earn income while receiving the parental benefit, as they are allowed to work with the workload chosen by them in parallel with raising the child.

The parental benefit is paid retrospectively for the previous month. The benefit is paid on the 8th date of every month. If the day of the payment of the benefit falls on a public holiday or another holiday, the last working day before the holiday is deemed the payment date.

What is the amount of parental benefit and how is it calculated?

The amount of the benefit is equal to 100% of the average income per one calendar month. The amount of the parental benefit is calculated based on the income of the twelve months preceding the average pregnancy period (i.e. nine months).

While the parental benefit has been calculated on a monthly basis so far, i.e. the same amount of the benefit was paid every month, as of 1 April 2022, the parental benefit is paid based on the daily rate. For the recipient of the benefit, this means that the amount of the benefit will vary somewhat by month, depending on the number of days in the respective month. Thus, the amount of the benefit paid for one full month is no longer exactly the same month-by-month, as it depends on the number of days in the respective calendar month. For example, the amount of the parental benefit paid is higher in the months with thirty-one days compared to the months with thirty days.

Further information about the processes of calculating the parental benefit can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

In 2022, the maximum amount of the parental benefit is 4,043.07 euros, the maximum daily rate is 134.77 euros. If the taxable income of the parent is 4,043.07 euros or higher, the parental benefit is paid at the maximum rate.

If the parent has not received any taxable income within the twelve calendar months, they will receive the parental benefit at a rate of 584 euros per month with the daily rate of 19.47 euros in 2022.

If the income of the parent is equal to the minimum monthly wage or lower, the parent will receive the parental benefit at the rate of the minimum monthly wage, i.e. 654 euros per month with a daily rate of 21.8 euros in 2022.

Income tax is withheld from the parental benefit and is calculated from the first euro payable. If you would like to apply an income tax exemption on the parental benefit, please submit a respective application after the decision on the benefit has been made through the self-service of the Social Insurance Board.

Am I allowed to work during the period I receive parental benefit?

During the period you are paid parental benefit, you are entitled to earn income up to a half of the maximum amount of parental benefit (1910,77 euros in 2021) so that your benefit is not decreased. If your gross income is more than this amount, the Social Insurance Board will decrease the amount of parental benefit paid to you.

If you know that your income will be bigger than the half of the maximum parental benefit, you need to notify the Social Insurance Board. You also need to inform the Social Insurance Board if you know that you will receive a one-off income that is higher than the half of the maximum parental benefit. You can send a notice about your monthly gross income by sending an e-mail to [email protected]

If your monthly gross income is less than the half of the maximum parental benefit, there is no need to notify the Social Insurance Board.

More information about working while receiving parental benefit can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Changing the person receiving the benefit

The recipient of benefits can be changed. If so far the benefits have been received by you but the other parent wants to receive them from now on, please log in to self service portal of Social Insurance Board and send an informal notice of waiver of the benefits.

Social Insurance Board will start paying family benefits to the new recipient from the following month. Additional contributions to mandatory funded pension from the day of submission of the application. If the recipient of parental benefit is changed, Social Insurance Board will grant the benefit to the new recipient as of the month following the submission of the application. Since parental benefit is paid afterwards for the previous month, it will reach the new recipient the month after the next one.

An application for changing recipients can also be submitted as follows:

  • With both parents’ digital signature to the e-mail address [email protected];
  • Signed by hand on paper via mail to the address Endla 8, Tallinn 15092;
  • At a customer service office of the Social Insurance Board (be sure to take your ID card or passport with you; if you go alone, you need take with you the other parent’s signed written consent).

When will I get child care allowance and how big is it?

Childcare allowance is a type of support that is gradually disappearing. In connection with children born on 01.09.2019 and later child care allowance will no longer be paid.

Social Insurance Board will grant and keep paying child care allowance pursuant to the old procedure to all families where a child is born on 31 August 2019 at the latest. Social Insurance Board will also keep paying child care allowance to all who are already being paid child care allowance on 31 August 2019 or to whom we have granted the allowance earlier.

Child care allowance is paid until the expiry of the right to the allowance or until 31 August 2024 at the latest.

More information can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Child care allowance is a monthly allowance which is paid (after the period of parental benefit):

  • 38.36 euros per every child up to 3 years old
  • 19.18 euros per every child aged 3–8 in a family that have a child aged up to 3
  • 19.18 euros per each child aged 3–8 in families with three and more children.

If a child turns 8 years old while attending the 1st grade, the Social Insurance Board will pay the child care allowance until the end of the 1st grade, i.e. 31 August. If the child turns 8 years old in the 2nd grade or if they do not go to school, the Social Insurance Board will pay child care allowance until the end of their birthday month.

Child care allowance is not paid if one of the parents receives parental benefit or during the period for which maternity benefit or adoption benefit is paid in relation to the child. The benefit is paid on a monthly basis for the current month.

How can I start a new maternity leave while on parental leave?

If you want to start a new pregnancy and maternity leave while on parental leave and receive maternity benefit for it, you need to terminate your parental leave. To do this, you have to notify your employer.

You need to notify your employer in a reasonable time before the start of your maternity leave so that they would have time to enter the change into the employment register.

If the following child is born before the previous child turns 3 years old and the Health Insurance Board has paid you a maternity benefit in relation to the birth of the new child, you might have the right to receive compensation for the difference between the parental benefit and the maternity benefit.

You do not have to apply for it separately and the Social Insurance Board will calculate it for you if the amounts of benefits you receive match the conditions of receiving the compensation. The difference between parental benefit and maternity benefit is paid with the first monthly parental benefit.

More information about the conditions of compensating the difference between parental benefit and maternity benefit can be found on the website of Social Insurance Board.

Why should I apply for additional contributions to the mandatory funded pension?

You can apply for additional contributions to the mandatory funded pension, i.e. the second pension pillar. Making additional contributions gives you an opportunity to increase the second pillar pension that you will receive in the future.

Additional contributions are made by the Social Insurance Board to one of the parents at a time. If both parents have a mandatory funded pension account and they want do divide the additional contributions, you can change the recipient of the contributions any time you wish.

You have the right to receive additional monthly contributions from the birth of the child until they turn 3 years old. The amount of additional contributions is 4% of the Estonian average monthly income.

No application is required for receiveing additional contributions to the mandatory funded pension account – if you have registered the birth of your child in the Population Register, you will find a benefits offer in the self service portal of Social Insurance Board within a week.

Please check that your e-mail address in the self service portal Social Insurance Board is correct – a notification of an offer will be sent to your e-mail address.

If your family is entitled to family benefits for another reason – for example, you and your family have moved to Estonia from abroad, you have adopted a child, you have become a guardian or other, please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal or by e-mail at [email protected]

In case you are unsure whether you have joined the mandatory funded pension system, you can check it on the website of the Pension Centre.

If a child is born abroad

A medical birth certificate is issued by a hospital when a child is born. The birth of a child has to be registered in the corresponding authority of the foreign country (vital statistics office or other competent body) that issues the child’s birth certificate (with the name of the child and the parents’ information).

If you are an Estonian citizen, live in Estonia, and wish to return here with the child as soon as possible or if you stay to live abroad but want your child to have an Estonian passport or ID card, you need to have the birth certificate certified by apostille (the list of countries that certify their documents by apostille) or legalised (the countries that do not use apostilles).

You can have a document certified by apostille in a competent authority of a foreign country.

You can legalise the document in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country or a representation of the country that issued the document, and after that also in the Estonian representation or the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Estonia.

A translation has to be made from the birth certificate by a sworn translator either into Russian or English (if the document itself is not in Russian or English).

For a child aged up to 1 year, the travel document necessary to return to Estonia (certificate for return) can be obtained from the nearest Estonian embassy or honorary consul. In order to obtain that, one of the parents has to go to the embassy or honorary consul (the document is not issued by post) and submit:

  • an application (can be completed on the spot)
  • a birth certificate of the child certified as required (by apostille or legalised in the home country) and if needed, also a translation made by a sworn translator
  • 2 document photos of the child
  • a written agreement of the other parent to issue a certificate for return for the child.

More information can be found on the article "If a child is born abroad" in State Portal.

Taking care leave to look after an ill child

If a doctor finds that you have to stay home with an ill child, the Health Insurance Fund will pay you care allowance:

  • for taking care of a child aged under 12 or a disabled insured person under 19, for up to 14 consecutive days;
  • for taking care of a child aged under 12 for up to 60 consecutive days when the cause of illness is a malignant tumour and the child’s hospital treatment starts;
  • for taking care of a sick family member at home for up to 7 consecutive days;
  • for taking care of a child under 3 or a disabled child under 16 if the caretaker of the child is ill or being provided maternity care for up to 10 consecutive days.

A doctor can also issue a certificate for care leave for a longer period, but the period of paying care allowance is limited.

The care allowance rate is 80% and the allowance will be paid starting from the first day of the leave indicated in the certificate of care leave. Income tax is withheld on the allowance.

There can also be several people taking care of a sick child, a disabled child, or a family member. In this case, the physician will issue separate certificates for care leave for all of them. The period when care allowance is paid out does not increase due to that; it remains the same as described above.

You can find more information about care allowance on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

What kind of additional days off can I have in relation to children?

In addition to annual leave, an employed parent is entitled to:

  • paternity leave – 30 working days from up to 30 days before the birth of the child to up to the child’s third birthday. Additional parental benefit is paid to the father who is on the paternity leave (including to those fathers who are not employed).
  • breaks to nurse a child: if the mother returns to work before the child turns 18 months old but wishes to continue nursing the child. The breaks are included in working time and the average wage is retained for them. The mother has the right for additional nursing breaks if they do not get parental benefit.
  • parental leave – if you have:
    • one or two children under 14 – 3 working days
    • three children under 14 – 6 working days
    • one child under 3 – 6 working days
  • parental leave for a parent with a disabled child – one working day per month until the child turns 18; altogether 12 working days per calendar year. Please note! When a child with a profound disability attains the age of majority, five working days of additional care leave may be taken per year.
  • unpaid parental leave – for a mother or father raising a child up to 14 years or a disabled child up to 18 years, up to 10 working days every month.

More information about different types of leaves can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

How does adoption work?

An adoptive parent must be at least a 25-year-old person with full active legal capacity. As an exception, the court might allow a person aged 18 to adopt a child if they adopt their spouse’s child or if there is another good reason for adoption.

Spouses can adopt a child together. Only one of the spouses can adopt a child if they are adopting a child of the other spouse or the other spouse cannot adopt a child as they have restricted active legal capacity.

Registered partners will not get a right of custody of the other partner’s children from the registered partnership contract. The parties can agree on communication between the child and the registered partner and the registered partner can apply to adopt the child.

A registered partner can adopt a biological child of their registered partner or a child whom their registered partner has adopted before concluding the registered partnership agreement. The law allows adoption in other circumstances, as well, to avoid grave injustice.

The ruling on adoption is made by the court, based on the application submitted by the adoptive parent.

Please turn to a specialist working at the Social Insurance Board in all adoption-related matters.

More information about adoption can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board, there you can also find the contacts of specialists on adoption, and in the article "Adoption, guardianship, and replacement care" in State Portal.

What kinds of allowances and benefits do I get upon adoption?

The Social Insurance Board pays a one-off adoption allowance: 320 euros per each adopted child. The adoption allowance is paid to an adoptive parent who is not an ascendant of the child and who is not the spouse of the child’s parent. The allowance is not paid if you have previously received a childbirth allowance for the same child.

For receiving family benefits please contact the Social Insurance Board for an offer through the self service portal of Social Insurance Board or by e-mail at [email protected]

More information about adoption allowance can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

The Health Insurance Fund pays an adoption benefit for the time that the adoptive parent spends on adoptive parents leave with a child aged under 10 (100% from the first day of the leave). The benefit is paid based on the certificate for adoption leave. The certificate for adoption leave is issued from the day that the relevant court ruling enters into force and it is issued by the child’s family physician.

Information about the proceedings of your certificate for adoption leave can be found in the State Portal via e-service My certificates of temporary incapacity for work or by calling the customer service of the Health Insurance Fund at +372 669 6630. The certificate for adoption leave will be visible in the portal after the physician has completed it and sent it to the Health Insurance Fund. After that, your employer must also complete the certificate for adoption leave.

The Health Insurance Fund will generally pay the benefit onto your bank account within a couple of working days from the date that the information added to the certificate for adoption leave by your employer has reached the Health Insurance Fund.

More information about the adoption benefit can be found on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

Once a child has been adopted and belongs to your family, you have the right to apply for family benefits. More information about the family benefits paid by the state can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

Local governments can also pay family benefits. More information about them can be found from your local town or rural municipality government.