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What is the purpose of the care allowance?
The care allowance is a social benefit provided under the Social Services Act. It is intended to help people who are unable to provide for themselves and are dependent on the care of someone else. It is essential that the adverse health condition lasts for at least one year or cannot be expected to improve over the following year. It is essential that it is provided directly to the person in need. This is most often a senior citizen, but can also be a child (over one year old) or anyone else. Thanks to the allowance, the person concerned can then pay for the help of a loved one, a social care assistant or a social service provider or a hospice. A possible hospitalisation is not a barrier to eligibility for the allowance. In practice, the person in need is usually helped to deal with this situation by relatives or close friends whose help is sought.
Do you need legal advice on caring for a loved one?
The allowance is not a sickness insurance benefit. Even under sickness benefits, help can be found in the form of long-term care benefits. In this case, however, it is actually a benefit that is provided directly to carers and has different conditions for provision.
How is the ability to manage self-care assessed?
The law sets out certain categories of life needs and tasks that are examined in the assessment. These are:
- dressing and footwear,
- physical hygiene,
- performance of physiological needs,
- health care,
- personal activities
- and household care (but not assessed for persons under 18 years of age).
The different degrees of dependence of sick persons on the care of others are characterised by their inability to manage a certain number of these needs. The numbers of unmanaged needs can be thought of as points that determine the degree of dependence.
Amount of care allowance
The final amount of the allowance depends on the degree of dependence and the age of the person. The individual categories and their amounts are set directly by law and it is up to the relevant Labour Office to assess the condition of the person being assessed and assign them to one of the categories. There are four levels of dependence – mild (level I), moderate (level II), severe (level III) and full (level IV).
The monthly amount of the allowance determined according to dependency is as of 1 November 2021:
For persons aged one year to 18 years:
- cZK3,300 for mild dependence,
- 6600 CZK for moderate dependence,
- cZK 9,900 if the assistance is provided by a residential social services provider or an inpatient hospice (in the case of children, also a children’s home), CZK 13,900 in other cases.
- if the dependency is severe, CZK 13,200 if the assistance is provided by a residential social services provider or an inpatient hospice (in the case of children, also a children’s home), CZK 19,200 in other cases.
The amount of the allowance for persons over 18 years of age is per calendar month:
- cZK880 if it is a light dependency,
- cZK4 400 for moderate dependence,
- cZK 8,800 if it is a severe addiction, CZK 8,800 if the assistance is provided by a residential social services provider or an inpatient hospice, and CZK 12,800 in other cases,
- if the dependency is severe, CZK 13,200 if the assistance is provided by a residential social services provider or an inpatient hospice and CZK 19,200 in other cases,
The process of obtaining a contribution
If you are eligible for this benefit, you can download the care allowance application form from the Department of Labour and Social Affairs website. Depending on your place of residence, you can simply find the relevant Labour Office and submit your completed application electronically with an electronic signature, via a data box or in person. The application must be accompanied by the Notice of Assistance Provider.
The declared status is checked by a social worker. In doing so, the social worker determines to what extent the person being assessed is capable of independent living. Subsequently, the regional branch of the Labour Office sends a request for an assessment of the person’s degree of dependence to the relevant district social security administration. This is based on the person’s state of health, as evidenced by a medical report, and on the result of the social investigation mentioned above, or on the result of the assessing doctor’s own examination.
Grant of the allowance
The allowance is granted by decision of the competent Labour Office. If the recipient agrees with its decision, the allowance will be paid to him or her monthly by bank transfer or postal order.
If the recipient disagrees with the final decision of the Labour Office, for example because he or she disputes the degree of dependence determined by the Labour Office, it is possible to appeal against the decision. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs then considers the matter.
Modification of the allowance
At any time during the period of entitlement to care allowance, the person entitled may request a change in the amount of the allowance. To do so, they simply need to fill in a proposal for a change in the amount of the allowance on the prescribed form and send it to the Labour Office. During the period of entitlement to the care allowance, the person entitled may request a change in the amount of the allowance at any time. To do so, they simply need to fill in the application form and send it to the Labour Office.
When can the allowance be increased?
If the income of the entitled person and persons jointly assessed with him/her is less than twice the amount of the minimum subsistence level, the care allowance may be increased by CZK 2,000. The increased care allowance, provided the conditions are met, is payable to a dependent child up to the age of 18 receiving care allowance and to a parent who is entitled to care allowance and is also caring for a dependent child up to the age of 18. The application for an increase in the allowance can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.