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Anorphan’s pension is a pension benefit to cover loss of income due to the death of the breadwinner. This financial support is therefore intended to help meet the living needs and maintain the standard of living of a dependent child after the loss of his or her parent. However, only a dependent child whose parent has died is entitled to an orphan’s pension, provided that the parent met certain conditions laid down by the Pension Insurance Act. But which child is considered dependent? A dependent child is any child who has not yet completed compulsory schooling (i.e. primary school) and then, in principle, any child who continues to study until the age of 26. The law speaks of continuous preparation for a future profession, so most often it will be secondary and university students. The regulations also provide for a number of exceptions. So, for example, a dependent child is considered to be a child who cannot be systematically prepared for a future profession or is not allowed to engage in gainful employment due to illness or injury.
The parent has a pension or has completed the period of insurance
A common misconception is that a dependent child who has lost a parent is always entitled to an orphan’s pension. This is not the case. The second condition for payment of an orphan’s pension is linked to the person of the parent (or the person who adopted the child). The entitlement only arises if the deceased parent was in receipt of an old-age or invalidity pension before death, or if he or she died as a result of an accident at work. In other cases, sufficient pensionable service must have been completed. The parent must therefore have worked and paid pension insurance for a sufficient period of time before the death. For example, a parent who was over 28 years old must have worked at least one year in the last ten years before the date of death, or two years in the last twenty years before the date of death in the case of a deceased person over 38.
How much is paid and for how long?
The orphan’s pension consists of a basic rate of 10% of the average wage, which is now CZK 4,040, and a percentage rate, which depends on how much the deceased parent had (or would have had) an old-age or disability pension. 40% of this is calculated. If a child has had both parents die, he or she is entitled to an orphan’s pension from both. He or she receives a percentage assessment for both of them from their pensions, the basic assessment is paid only once.
The pension is paid for as long as there is a right to it. So if the child is studying properly, it is fine until the age of 26. However, it is necessary to prove regularly that the entitlement is still there. In practice, therefore, the child will always have to provide Social Security with an up-to-date certificate of education. If he or she forgets and presents the certificate later, the social security will retroactively pay the pension. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the end of studies. When a child leaves secondary or higher education (usually in June), he or she is still entitled to a pension in the July and August holidays, unless he or she is earning enough to qualify for a pension. This means that he or she can work, but in principle only on a work contract and must not earn more than CZK 10,000 per month. When leaving university, the same rule applies the month following graduation.
Theright to a pension does not cease even if the orphan gets married (and continues to study). On the contrary, the entitlement ceases if someone adopts the child and legally replaces the deceased parent.
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Tip: Do you have long-term health problems, have suffered a serious injury but have not been awarded a first degree disability pension? Or have you been reduced in disability contrary to the opinion of your district doctor? How can you defend yourself and what do you have to take into account as a disability pension claimant? We have devoted a separate article to this topic.
Where and how do I apply for an orphan’s pension?
Youneed to apply for an orphan’s pension at the district social security administration (in Prague at the Prague administration, in Brno at the Brno municipal administration), where you will also be given detailed information on what documents you need to submit. It will depend on whether the deceased parent was already receiving an old-age pension. If not, you will also need to show proof of years of service, which can drag out the procedure.
Can I take an orphan’s pension and work?
Yes, it is possible. Full-time students can earn extra money. This could be a holiday job or even extra work during the year. Distance learning students or combined students must ensure that their work does not give rise to pension contributions. They would then lose their pension. However, students in other forms of study (distance learning, combined) can also earn extra money. However, they may only engage in gainful employment that does not give rise to pension contributions, i.e. no social security contributions (i.e. pension contributions) are deducted from their earnings. If this were the case, they would lose their pension entitlement. It is therefore essential to keep an eye on this.
Can I lose the pension already paid?
This can also happen. If an orphan submits a certificate of education by June, for example, but is unfortunately expelled from school in January, they will not be entitled to a pension in the following months. He should inform the social security office of his graduation within 8 days. If he fails to do so and continues to receive the pension, the social security may want to recover the money as an overpayment.
Tip: Saying goodbye to the deceased is an emotionally very difficult situation. Unfortunately, the worries don’t end there, because there are inheritance proceedings to be held, during which the deceased’s estate is divided among the heirs. In our article, we will advise you on how best to handle this difficult situation, what to do in the event of the deceased’s debts and how to avoid disputes and settle with the other heirs.