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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case EE-2020-11/1250 – measures in Estonia

Allowance for parents of children with special needs

Erivajadusega lapse vanema erakorraline toetus

Country Estonia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 12 March 2020 – 31 May 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Support for parents and carers (financial or in kind)
Author Ingel Kadarik (Praxis Center for Policy Studies) and Eurofound
Case created 06 October 2020 (updated 07 October 2020)

Background information

Due to the containment measures, most of the schools and other institutions were closed. This was especially hard for parents of children with special needs who need constant help and supervision, because of this their possibility to work, even remotely from home, was strongly affected. To mitigate the situation for such parents, the government decided to pay an emergency allowance to such persons. The relevant regulation was established based on the Social Welfare Act.

Content of measure

The allowance is paid for one parent of a child with special needs in case that the parent cannot work due to the need to take care of their child due to the national emergency situation. It can also be paid to the foster parent, husband or wife of the parent, or legal guardian. The person must officially be on unpaid leave to be eligible for the allowance and cannot receive any other COVID-19 related financial support or national replacement income (e.g. parental benefit).

The child with special needs is defined as a child under the age of 18:

  • with severe or profound disability;

  • with moderate disability with an accompanying condition (a long list of different conditions); or

  • with educational special needs.

The amount of the allowance per calendar day is 70% of the previous year’s salary per calendar day. The allowance is paid monthly. The minimum rate is €18 per day (around €540 which is national minimum wage per month), the maximum rate is €35 per day (around €1,050 per month).

The allowance was paid as of 12 March 2020 and during the entire time of the unpaid leave, but not longer than 31 May 2020. The implementing institution is the Estonian National Social Insurance Board.

Use of measure

According to the data of the Estonian Social Insurance Board, altogether 1,298 people received the allowance in the total amount of €1.3 million

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Parents in employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement

Views and reactions

No views.



Eurofound (2020), Allowance for parents of children with special needs, case EE-2020-11/1250 (measures in Estonia), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.