A considerable amount of Estonian family benefits is paid out in the first 1.5 years of a child’s life.
If your child is born in Estonia there is a special childbirth allowance (320 Euros as of 1st of January 2013) from the state. In addition to the application, you should submit to the local pension office your passport with the residence permit, the child’s birth certificate and also a Civil Registry certificate confirming the birth of a child.
Some local authorities pay additional childbirth allowance.
Tallinn pays additional childbirth allowance if both parents have been registered as residents of Tallinn before the birth of the child (at least one parent has to be a resident for at least one year before the birth of the child). Mother has to have registered her pregnancy before the 12th week of pregnancy. The child has to be registered as a resident of Tallinn and has to be registered at the same address with the parents. Contact the city district municipality for more details.
Tartu pays additional childbirth allowance if the applicant has been registered as a resident of Tartu at least 6 months before the birth of the child and/or before the dates of next allowance payments. The allowance is paid in 3 parts, at birth of the child, at 1st birthday and at 2nd birthday. Applications can be submitted electronically as well as in city district departments.
It is possible to take a pregnancy vacation 70 days before the expected birth of the child and 70 days after the birth of the child. The pregnancy vacation lasts a total of 140 days. You should start the pregnancy vacation at least 30 days before the expected birth of the child. People who are employed receive a maternity benefit. Your gynecologist gives you a document certifying the expected birth of a child, which you must present to your employer or, in case you are self-employed, directly to the Estonian Health Insurance Board.
A father has a right to be granted 10 working days paid childcare leave during the 2 months before the date of birth designated by a doctor or within two months after the birth of the child.
The parental benefit is paid to the parent that stays at home with the child (mother of father). The parental benefit is paid after the end of the maternity benefit. Together the maternity benefit and the parental benefit are paid for a period of 575 days. For example if you start your pregnancy vacation on the 2nd of January 2011, the last day that the parental benefit will be paid for is the 29th of July 2012.
Non-working parents receive the parental benefit for 18 months from childbirth. Fathers have a right to parental benefit starting from 70 days after the birth of the child.
The amount of the benefit depends on the parent’s income in the previous calendar year that is calculated on the basis of the social taxes paid in Estonia. Those who did not receive any taxable income in Estonia in the previous calendar year, receive the parental benefit according to the monthly rate of the benefit. For the year 2015 the monthly rate for parental benefit is 355 Euros. The maximum amount of parental benefit that is paid in one month as of 2015 is 2548.95 Euros (three times the average salary from the year before last). Taxes are deducted from the parental leave.
If you worked in the previous calendar year in Estonia as well as in another EU country, the time worked in these countries is considered as being the same as if the person had worked in Estonia, i.e. the social tax imposed in Estonia for the previous calendar year is considered paid even during periods of employment in other countries. Income actually earned in another country is not taken into account when calculating the amount of the benefit. If a parent worked in another EU country in the previous calendar year and received no income in Estonia, the parental benefit is designated at the minimum wage rate.
As the parental benefit is meant to replace the loss of income after the birth of the child, working during the period of receiving parental benefit is quite strictly regulated. It is possible to receive income from work at the time of the parental benefit in the amount of a minimum wage. If you receive more income than that, there will be deductions in the amount of benefit in that month.
Maternity benefit is paid out by the Estonian Health Insurance Board, the other benefits are paid by the Social Insurance Board.