Vaccinated pensioners in Latvia to be paid monthly monthly financial support

On Tuesday, 12 October, Latvia’s government passed amendments developed by the Ministry of Welfare to the Law on the Suppression of Consequences of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection. These amendments provide for paying monthly support of EUR 20 to all seniors vaccinated for Covid-19. This amount will be paid every month from 1 November to 31 March 2022.
Support is planned to be provided to seniors based on general price rise and increased prices of energy resources in 2021. This support is also intended to motivate seniors to get vaccinated. For payments to commence the new changes will need to be approved by the Saeima.
The legislative draft states – for a person to be eligible for support, he or she needs to live in Latvia and undergo a full vaccination course by 31 December 2021.
The State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA) will pay EUR 20 every month. Persons eligible for the bonus are not require to apply for this support separately. As long as the person is of appropriate age, a recipient of a pension, including early retirement pension or special state pension, state social insurance benefit or other pension, the pension will be paid by VSAA automatically. These people will be paid benefits similarly to the way they are paid their pension or benefit.
If a person does no receive any services from VSAA, the benefit will be paid based following a request from the person.
According to estimates from Ministry of Welfare, payment of this benefit will cost the state budget about EUR 48.504 million, including EUR 18.453 million this year and EUR 30.052 million in 2022.
The estimates is based on the assumption that 80% of age group representatives will have been vaccinated by November. In December vaccination coverage among seniors needs to reach 95%. According to data from the National Health Service (NVD), in October 2021 57% of residents aged 60 or older received their first Covid-19 vaccine jab.
The legislative draft states that VSAA is to start paying the benefit in December 2021. The first amount will include the amount for November and December. This approach is needed so that VSAA is able to adapt its information system, receive the necessary information from the National Health Service and prepare lists.
To provide VSAA workers with overtime pay, it is planned to allocate an additional amount of EUR 37 893. EUR 21 236 will be allocated for the adaptation of the information system.
The Cabinet of Ministers has asked the Saeima to declare the legislative draft urgent.