Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Europe, 2006

 

Estonia

Exchange rate: US$1.00 equals 13.25 kroons (EEK).

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1924.

Current laws: 1992 (pensions), with 2005 amendment; 1992 (pensions); 2000 (funeral benefit); 2001 (funded pensions); 2003; 2004 (individual accounts); and 2004 (investments).

Type of program: Social insurance and mandatory individual account system.

Note: Membership in an individual account is mandatory for all persons born after December 31, 1982, who are covered by social insurance. Persons born after December 31, 1941, or before January 1, 1983, may contribute voluntarily.

Coverage

Social insurance: All persons residing permanently in Estonia; noncitizens residing temporarily in Estonia and legal refugees.

Mandatory individual account: All persons born after December 31, 1982, who are covered by social insurance, including self-employed persons.

Voluntary coverage is possible.

Source of Funds

Social insurance

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: 20% of declared earnings.

The maximum monthly declared earnings for contribution purposes for a self-employed person are 12,276 EEK.

Employer: 20% of payroll.

There are no maximum earnings for contribution purposes.

Government: The total cost for some categories of caregivers and unemployed persons; the cost of the old-age national pension and pension supplements for civil servants, victims of political repression, and war veterans; the cost of the disability national pension and allowances for disabled children and special noncontributory social benefits for the disabled; and the cost of funeral grants.

Mandatory individual account

Insured person: 2% of earnings, plus a fund management fee (up to a ceiling).

Self-employed person: 4% of declared earnings, plus a fund management fee (up to a ceiling). (The contribution is taken from the 20% of declared earnings used to finance old-age, disability, and survivor pensions, above.)

Employer: 4% of payroll. (The contribution is taken from the 20% of payroll used to finance old-age, disability, and survivor pensions, above.)

Government: None.

Qualifying Conditions

Social insurance

Old-age pension: Age 63 with 15 years of service (men) or age 59 and 6 months with 15 years of service (women). (The retirement age for women is to be raised gradually by 6 months each year until it reaches age 63 in 2013).

Retirement is possible up to 5 years before the normal retirement age with 15 years of service if the insured worked under dangerous or hazardous conditions.

Early pension: Retirement is possible up to 3 years before the normal retirement age with 15 years of service (men or women).

Deferred pension: A deferred pension is possible. There is no maximum deferral period.

National old-age pension: Age 63 and does not qualify for a social insurance old-age pension. Must have resided in Estonia for at least 5 years before making the claim for the benefit and must not be receiving a pension from any other country.

Pension supplement: The supplement is paid to veterans of the Estonian War of Independence and their widow(er)s; persons assessed as at least 40% incapacitated for work as a result of a nuclear test or accident; and veterans of WWII or members of the Defense Force.

Disability pension: Payable from age 16 to the retirement age with an insured period of at least 1 year for persons aged 21 to 23, rising to 14 years for persons aged 60 to 62. There is no insured period required from age 16 to age 20.

The pension is payable for a total disability (100% loss of earning capacity) or partial disability (10% to 99% loss of earning capacity).

The pension is payable for 6 months; 1, 2, or 5 years (renewable periods); or until retirement age, according to the assessed degree of disability.

A medical commission assesses the degree of disability.

National disability pension: Assessed with a loss of at least 40% of earning capacity, does not qualify for a social insurance disability pension, and does not receive a pension from any other country.

Pension supplement: The supplement is paid to veterans of the Estonian War of Independence and their widow(er)s; persons declared incapacitated for work as a result of a nuclear test or accident; veterans of WWII or members of the Defense Force; and rehabilitated persons, persons held as prisoners of war, and persons held in concentration camps or ghettos during WWII or in labor and construction battalions or labor and construction units in 1941 and 1942.

Survivor pension: Survivors must be incapable of gainful activity. The deceased had an insured period of at least 1 year for persons aged 21 to 23, rising to 14 years for persons aged 60 to 62. There is no insured period required from age 16 to age 20.

Eligible survivors include children, stepchildren, siblings, and grandchildren younger than age 18 (age 24 if a full-time student, no limit if disabled); parents or stepparents of pensionable age or disabled; a surviving spouse (from the 12th week of pregnancy, nonworking and rearing the deceased's child who is younger than age 3, permanently disabled and married to the deceased for at least a year, divorced and permanently incapable of work before the divorce or if the onset of the incapacity was in the year immediately after the divorce, reached pensionable age within 3 years after the divorce and the marriage had lasted for at least 25 years, or of pensionable age); or a nonemployed guardian rearing the deceased's children.

National survivor pension: Payable on the death of the family breadwinner who is not eligible for a social insurance pension. The survivor must not receive a pension from any other country.

Mandatory individual account

Old-age pension: Age 63 with 15 years of service (men) or age 59 and 6 months with 15 years of service (women), receiving the old-age social insurance pension, and first contributed to the individual account at least 5 years before the date of retirement.

Disability pension: No disability pension is provided.

Survivor pension: The pension is paid to survivors named by the deceased; in the absence of named survivors, the pension is paid to the deceased's spouse and orphans.

Old-Age Benefits

Social insurance

Old-age pension: A monthly flat-rate basic amount of 1,001.41 EEK (April 2006) plus a length-of-service component (for years of service up to December 31, 1998) and an insurance component (for social taxpayers since January 1, 1999).

The monthly length-of-service component is 48.51 EEK (April 2006) times the number of years of service up to December 31, 1998.

The insured component is equal to the sum of annual factors for each year of pension insurance times 48.51 EEK (April 2006). The annual factor is 1.0 if contributions have been paid on the average salary.

Persons receiving the old-age pension may continue working.

Early pension: The old-age pension is reduced by 0.4% for each month the pension is received before the normal retirement age.

Persons receiving the early pension must retire from work.

Deferred pension: For each month the claim for an old-age pension is deferred, the pension is increased by 0.9%.

The minimum monthly old-age pension is equal to the national pension rate of 1,268.55 EEK (April 2006).

There is no maximum old-age pension.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted annually in April according to changes in the consumer price index and the annual increase in collected social tax contributions.

National old-age pension: The monthly national pension is equal to the national pension rate of 1,268.55 EEK (April 2006).

Benefit adjustment: The national pension is adjusted annually by the Estonian parliament.

Pension supplement: Veterans of the Estonian War of Independence and their widow(er)s receive 100% of the national pension rate; persons assessed as at least 40% incapacitated for work as a result of a nuclear test or accident receive 10% of the national pension rate; and veterans of WWII or members of the Defense Force receive 10% of the national pension rate.

The monthly national pension rate is 1,268.55 EEK (April 2006).

Mandatory individual account

Old-age pension: The value of the pension is dependent on the insured's contributions plus accrued interest, minus administrative fees. At retirement, the accumulated capital must be used to provide a life annuity or to make programmed withdrawals if the pension is less than 25% of the national pension rate (317.14 EEK).

The first payments from the mandatory individual account system will start in 2009.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Social insurance

Disability pension: The monthly disability pension is equal to the old-age pension payable to the insured or the sum of a flat-rate basic amount of 1,001.41 EEK (April 2006) plus a length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage times the assessed degree of disability, whichever is higher.

The monthly length-of-service component is 48.51 EEK (April 2006) times the number of years of service up to December 31, 1998.

The minimum monthly disability pension is the national pension rate of 1,268.55 EEK (April 2006).

There is no maximum disability pension.

Persons receiving the disability pension may continue in gainful activity.

The disability pension is replaced by an old-age pension at retirement age.

Benefit adjustment: Disability pensions are adjusted annually in April according to changes in the consumer price index and the annual increase in social tax contributions received.

National disability pension: A percentage of the monthly national pension rate is paid according to the assessed degree of disability. The national pension rate is 1,268.55 EEK (April 2006).

Benefit adjustment: The national pension rate is adjusted annually by the Estonian parliament.

Persons receiving the national pension may continue working.

Pension supplement: Veterans of the Estonian War of Independence and their widow(er)s receive 100% of the national pension rate; persons declared incapacitated for work as a result of a nuclear test or accident receive 10% of the national pension rate; veterans of WWII or members of the Defense Force receive 10% of the national pension rate; and rehabilitated persons, persons held as prisoners of war, persons held in concentration camps or ghettos during WWII or in a labor and construction battalions or labor and construction units in 1941 and 1942 receive 20% of the national pension rate.

The national pension rate is 1,268.55 EEK (April 2006).

Mandatory individual account

Disability pension: No disability benefits are provided.

Survivor Benefits

Social insurance

Survivor pension: The monthly survivor pension is a percentage of the reference pension corresponding to the number of eligible survivors. One survivor receives 50% of the reference pension, two survivors receive 80%, and three or more survivors receive 100%. The amount is split equally among all eligible survivors.

The reference pension is the higher of the deceased's old-age pension or the sum of the flat-rate basic amount of 1,001.41 EEK (April 2006) plus a length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage (see the old-age pension, above).

The survivor pension is payable for 12 months after remarriage.

Full orphans receive the survivor pension of both parents.

The minimum survivor pension is equal to 40% of the old-age pension payable for a person with a length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage (see old-age pension, above).

The maximum survivor pension is equal to 100% of the old-age pension payable for a person with a length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage (see old-age pension, above).

National survivor pension: For one survivor the monthly pension is 50% of the national pension rate; for two survivors, 80%; and for three or more survivors, 100%. The amount is split equally among eligible survivors.

Benefit adjustment: The national pension rate is adjusted annually by the Estonian parliament.

Death grant: A lump sum of 2,000 EEK is paid.

Mandatory individual account

Survivor pension: If the insured dies before retirement, designated survivors receive the accumulated value of the individual account. If the insured dies after retirement, designated survivors may receive a guaranteed periodic benefit for at least 5 years.

Administrative Organization

Social insurance

Ministry of Social Affairs (http://www.sm.ee) is responsible for general management and supervision.

National Social Insurance Board (http://www.ensib.ee) is responsible for overall planning and coordination.

Regional pension offices are responsible for administration at the local level.

Mandatory individual account

Financial Supervisory Authority (http://www.fi.ee) supervises financial services providers, including pension management companies and life insurance companies.

Registrar of the Estonian Central Register of Securities (http://www.e-register.ee) opens a pension account for each member. The Registrar maintains an account in the Bank of Estonia where all contributions are received from the Tax Board.

Ministry of Finance (http://www.fi.ee) supervises the Financial Supervisory Authority and the Registrar of the Estonian Central Register of Securities.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1924.

Current laws: 2000 (health insurance fund), implemented in 2001; 2002 (health organization); and 2002 (health insurance), with 2004 and 2005 amendments.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Cash benefits: Insured employees, insured employers, and insured self-employed persons.

Medical benefits: Insured employees, employers, and self-employed persons; the spouse of an insured person; persons younger than age 19; schoolchildren or full-time or vocational training students; disabled persons; nonworking persons rearing a child up to age 3; pregnant women from the twelfth week of pregnancy; social insurance pensioners; persons registered as unemployed; and military personnel.

Voluntary coverage for persons who were previously insured for at least 12 months in the last 2 years and for persons receiving a pension from another country.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

The monthly insurance premium for voluntarily covered persons is 947 EEK (2005).

Self-employed person: 13% of declared earnings.

The self-employed person's contributions also finance work injury benefits.

Employer: 13% of payroll.

The employer's contributions also finance work injury benefits.

Government: None.

Qualifying Conditions

Cash benefits: Must be a current member of the Health Insurance Fund regardless of the length of service.

The incapacity for work must be certified by a doctor from the second day of illness.

Medical benefits: Must be a current member of the Health Insurance Fund.

Insured persons must satisfy a qualifying period for eligibility for medical benefits: 14 days for workers with an employment contract or service contract exceeding 1 month and for civil servants and 3 months for caregivers and unemployed persons for whom government pays the total contribution (see source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above) and for affiliated self-employed persons.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: The daily benefit is a percentage of the reference wage: 80% of the reference wage is paid for hospitalization or nursing for a child younger than age 12, for outpatient treatment, nursing a sick family member at home, caring for a disabled child younger than age 16, temporary sick leave from employment, or periods of quarantine; and 100% of the reference wage is paid to care for a child younger than age 12, for an occupational disease or a work injury, or if the incapacity is the result of an act to prevent a criminal offense, protect the national or public interest, or save a human life.

The reference wage is equal to the insured's average gross daily wage in the previous calendar year. There is no maximum reference wage.

The benefit is payable for up to 182 calendar days for each case of sickness; for up to 240 calendar days for tuberculosis.

Benefits also include wage compensation for a temporary transfer to another job as a result of the incapacity. The benefit is equal to the difference between earnings before and after job transfer. The benefit is paid from the transfer day for up to 60 calendar days.

Pensioners receive cash benefits for prostheses every 3 years.

Maternity benefit: The benefit is equal to 100% of the reference wage and is paid for up to 140 calendar days; for up to 154 calendar days in the case of multiple births or for complications that arise as a result of childbirth; and for up to 70 calendar days for the adoption of a child younger than age 1.

The reference wage is equal to the insured's average gross daily wage in the previous calendar year. There is no maximum reference wage.

Benefits also include wage compensation for a temporary transfer to another job as a result of pregnancy. The benefit is equal to the difference between earnings before and after the job transfer. The benefit is paid from the transfer day until the start of the maternity leave period.

Workers' Medical Benefits

National and local medical institutions provide medical benefits.

The duration of the benefits is unlimited, and the insurance coverage continues for 2 months after the payment of contributions has stopped.

Pharmaceutical products: Patients suffering from tuberculosis, cancer, HIV-related infections, and other diseases receive full compensation for medicines. For children up to age 10, persons receiving a disability pension, and insured persons older than age 63, a compensation rate of 90% applies to required medicines, according to the schedule in law. For all other insured persons, a compensation rate of 75% applies to required medicines, according to the schedule in law.

Cost sharing: A 100% discount and a 75% discount on prescribed medicines requires a patient's copayment of 20 EEK; a 50% discount, 50 EEK. The insured's copayment is paid to the pharmacy; the Health Insurance Fund pays the discount part directly to the pharmacy on receipt of the relevant medical prescription. The Health Insurance Fund pays 50% of the amount exceeding 50 EEK, but not more than 200 EEK per prescription.

The Health Insurance Fund also compensates the insured for the annual cost of medicines between 6,000 EEK and 20,000 EEK. If the insured has paid between 6,000 EEK and 10,000 EEK during a calendar year, the Fund compensates 50% of the cost up to a maximum of 2,000 EEK; if the insured has paid between 10,000 EEK and 20,000 EEK, the Fund compensates 75% of the cost up to a maximum of 7,500 EEK.

The insured receives temporary prosthesis after amputation, internal prosthesis, stomach aids, and further technical appliances.

Medical treatment abroad is authorized only by the Health Insurance Council in special cases.

A copayment of up to 50 EEK is made for each home visit or for a visit for specialized outpatient care and up to 25 EEK for inpatient fees. (No copayment is required for periods of intensive care, inpatient specialized medical care as the result of pregnancy or childbirth, or inpatient medical care for a child).

A copayment of up to 25 EEK is made for each day of hospitalization. (No copayment is required for hospitalization in a standard ward for more than 10 calendar days for a single illness.)

Dependents' Medical Benefits

National and local medical institutions provide medical benefits.

Free dental treatment is provided for children up to age 19. A copayment, partly compensated by the Health Insurance Fund, is paid by pregnant women, mothers of children younger than age 1, and persons who have an increased need for dental treatment services as a result of health services provided to them (including surgical treatment of face traumas).

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Social Affairs (http://www.sm.ee) is responsible for general management, supervision, and planning.

Health Insurance Fund (http://www.haigekassa.ee) coordinates health insurance.

Medical benefits are provided by doctors, polyclinics, and hospitals.

Health Insurance Fund administers benefits.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1924.

Current laws: 1956 (civil code), 1992 (work injuries and occupational diseases), 2001 (pension insurance), and 2002 (health insurance).

Type of program: Social insurance system. (There is no specific program for work injuries and occupational diseases. Cash and medical benefits are provided through the Sickness and Maternity and Old Age, Disability, and Survivor programs, above. Under the civil code, additional benefits are provided by employers.)

Coverage

Insured employed and self-employed persons.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: See source of funds under Sickness and Maternity, above.

Employer: See source of funds under Sickness and Maternity, above.

Government: The payment of compensation for employees with work injuries whose employer is insolvent.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: All employed and self-employed persons who reside permanently in Estonia. Accidents that occur while commuting to and from work are covered.

Temporary Disability Benefits

The benefit is equal to 100% of the reference wage until the degree of disability has been assessed.

The reference wage is equal to the insured's average gross daily wage in the previous calendar year. There is no maximum reference wage.

A medical commission assesses the degree of disability.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability pension: A permanent disability pension is paid with at least a 40% loss of earning capacity.

The monthly pension is a percentage of the reference pension according to the assessed loss of earning capacity.

The reference pension is equal to the old-age pension or the sum of a flat-rate basic amount of 1,001.41 EEK (April 2006) plus the length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage times the assessed degree of loss of earning capacity, whichever is higher.

The monthly length-of-service component is 48.51 EEK (April 2006) times the number of years of service up to December 31, 1998.

The minimum monthly pension is equal to the national pension rate of 1,268.55 EEK (April 2006).

There is no maximum permanent disability pension.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted annually in April according to changes in the consumer price index and the annual increase in social tax contributions received.

Compensation benefit: A benefit is paid for at least a 10% loss of earning capacity. The benefit is equal to a percentage of average gross earnings in the last 12 months before the onset of the disability or occupational disease according to the assessed loss of earning capacity, minus the amount of any pension paid by government.

Workers' Medical Benefits

National and local medical institutions provide medical benefits.

Medical rehabilitation is provided. Local authorities are responsible for the provision of social rehabilitation (including special transportation for disabled persons, necessary adaptation of the person's home, and personal assistance).

If the medical commission certifies the need for extra expenses, the responsible employer is obliged to meets the cost of prostheses and aids, prescribed medicines, treatment in a sanatorium, travel expenses to a health establishment or sanatorium, and expenses for auxiliary care.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: The monthly survivor pension is a percentage of the reference pension corresponding to the number of eligible survivors. One survivor receives 50% of the reference pension, two survivors receive 80%, and three or more survivors receive 100%. The amount is split equally among all entitled survivors.

The reference pension is the higher of the old-age pension or the sum of a flat-rate basic amount of 1,001.41 EEK (April 2006) plus a length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage.

The monthly length-of-service component is 48.51 EEK (April 2006) times the number of years of service up to December 31, 1998.

The survivor pension is payable for 12 months after remarriage.

Full orphans receive the survivor pension of both parents.

The minimum survivor pension is equal to 40% of the old-age pension payable for a person with a length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage.

The maximum survivor pension is equal to 100% of the old-age pension payable for a person with a length-of-service component based on 30 years of insurance coverage.

Death grant: A lump sum of 2,000 EEK is paid.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Social Affairs (http://www.sm.ee) is responsible for general management and supervision.

Health Insurance Fund (http://www.haigekassa.ee) administers health insurance in counties and towns.

Medical benefits are provided by doctors, polyclinics, and hospitals.

Regional pension offices administer permanent disability benefits.

Unemployment

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1991.

Current laws: 2000 (unemployment) and 2001 (unemployment insurance).

Type of program: Social insurance and social assistance system.

Coverage

All persons residing permanently in Estonia aged 16 up to the retirement age who are capable of gainful activity, noncitizens residing temporarily in Estonia, and refugees.

Source of Funds

Unemployment insurance benefit

Insured person: 1% of gross earnings.

Self-employed person: None.

Employer: 0.5% of payroll.

Government: None.

Unemployment allowance

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: None.

Employer: None.

Government: The total cost.

Qualifying Conditions

Unemployment insurance benefit (social insurance): Must be aged 16 up to the retirement age (except for early pensioners) and registered as unemployed with the employment service. The insured must be involuntarily unemployed with at least 12 months of work in the 24 months before registering as unemployed.

There is a waiting period of 7 calendar days.

The benefit is suspended if the person does not attend the local employment office at least once every 30 calendar days or refuses a suitable job offer.

Unemployment allowance (social assistance): Must be aged 16 up to the retirement age (except for early pensioners) and registered as unemployed with the employment service. The claimant must have 180 calendar days of employment in the 12 months before making the claim for the benefit, and personal income must be less than the value of the unemployment allowance. Employment periods include full-time education, military service, rearing a child younger than age 7, treatment in a hospital, providing care for a sick person, or periods of disability or detention.

There is a waiting period of 7 calendar days; 60 calendar days for recently graduated students, for voluntary unemployment, or for behavior that resulted in the claimant being dismissed by his or her previous employer.

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment insurance benefit (social insurance): The benefit is equal to 50% of reference earnings for the first 100 calendar days; thereafter, 40% of reference earnings. The benefit is paid for 180 calendar days with an insurance period of up to 5 years; for 270 calendar days with 5 to 10 years; or for 360 calendar days with 10 or more years.

Reference earnings are average daily earnings on which unemployment insurance contributions have been paid during the 12 months before registering as unemployed.

The maximum daily earnings for benefit calculation purposes are three times the national average daily income for the previous calendar year.

Unemployment allowance (social assistance): A monthly allowance of 400 EEK is paid for 180 calendar days; may be extended up to the pensionable age if there are less than 180 calendar days until the claimant reaches the pensionable age; up to the expected date of childbirth if the insured is pregnant and there are less than 70 calendar days until the expected date of childbirth; or for up to 90 days if the insured is rearing three or more children younger than age 18.

An additional retraining grant equal to 1.5 times the unemployment allowance is paid if the claimant attends retraining courses.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Social Affairs (http://www.sm.ee) is responsible for general management and supervision.

Labor Market Board (http://www.tta.ee), with local employment offices, is responsible for registering the unemployed, administering job search and retraining, and guaranteeing the payment of benefits.

Family Allowances

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1922.

Current laws: 2004 (family), with 2005 amendment; and 2001 (family benefits), with 2005 amendment.

Type of program: Social assistance system.

Coverage

All persons residing permanently in Estonia; citizens of foreign states (stateless persons) and their spouses and children who are of Estonian origin; noncitizens residing temporarily in Estonia; and refugees and their children.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: None.

Employer: None.

Government: The total cost.

Qualifying Conditions

Family allowances: All children younger than age 16; up to age 19 if a full-time student.

The child and parent must reside in Estonia.

Family Allowance Benefits

Childbirth allowance: 5,000 EEK for each child; also payable for the adoption of a child.

Child allowance: A monthly allowance is paid to families at twice the child allowance rate for each child.

The child allowance rate is 150 EEK.

Single parent's child allowance: As a supplement to the child allowance, a monthly allowance is paid for children up to age 16 and for children in full-time education at twice the child allowance rate. The parent is not entitled to receive the single parent's child allowance if the child receives a survivor pension.

The child allowance rate is 150 EEK.

Disabled child allowance: As a supplement to the child allowance, a monthly allowance equal to 2.7 times the social benefit rate is paid to a child with a moderate disability or 3.15 times for a severe and profound disability.

The social benefit rate is 400 EEK and is set periodically by parliament.

Large family supplement: Payable for families with three or more children and families raising triplets. The quarterly allowance is equal to the child allowance rate multiplied by the number of children and is paid as a supplement to other child benefits.

The child allowance rate is 150 EEK.

Child care allowance: A monthly allowance is paid for each child at 0.5 times the child care allowance rate to one parent (or the guardian or the person taking substitute care of the child during a child care leave period) rearing one or more children younger than age 3; thereafter, 0.25 times the child care allowance rate for a child between ages 3 and 8 in a family of two children, if the other child is younger than age 3, or in a family with three or more children.

The child care allowance rate is 1,200 EEK.

Supplementary child care allowance: As a supplement to the child care allowance, a monthly allowance of 100 EEK is paid to a parent rearing children for up to a year at home.

Disabled study allowance: A monthly allowance of between 25% and 100% of the social benefit rate (depending on additional expenses) is paid to a nonworking disabled student completing secondary school or in vocational or higher education (not paid in July and August).

The social benefit rate is 400 EEK and is set periodically by parliament.

Conscript's child allowance: A monthly allowance is paid for children of conscripts in the armed forces at four times the child allowance rate during the entire term of the parent's military service.

The child allowance rate is 150 EEK.

Child's school allowance: A lump sum is paid at twice the child allowance rate for each child enrolled in school. The allowance is paid annually at the beginning of the school year.

The child allowance rate is 150 EEK.

Foster care allowance: A monthly allowance is paid at six times the child allowance rate for children up to age 16 cared for by a guardian or foster parent.

The child allowance rate is 150 EEK.

Start in independent life allowance: A lump sum of 5,000 EEK is paid to orphans or persons without parental care who have spent at least the last 3 years in a children's home or a school for the disabled.

Parental benefit: A lump sum equal to 100% of the reference wage is paid for 455 days, including the period receiving maternity benefit.

The reference wage is equal to the average gross daily wage in the previous calendar year calculated on the basis of insured income used for social tax contribution purposes.

The minimum parental benefit is 2,200 EEK.

The maximum parental benefit is 15,741 EEK.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Social Affairs (http://www.sm.ee) is responsible for general management and supervision.

National Social Insurance Board (http://www.ensib.ee) coordinates and administers benefits.

Regional pension offices administer benefits at the local level.