In what situation can I claim?
Survivor’s benefits are intended for adults whose spouse has died and for dependent children who have lost one or both parents. These are pension insurance (důchodové pojištění) benefits. These benefits serve as financial support to meet basic needs and preserve the standard of living after the loss of a close family member.
- Widow's pension (vdovský důchod) is provided to widows following the death of their husbands. This pension may be paid for one year or longer. This depends on the widow's family situation. The insured period of the deceased husband influences the pension amount.
- Widower's pension (vdovecký důchod) is provided to widowers following the death of their wives. This pension may be paid for one year or longer, depending on the widower´s family situation. The insured period of the deceased wife influences the pension amount.
- Orphan's pension (sirotčí důchod) is provided to children who have lost one or both parents or a person who cared for the child in foster care. Surviving children are eligible up to the age of 26 if they are dependent (see Jargon busters).
What conditions do I need to meet?
This pension is paid to widows if their deceased husband:
- received an old-age or invalidity pension;
- was insured for a sufficient period of time at the time of death to be eligible for an invalidity pension or fulfilled conditions for an old-age pension;
- died as a result of an accident at work.
The required insurance period differs based on age and date of birth. It is explained in detail in the chapters on invalidity pensions and old-age pension.
The eligibility conditions regarding the deceased spouse are the same for the widow's and the widower's pensions. .
Dependent children who have lost one or both parents (or legal guardian) are eligible for orphan’s pension. There is no entitlement in the case of the death of a foster parent or their spouse.
As for the widow’s or widower’s pension, the deceased parent must have:
- received an old-age or invalidity pension or
- fulfilled the minimum insurance period for entitlement to an old-age or invalidity pension at the time of death;
- died as a result of an accident at work.
In the case of an invalidity pension, the minimum insurance period should be at least 2.5 years over the last 10 years for those older than 28 and at least 5 years over the last 20 years for those older than 38).
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The pension is made up of two components:
- base amount;
- percentage amount.
- The base amount is a fix sum (CZK 2,700 in 2018).
The percentage amount is calculated as 50% of the percentage amount of old-age or invalidity pension (for third degree disability) to which the deceased husband was entitled at the time of death.
The widow is eligible to receive such pension for one year. Payment may be extended if the woman:
- is caring for a dependent child;
- is caring for a child dependent on the care of another person (physical disability from the second degree of dependency);
- is caring for her parents or the parents of the deceased husband dependent on the care of another person (from the second degree of dependency) and they live together in the same household;
- who has third degree disability;
- who has reached retirement age or an age that is four years less than the retirement age for men with the same date of birth.
Eligibility for the widow's pension lapses if a widow remarries. It also lapses if a court declares that the widow contributed to her husband's death as the perpetrator, accomplice or participant in a crime.
The calculation and amount of the widow's and the widower's pensions are the same. The pension is sum to the base amount and the percentage amount defined for the old-age or invalidity pension (for third degree disability) to which the deceased the wife was entitled.
- The conditions for extending the pension for more than one year are the same.
Orphan's pension also comprises the base amount of CZK 2,700 and the percentage amount. This amount is 40% of the old-age or invalidity pension ( for third degree disability) to which the parent was entitled at the time of death.
Children are entitled to an orphan's pension from both parents if both parents are deceased.
Eligibility for this pension lapses when:
- the beneficiary is no longer a dependent child;
- the child is adopted by another person who takes the place of the deceased parent.
Where and how to apply
Survivors can arrange these pensions at Czech Social Security Administration offices (pobočky České správy sociálního zabezpečení) at the place of residence.
- Such application must be filed in person.
- A dependent child (nezaopatřené dítě) is a child up to the age of 26 who is unable to provide for their own subsistence due to age, study or health.
- Third degree disability (invalidita ve třetím stupni) is a health condition in which a person's ability to work is limited by more than 70%.
Forms you may need
Applications for widow's, widower's and orphan's pensions are completed with Czech Social Security Administration staff.
There is no need to complete any forms in advance.
Know your rights
These links do not lead to European Commission websites and do not represent the views of the European Commission:
- Pension Insurance Act (Zákon o důchodovém pojištění), in Czech;
- Frequently asked questions regarding pension insurance (Nejčastější dotazy a odpovědi k důchodovému pojištění), in Czech.
Please make use of EU assistance services if you experience any problems in applying your rights:
Czech Social Security Administration (Česká správa sociálního zabezpečení)
225 08 Prague 5
Call centre: +420 257062860