Subsistence level and subsistence benefit

The subsistence benefit is state assistance for those suffering from material deprivation. The benefit is paid by the local government. The subsistence level is the term for the amount necessary for minimum daily subsistence over a period of one month.

The subsistence level depends on the number of people in a family. The subsistence benefit is paid to those living below the subsistence level, including to people without a place of residence, for buying food, clothing and other staple goods and services.

In 2017, the subsistence limit is 130 euros a month for a person living alone or firstborn member of a family and 104 euros for the second and each succeeding member of a family (130 euros for every underage family member). Recipients of subsistence benefits all of whose family members are juvenile have the right to receive, along with the subsistence benefit, supplementary social benefit of 15 euros.

Who has the right to receive subsistence benefit

The following persons are eligible for the subsistence benefit: persons living alone or families whose monthly net income after deduction of fixed expenses on living space (in the extent of the limits of expenses established by the local government council) falls under the established subsistence level. In determining the subsistence benefit, family members are considered to be people living in the same dwelling who are married or in cohabitation, their dependent children or parents or other persons who use one or more source of income or share a household.

In determining the subsistence benefit, the following persons shall be considered to be away temporarily from their family: students and university students studying in daytime studies at educational institutions with an education license issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, if the address data on their place of residence as entered into the Population Register match the address data for their family’s place of residence.

Students and university students whose address data do not match that of their family have the right to receive subsistence benefits from the municipality or city government of their place of residence pursuant to the Population Register, if their family was a recipient of subsistence benefits in the previous month.

How to apply for subsistence benefits

The subsistence benefit is determined and paid by the municipality or city government and it is determined for the current month on the basis of the data for the previous month. To receive the benefit, the applicant must submit to a local government by the 20th day of each month listing the names and personal identification codes of the family/household members (or identity documents); students must submit a valid university ID or school ID.

Documents certifying the following shall be appended to the application:

  • right to permanent use of living space (contract of purchase and sale, certificate from a housing association, lease etc) – submitted only upon first-time application.
  • incomes received by person living alone or family members as well as the amount of subsistence deducted from it and paid.
  • constant expenses on living space payable in the current month.

In addition to the said documents, the local government may request other documents.

How the subsistence benefit is determined

In determining the subsistence benefit, all of the incomes of the persons related to a common household and inhabiting the same space shall be considered. A family’s income shall include:

  • remuneration for work
  • parental benefit
  • subsistence
  • compensation paid on the basis of a certificate for incapacity for work
  • pension (all pension types, including survivor’s pension)
  • official caregiver’s allowance
  • allowance for disabled parent raising a child alone
  • allowances paid on the basis of the State Family Benefits Act
  • unemployment benefit
  • income from enterprise and individual professional activity (including income from enterprise on the basis of ownership rights)
  • income from sale and renting of real estate and movable property
  • income from sale of securities and privatization securities
  • scholarships
  • study allowance
  • fees and honorariums
  • interest from credit institutions and compensation funds
  • other income.

The following is not considered part of income when calculating subsistence benefits:

  • single payments paid from state or local budget funds.
  • allowances paid on the basis of the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act, not including the disabled parent’s allowance and caregiver’s allowance.
  • state-secured student loans.
  • scholarships payable in case of participation in labour market training as well as travel and accommodation benefit, as well as travel and accommodation benefits payable in the case of participation in an internship or practical work training.

In determining the subsistence benefit, the extent of the dwelling and the number of inhabitants and rooms shall be taken into consideration. The standard area from which housing costs may be deducted from income is 18m² per family member plus 15m² per family. If the number of rooms in the apartment is equal to the number of family members but the total area of the flat exceeds the standard area, the basis shall be the total area of the apartment. The standard area in the case of pensioners living alone in a dwelling may be up to 51 m². In determining the subsistence benefit, the real estate, vehicles and securities in the use or ownership of the applicant and his or her family shall be considered. Indebtednesses accrued before applying for the subsistence benefit shall not be counted as housing costs.

About subsistence benefit can you read more on website of Ministry of Social Affairs.

If you have any questions about applying for subsistence benefits, please contact with local municipality or city government.

Last amended: 07-06-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of Social Affairs