Photo: KK

Czech Labour Ministry Is Planning To Merge Four Benefit Payments Into One

The Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is planning to merge four social benefits (housing and supplementary housing allowances, subsistence allowance, and child allowance) into one single payment, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) told journalists on Monday.

The new single payment can be claimed with one single application. In order to qualify for state aid, applicants’ assets would be evaluated more closely alongside their income. For those not employed, seeking a job would be a condition for receiving the welfare money.

The changes are planned to come into force next year.

According to Jurecka, the aim of the changes is to simplify and better target the support, further aided by digitization.

“In the revision, we are focusing on the four most widely used benefits, with four applications and four administrative procedures,” Jurecka said. “Even after the most recent simplification, it is still a matter of at least 16 pages of paper. By linking and merging the four types of support, we can target households more effectively and look at their income situation, their property situation, how they live, how many children are there, how they work or how they could work.” 

He noted that each household would now have to submit one application, which would only need to be processed once.

Under the proposal, a new state social assistance benefit would be created. It is to combine two regular benefits with two benefits for people in need, ie housing benefit and child benefit with a housing supplement and a subsistence allowance.

The new benefit consists of a living needs supplement, a housing supplement, a child benefit, and a work bonus. The amount should depend on income and work activity. It should eliminate the tipping points, whereby a person loses state assistance if they exceed their earnings by a single crown.

Jurecka said he had presented the planned changes to the coalition’s leadership two weeks ago. He said that “the basic principles are generally welcomed.”

The ministry could submit the bill for comments in March.

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