Benefits for the victims of persecution by totalitarian regimes

Those who suffered injustices during the occupation period and those deemed to have equivalent status to such individuals are guaranteed benefits and incentives and there are special procedures for determining and calculating state pensions.

The following people are included among those who suffered unlawful persecution:

  • victims of genocide;
  • those imprisoned or sent into exile due to beliefs, property status, origin or religion;
  • those who were imprisoned or sent into exile due to failure to comply with special obligations established by an occupying state for its own citizens (such as military service, loyalty oaths);
  • freedom fighters and prisoners of conscience punished by occupation regimes;
  • deportees;
  • people sent to forced labour in a Soviet Union labour battalion;
  • people sent to forced labour outside Estonia during the German occupation;
  • victims of nuclear testing and persons sent against their will to a nuclear disaster zone;
  • children who were born while in exile or in a place of detention, where the parent was a victim of unlawful repression.

The Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act encompasses both the German and Soviet occupation periods. The definition of victim of persecution was developed taking into account that it would provide a means in future to raise the requirement of international indemnities.

An Estonian citizen is accorded status of persecuted person if:

  • he or she took part in the armed struggle wages from 16 June 1940 held to restore Estonian state independence;
  • he or she became an invalid when he or she was mobilized or conscripted into the Soviet armed forces and did not take part in the repressions on Estonians territory.

A person who was mobilized into the Red Army as a member of the communist party and its constituent organizations or candidate for such a member or who belonged to the NKVD destruction or national defence battalion or workers’ battalion or who was mobilized into the German military as a member or candidate for member of the NSDAP. The benefits intended for the victims of persecution may be applied for on the basis of a certificate of victim of persecution along with an identity document.

To obtain a certificate of status of victim of persecution, the person should submit an application and supplementary documents to a regional bureau of the Social Insurance Board. The amount subject to compensation shall be paid, in accordance with the wishes of the applicant, either:

  • to his or her bank account;
  • on the basis of a written application or notarized application, to another person’s bank account in Estonia;
  • to the victim’s bank account in a foreign country.

All incentives, benefits and pension rights are listed in detail on the website of the Social Insurance Board.

If you have any questions, call the information line of the National Social Insurance Board at 16106 or (+372) 612 1360 or write an e-mail to

Last amended: 07-06-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Social Insurance Board