Thanks to the social security benefits offered by the state, you can enjoy these benefits if you meet certain conditions set by law.
In this article, we’ll be guiding you through all you need to know before you can enjoy social insurance in Latvia. We will be revealing everything you should know from eligibility to requirements, benefits you are entitled to, and how to go can claim them.
How does social security in Latvia work?
Social security is a welfare system that ensures the full protection of people’s health and wellbeing against risks that can come in form of accidents, poverty, disability, or unemployment.
The Latvian social security system comprises the social services, social insurance system, the State social benefits, and the social assistance system.
There is also the existence of bilateral agreements to preserve the social security rights of the migrating labor force and their family members.
These bilateral international corporations also eliminate the obstacles of the free labor force and facilitate the economic activity of the population.
On the 18th of June 1993, a bilateral diplomatic note exchange was made between the United States of America and the Republic of Latvia.
This agreement emphasized mutual pension payments as long as the Latvian side pays his pensions. Latvia also has a bilateral agreement with more than 75 other countries across the world.
The number of social insurance benefits issued to an individual depends based on the contributions requested. Plus, when Latvia joined the EU on the 1st of May 2004, social regulation was implemented according to the regulation placed by the body.
These Regulations are related to the following services:
- Family benefits,
- Sickness benefits,
- Maternity benefits and equivalent paternity benefits,
- Disability pension,
- Retirement pension,
- Survivor’s pension,
- Compensations for accidents at work and other occupational diseases,
- Burial allowances,
- Unemployment benefits.
The EU social security coordination regulations ensure that there is free movement of persons and also improves the quality of life & working conditions in the EU.
Since Latvia is a member state in the EU, it adheres to these regulations. These EU social security rules are based on the principles of:
- Equal treatment – The rights of citizens of other EU member states are guaranteed and protected.
- Accumulation of periods – There is the protection of rights during their acquisition period accumulated in another country is taken into account when calculating benefits and pensions.
- Unrestricted benefits – Benefits are provided according to EU regulation and not the place of residence. The beneficiary and his family can receive his pension even if they live in another state.
Latvian social security rights
These are some of the most popular social insurance in Latvia.
1. Unemployment benefits
Unemployment benefit is enjoyed by a person who has an unemployed person status and a total employment time that is not less than 12 months. The person must also have his/her compulsory social security contribution during this employment period.
This insurance can also be claimed by a person who has recovered from a disability or cared for a child with any disability.
2. Insurance indemnity
This is another insurance compensation enjoyed by socially insured persons who incurred an accident at work or contracted an occupational disease. The socially insured person will receive compensation for medical treatment and rehabilitation.
3. Old-age pension
This insurance is granted in Latvia or any country that has an agreement for persons residing in Latvia. Latvia uses a three-tier pension system.
- 1st tier – is a compulsory unfunded state pension scheme for people making valid contributions.
- 2nd tier – is a state-funded pension scheme that applies to everyone born after 1971. This program will soon be compulsory for all citizens.
- 3rd tier – is a private voluntary pension scheme that is open to everyone that wants to make additional savings for his pension in private pension funds.
The retirement age in the country used to be 62 years but is now increasing by 3 months until 2025. By 2025, it will be 65 years for people with social contributions not less than 15 years.
4. Paternity & maternity benefits
If you are working and have social insurance, you are eligible to take 10 days’ leave as the father of a newborn child. During the time of your leave, you will receive the paternity benefit.
While maternity benefit is paid before and after childbirth. The maximum timeframe the maternity benefit can be obtained is 140 days. The mother of the newborn child is also given 80% of the average insurance contributions salary.
5. Parental allowance
Parental allowance is also enjoyed by the parents of a child or children in adoptive care awaiting adoption and approval of the Orphan’s court.
Any socially insured person taking care of a child or several children born in the same labor can enjoy this benefit if the person is employed on the day of granting of the benefit.
6. Disability pension
Invalidity pension is granted to insured persons residing in the Republic of Latvia for up to three years.
7. Disabled Child Care Benefit
Citizens of Latvia who are residing in the country, non-citizens and stateless persons that have obtained their personal ID number are entitled to receive child care benefits.