The first €500 one-off allowances for childbirths were paid to refugees last April. During the preparation of this publication, the State Social Insurance Agency (VSAA) had data for the period until February 2023 inclusive. During that time, the VSAA paid out 141 childbirth benefits, and in five cases twins had been born. As a result, 136 people received the benefit.
Jevgēnija Briķe, senior expert on the benefits management department of the VSAA, told Rus.LSM.lv that the social protection of families of the Ukrainian population who have fled the war is governed by the Ukrainian civilian aid law.
Childbirth allowance shall be granted and paid to Ukrainian citizens if the child was born in Latvia as of February 24, 2022. The allowance shall also be paid in cases where the parent did not yet have a visa or temporary residence permit at the time of birth of the child.
In special cases the VSAA also grants a childbirth allowance to temporary guardians.
Statistics on funeral benefits are not compiled specifically by the VSAA, but information was provided at the request of Rus.LSM.lv. It appeared that during that period such benefits were paid in connection with the deaths of six Ukrainian citizens. This assistance for Ukrainian refugees is also provided for under the same conditions as for Latvian residents, explained Jevgēnija Briķe.
Previously, when preparing the publication on the “National Birth and Death Plan”, the VSAA specifically drew attention to the fact that the number of child birth benefits and funeral benefits granted is not the same as the number of newborns and deceased. Perhaps those who are entitled to such assistance do not request it.
However, as Rus.LSM.lv has already demonstrated in that publication, overall, both trends and their scale in demographic statistics are in line with the data of the Central Statistical Bureau. But according to the operational data of the CSB, 15.5 thousand children were born in Latvia last year. Thus, in 11 months of war, refugee children born in Latvia account for around 1% of this number.