Online applications for CZK 5,000 child subsidy face technical glitches

Parents of children in Czechia who were under 18 as of Aug. 1 can apply for a one-off subsidy for each child.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 15.08.2022 13:05:00 (updated on 15.08.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

Parents in the Czech Republic can now apply online for a one-off CZK 5,000 benefit per child. People who already receive regular childcare benefits should automatically receive the extra payment but others need to ask for it either by applying online or going to a Czech Point.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs said before the system launched that applying should only take a few minutes. The online application, though, has been experiencing glitches, the ministry announced this on its Twitter account. Czech Labour Minister Marian Jurečka told Czech Television that communication problems between servers that verify the identity of applicants are behind the slowdown in accepting applications.

The CZK 5,000 allowance is for children who were under 18 on Aug. 1 or who are yet to be born by the end of the year. It is available to families with a gross income of up to CZK 1 million last year.

To receive the benefit the child must have permanent residence and reside in the Czech Republic (fulfillment of the condition of permanent residence is not required for a child who has a long-term residence permit in the Czech Republic and at the same time meets any of the other conditions stipulated by law). Read more about qualifications here.

“We launched the system over the weekend. As of 9 a.m. today, we have more than 45,000 applications processed, applications for more than 75,000 children received, and about 1,700 applications received through the Czech Point network," Jurečka said.

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According to him, the acceptance of applications has slowed down when electronic identity is verified. "The problem is in the communication between the servers. … The system is running, we are accepting applications," he said. He apologized for the difficulties. He expects a bigger rush of applicants during the day today, after which the system should work without delays.

"We are also aware of outages. The problem did not arise on our end but we are working intensively to resolve it," the ministry said on Twitter. It advised applicants to try to log in later.

The online form can only be filled in with an electronic identity or a bank identity. Many of the details are already listed on the application form. Applicants then have to enter the address of their actual residence. They choose how to deliver the money and communicate with the office.

They fill in the names and birth numbers of their children and details of their partner, or tick that they are single parents. Finally, they confirm the affidavits of income and household members. At a Czech Point, an ID card and the children's birth numbers should be sufficient to apply.

Foster parents or other carers should provide documents that confirm their relationship to the child. A custody order is required. Copies can also be uploaded to the online application. In the case of alternate care, one parent should apply.

According to Jurečka, the authorities will try to process the applications and send the money as soon as possible. Deputy Minister for Information Technology Karel Trpkoš told reporters last week that the allowance would start to be paid at the end of the month at the earliest. According to the law, people should receive the benefit no later than the end of the following month after the application is approved.

With the one-off support, the government wants to mitigate the impact of price hikes on families. A child with permanent residence and domicile in the Czech Republic is entitled to CZK 5,000. The parents must live with the child and cover the costs.

Foreigners who have been living and working in the Czech Republic for a long time can also receive the allowance. It is also available to foster parents, spouses or partners of parents, and widows and widowers of parents. The CZK 1 million income includes earnings from employment and business, alimony, maintenance, wage or salary compensation, bonuses, insurance benefits, pensions, rents or other income that is taxed in the Czech Republic. Any winnings will not be taken into account.

Authorities will check the income data from the social administration's data on levies and the tax authorities' data on taxes. If people provide false data, they risk sanctions, the minister said.

According to the ministry's data, 1.1 million households are entitled to the benefit. About 1.6 million children could get it. Of them, about 240,000 are receiving child benefits. Expenditure is expected to be about CZK 7.8 billion. Some experts on social issues have criticized the allowance. According to them, it is too broad.

They also point out that the one-off support will not help families in difficulties very much. They recommended increasing child allowances and housing allowances. Some critics also talk about bribing voters before the autumn elections. Jurečka rejects this. According to him, it is not about across-the-board aid for people with higher incomes, but about helping parents with incomes up to the average wage.

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