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Factsheet for measure LT-2020-21/919 Updated – measures in Lithuania

Increasing social assistance for low-income households

Socialinės paramos nepasiturintiems didinimas

Country Lithuania , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 21 May 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Rasa Mieziene, Inga Blaziene (Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences)
Measure added 03 July 2020 (updated 19 September 2022)

Background information

On 21 May 2020, Law No XIII-2883 on Amendments to Articles 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21 and 23 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Cash Social Assistance for Low-Income Families (Single Residents) (Law No IX-1675) came into effect in Lithuania, favouring the low-income population in accessing cash social assistance. The amendments are aimed at protecting the most vulnerable groups that are likely to have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Content of measure

The main changes introduced by the amendments include the following:

  1. The property owned by individuals will temporarily not be evaluated for the purpose of granting of cash social benefits or compensations for heating, hot and cold water to deprived persons (it is a temporary measure - it will be valid from the entry into force of the Law until six months after the quarantine is over, i.e. till 16 December 2020).
  2. The amount of state-supported income (SSI), on which the right to social benefits directly depends, has been increased. In accordance with the former procedure, a person was entitled to a social benefit when income per family member did not exceed the amount of the SSI or €125. From 1 June 2020, persons with an average income per family member of less than 1.1 SSI per month (i.e. €137.50) will be entitled to the social benefit.
  3. The amount of the social benefit per resident has been increased by €50 and its amount has been differentiated depending on the length of receiving assistance. The benefit will be paid in the amount of

  4. up to €175 (previously - up to €125) when paid for up to 6 months;

  5. €150 - when paid for 6 to 12 months;
  6. and €137.5 - when paid for more than 12 months.

  7. Criteria for granting additional allowance upon employment have been simplified:

  8. 100% of the social benefit will be paid for the first 3 months,

  9. 80% for 4-6 months, and
  10. 50% for 7-12 months.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

23 May 2022

Resolution No. 1206 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 5 November 2014 on the Approval of the Amounts of the Reference Indicators for Social Assistance Benefits was amended by Resolution No. 528 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 23 May 2022. The amendment provides for increasing the amount of State Supported Income (SSI) in Lithuania from €129 to €147 with effect from 1 June 2022. The SSI amount is used to determine eligibility for cash social assistance for low-income households (social allowances, compensation for home heating costs, hot water and drinking water costs) and other social support. According to MSSL’s estimates, once the amendments come into force, the average social allowance in the country will increase from €109 to €125, and the number of recipients of heating compensations will increase by around 21% in the coming heating season.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SSI amount in Lithuania has already been increased at least several times (on 1 January 2021 - from €125 to €128; on 1 January 2022 - from €128 to €129).

19 May 2022

Law Amending Article 11 of Law No XIII-2883 Amending Articles 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21 and 23 of Law No IX-1675 of the Republic of Lithuania on Cash Social Assistance for Poor Families (Single Residents) was approved on 19 May 2022, providing that property of families (persons living together) or single residents shall not be taken into account until 30 April 2024 when determining eligibility to cash social assistance (social allowance, compensation for housing heating, drinking and hot water costs) for low-income households.

01 January 2022

Amendments to the law on social assistance for low-income households (Law No XIV-721) were enacted in Lithuania on 7 December 2021. They stipulate that:

  • Families or single persons shall be compensated a portion of dwelling heating costs exceeding 10% of the difference between the average monthly income per family (or single person) and two amounts of State Supported Income (SSI) per person, or three amounts of SSI for a single person. The compensation covers all the actual costs of heating in excess of 10% of this difference.
  • Families or single persons shall be compensated a portion of hot water costs exceeding 5% of family’s (or single person’s) income.

The amendments will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses People on social benefits
People on low incomes

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Local / regional government
Local funds
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Social partners consulted only ad hoc, the tripartite meeting was not held. On 24 April 2020, the Advisory Group for Post-Quarantine Social Issues under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour started its work in Lithuania, discussing measures to reduce social effects during the post-quarantine period in Lithuania. Social partners were also invited to participate in the group.

Views and reactions

Social partners positively assessed measures planned in Lithuania for the post-quarantine period (including the increase of social assistance for low-income families) and appreciated that their proposals had been taken into account.

Sources

  • 24 April 2020: The 1.3 billion euro social support scheme launched (Pateikta 1.3 mlrd. eurų socialinės paramos programa) (www.lps.lt)
  • 07 May 2020: Law No XIII-2883 on Amendments to Articles 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21 and 23 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Cash Social Assistance for Low-Income Families (Single Residents) (LR piniginės socialinės paramos nepasiturintiems gyventojams įstatymo Nr. IX-1675 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21 ir 23 straipsnių pakeitimo įstatymas) (www.e-tar.lt)
  • 07 December 2021: Law No XIV-721 on Amendments to Articles 7 and 11 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Cash Social Assistance for Low-Income Families (LR piniginės socialinės paramos nepasiturintiems gyventojams įstatymo Nr. IX-1675 7 ir 11 straipsnių pakeitimo įstatymas Nr. XIV-721) (www.e-tar.lt)
  • 19 May 2022: Law Amending Article 11 of Law No XIII-2883 Amending Articles 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21 and 23 of Law No IX-1675 of the Republic of Lithuania (e-seimas.lrs.lt)
  • 23 May 2022: Resolution No 528 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuani (e-seimas.lrs.lt)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Increasing social assistance for low-income households, measure LT-2020-21/919 (measures in Lithuania), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/LT-2020-21_919.html

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