Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Croatia - Social assistance

In what situation can I claim?

You may exercise your social welfare rights if you are a Croatian national with a permanent residence in Croatia, or a foreign national or stateless person with a permanent residence permit in Croatia.

You can claim your social welfare rights if you are a foreign national under subsidiary protection, a foreign national with status of human trafficking victim, an asylum grantee and member of their family legally residing in Croatia.

In exceptional cases, other persons can be entitled to one-time assistance and temporary accommodation.

What conditions do I need to meet?

If you are a single person, a family member or a family and do not have sufficient means to cover your basic living needs, you may be entitled to social welfare benefits. Here it is considered that you cannot find the means to cover your basic living needs from working, income from property, a person paying maintenance, or any other way.

Social welfare benefits can be provided to orphans or children without appropriate parental care, young adults, child victims of domestic, peer or other violence, human trafficking victims, children with disabilities, children and young adults with behavioural problems.

Social welfare benefits can furthermore be provided to pregnant women and parents with a baby up to 1 year of age without family support and adequate living conditions, parents who require professional assistance and other support due to disturbed relations and people who were married or cohabitating and have children together.

Social welfare benefits can also be provided to disabled adults, people with other temporary or permanent changes in their health, victims of domestic or other violence and human trafficking victims. Among others, these benefits can also be provided to people who are unable to care for themselves independently due to age or infirmity, people with alcohol, drug and other addictions, and homeless people.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Guaranteed minimum benefit

You are entitled to guaranteed minimum benefit if you are single or living in a household and you have no income which you can use to cover your living costs. In other words, if you are unable to finance your living needs by working or from income from property.

A person receiving guaranteed minimum social assistance benefit who is able to work is required to accept a job offered by the Croatian Employment Service.

Single person incapable for work

HRK 920,00 (EUR 123,00)

Single person capable for work and single parent

HRK 800.00 (EUR 107.00)

HOUSEHOLD

Adult

HRK 480.00 (EUR 64.00)

Child (up to 18 years of age)

HRK 320.00 (EUR 432.00)

Single parent

HRK 800.00 (EUR 107.00)

Child of a lone parent or one-parent family

HRK 440,00 (EUR 59.00)

Social welfare centres in the claimants' place of residence approve guaranteed minimum benefit. The basis for its calculation is set by the Government, and this year stands at HRK 800.00 (EUR 107.00).

Housing allowance

If you receive guaranteed minimum benefit, you may also be entitled to housing allowance. This cash benefit is for settling, for example, the costs of rent, gas, electricity, heating, water, utility bills, i.e. all housing costs.

It can be granted in cash to the claimant, or the service suppliers pay the housing costs and are reimbursed by the local government or the City of Zagreb, up to half the amount of your guaranteed minimum benefit. In other words, if your guaranteed minimum benefit is HRK 480.00 (EUR 64.00), then housing costs of HRK 240.00 (EUR 32.00) can be granted to you.

Housing allowance can be approved for the full amount when this is the only way to prevent children from being separated from parents in the opinion of the social welfare centre.

Fuel allowance

Fuel allowance can be granted to people receiving guaranteed minimum social assistance benefit who use wood for heating. This allowance can be claimed in cash once a year or provided in the form of firewood. These costs are met by the local government unit or the City of Zagreb with 3 m³ of wood provided once a year or cash to cover this cost.

Allowance for energy buyers at risk

Beneficiaries of guaranteed minimum benefit and of personal disability allowance are entitled to the benefit for energy buyers at risk. The monthly amount of the benefit is determined by Government Regulation and is up to maximum HRK 200 (EUR 27.00)

Personal needs allowance for a residential care beneficiary

The personal needs allowance for a residential care beneficiary is a benefit available only to people using social welfare system accommodation. It is granted to recipients who cannot finance their personal needs from their own income and in the amount of 20% of the basis for the calculation of other entitlements, i.e. HRK 100.00 (EUR 13.00).

One-time allowance

One-time allowance is provided to a single person or household in the event of ongoing material difficulties due to specific needs. For example, it may be granted for the birth of a child, a child's education, illness or death of a family member, natural disaster, buying basic household items, essential clothes and footwear.

For an individual, the highest amount is HRK 2 500.00 (EUR 333.00), and for a household it is HRK 3 500.00 (EUR 466.00). In exceptional circumstances, one-time assistance of up to HRK 10 000.00 (EUR 1 331.00) may be granted but only with the consent of the Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy.

Up-to-employment allowance

A child with disabilities, as well as disabled adults, if registered as unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefit from the Croatian Employment Service, may be entitled to up-to-employment allowance. The up-to-employment allowance is 70% of the base for calculating other benefits, i.e. HRK 350.00 (EUR 47.00).

Education-related allowances

A pupil or student may be entitled to education-related allowances under special conditions. Pupils and students who are eligible can receive a benefit for regular education or a benefit for accommodation in a dormitory, and transport costs benefit.

Social welfare system entitlements can be claimed through social welfare centres in your place of residence. In certain cases, entitlements are paid by a unit of local government or the City of Zagreb, in cooperation with social welfare centres.

Jargon busters

  • Permanent residence is the place and address in Croatia at which a person has permanently settled for the purpose of exercising their rights and obligations associated with their life interests, such as family, professional, economic, social, cultural and other interests.
  • Temporary residence is the place and address in Croatia where a person is temporarily residing, but has not permanently settled at that address. Temporary residence is registered if it will last longer than 3 months.
  • The calculation bases for guaranteed minimum benefit and other social welfare entitlements are set by the Government.

Forms you may need to fill in

You can download the forms for claiming social assistance entitlements at the following link:

Know your rights

You can find out about your legal rights at the links below. They are not European Commission websites and do not represent the views of the Commission:


Commission publications and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

Social Welfare Centre

A list of all social welfare centres in Croatia is available here

Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy
Trg NevenkeTopalusic 1
HR-10000 Zagreb
Croatia
Tel. +385 15557111
http://www.mspm.hr/

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