Measures to support the exceptional increase in energy prices – questions and answers

The State has adopted a law designed to partially compensate for the expenditure incurred by people as a result of extreme increases in energy prices. To improve access to housing benefit for the period from 1 September 2022 to 30 April 2023, a coefficient of 3 will be applied. To apply for a housing allowance in the municipality of Rezekne here.

What does that mean?

Increased coefficients make it possible to maintain more resources at the disposal of a living person or a number of persons at the disposal of a household, including the purchase of food and the qualification of a housing allowance. Increasing this calculation factor will make it possible to receive this benefit for a larger number of people with higher income than previously.

In fact, the housing allowance in its own government can also be obtained by those who could not so far, because their income was higher than it had been determined. The guaranteed minimum income threshold for the calculation of the amount of the housing benefit will be EUR 327 euro for the first or only person in the household and 228 euros for other persons in the household for all households for the calculation of the amount of the housing benefit.

How can this benefit be received?

In order to receive a housing allowance, a person must address a submission, which has been signed by the adult persons of the household, in the social service of his or her local government, where a declaration of subsistence funds will be prepared electronically in the local government information system, using the data in the State and local government information system.

In order to assess the income and accumulations of three previous months, the submission must be accompanied by the printout and working persons of all household members of the adult household with information regarding net income from the employer or economic activity for the last 3 months, as well as the bills of all expenditures related to the dwelling (including telephone and Internet invoice) shall be shown for one month. For example, in the social service in October, all invoices to be paid in September must be submitted (they may be paid). Housing benefit will be calculated for the next three or six months, depending on the composition of the household.

During the period of validity of the subsistence declaration, the person may submit expenditure on housing documents if they significantly increase, and the social service will recalculate the amount of the housing allowance in the period of the declaration of livelihoods in force. However, if the social service is very busy, the housing allowance granted for the period from 1 October 2022 to 31 May 2023 shall be recalculated after the end of the 2022.2023 heating season, but no later than 30 June 2023.

Of course, in the municipality that will pay these benefits, it will be a great financial burden, so it is important to emphasise that the law provides for the preservation of co-financing for municipalities of 50% from actual expenditure on housing allowance.

 If a person increases his income by 30 April, he will lose that benefit?

The amount of the housing allowance shall be calculated as the difference between the amount of the guaranteed minimum income thresholds for the household multiplied by a coefficient and the expenditure on housing and household total income specified in regulatory enactments.

The material situation is assessed and basic social assistance benefits (GMIs and housing benefits) are:

1) shall be granted for three calendar months if there is at least one person at a working age in the household;

2) shall be granted for six calendar months if there is no person working at a working age in the household, or the person is subject to the exceptions laid down in Paragraph two of this Section;

3) may be granted for a period of one calendar month if the household income does not exceed the specified thresholds, but a non-compliance with one of the criteria laid down in regulatory enactments is detected.

The local government social service shall re-evaluate the material situation of the household and review the decision regarding the amount of social aid benefits if the material situation of the household is deteriorating or the social situation changes.

Is there any special support for seniors, persons with disabilities, survivors?

Yes, a special allowance of 30 euros will be provided to these people from 1 November of that year until 31 May 2023, if the amount of the pension, remuneration or State social security benefit does not exceed 300 euros per month. A benefit of eur 20 per month is provided for if the amount of the pension, remuneration or State social security benefit is between EUR 301 and eur 509 per month, but the benefit of 10 euros per month - if the amount of the pension, remuneration or State social security benefit is between eur 510 and EUR 603 per month. If the amount of the old-age pension is, for example, eur 300,94, the centers shall be discarded and the person will pay a national allowance of eur 30 per month.

The State benefit of EUR 30 will be granted and disbursed to persons living in Latvia who are the allowances granted by Latvia to the family State allowance for the recipient of children with disabilities.

Who can qualify for this benefit?

This State benefit will be granted and disbursed to persons living in Latvia who, from 1 November 2022 to 31 May 2023, have an age, disability or survivor's pension granted in the Republic of Latvia, including pensions granted in advance and advances, special state pensions, service pensions for those who have reached the age necessary for the granting of the old-age pension, but for whom the old-age pension has not been granted, the recipients of service pension who have not reached the age necessary for the granting of the old-age pension and who have a determined disability. The benefit will also be due to the beneficiaries of compensation for loss of capacity or compensation for the loss of the survivor and the beneficiaries of the State social security benefit.

Will these people have to deal with the application somewhere, or will it be automatic with the pension, compensation or national social security benefit they receive?

The State Social Insurance Agency (SSIA) shall pay the benefit without submission to persons receiving the services administered BY THE SSIA. The submission will have to be submitted if the person with disabilities is a recipient of the service pension of the Ministry of Defence, then the submission regarding granting of the benefit shall be submitted to the Ministry of Defence. The payment of the benefit will be commenced in November 2022, when it is delivered at the place of residence indicated by the recipient free of charge or transferred to the account of a credit institution or postal settlement system (PNS) of the Republic of Latvia, in which a pension, remuneration or State social security benefit is paid to the recipient of the State benefit.

Prepared by the Ministry of Welfare.

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