Aid measures approved to integrate Ukrainians into Latvia's job market

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Amendments to the The Law on Support of the Ukrainian Civilians approved by the Saeima on September 22 provide that Latvia will facilitate the integration of Ukrainian residents into the Latvian labor market by granting self-employment benefits and waiving personal income tax until the end of year, along with other incentives. 

The law has already provided for a one-off benefit for Ukrainian civilians when establishing a working legal relationship. By mid-July, it had been claimed by 6,009 people.

The law also allowed a Ukrainian civilian to receive a childbirth allowance for babies born in Latvia after February 24, as well as a right to parental and family state benefits if a Ukrainian refugee and a child reside in Latvia. By mid-August, 4,543 applications were received for granting benefits to families with children, but in more than 300 cases the benefits were stopped because the family left Latvia.

The new amendments will also provide support to Ukrainian civilians who have registered with the State Revenue Service as self-employed persons in the taxpayer register. The allowance will be one minimum monthly salary but it will not be received by those refugees who have previously received an employment start-up allowance. 

For that benefit, Ukrainian civilians must make an application to the State Employment Agency. Ukrainian civilians who have registered as self-employed before the law adoption but after February 24, 2022, will also be eligible for the benefit.

The Saeima also decided to exempt residents from the obligation to pay income tax on income from real estate rented to Ukrainian refugees. Such exemption will apply until December 31, 2022, to residents who are not economically active.

The law also provides that up to three months after obtaining a long-term visa or residence permit, Ukrainian war refugees will be able to receive long-term social care and social rehabilitation services outside the queue without a doctor's expert opinion and a disability document, based on an assessment of the individual needs of a Ukrainian civilian by the social service and a decision on the need for a service.

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