Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Czech Republic - Assistance in material need

In what situation can I claim?

Assistance in material need (pomoc v hmotné nouzi) serves low-income individuals and families. Eligible applicants are persons with insufficient income who are objectively unable to improve their situation through their own efforts.

The intention is to secure basic needs for these persons at a level that society considers acceptable. The living and subsistence minimums (životní a existenční minimum) exist for the purposes of defining this level.

Assistance in material need helps applicants cover the costs of living, i.e. food, clothing and other basic needs. Assistance covers also basic housing costs.

A one-off lump-sum payment of other costs can be requested in exceptional cases.

What conditions do I need to meet?

The applicant must be a person in material need. Such a person has income that is insufficient to cover basic needs and at the same time is objectively unable (due to age, health, family situation) to increase this income on their own. Such person has no other means or possibilities to improve their situation, for instance by work selling property, application of entitlements, etc.

Some circumstances are in violation of the right to assistance in material need. The following persons are ineligible:

  • persons who do not try to improve their situation by actions on their own; persons who are not working and are not registered as job seekers with the Labour Office;
  • persons registered as job seekers but who refuse to accept offered employment or to participate in job training;
  • persons in confinement, detention or prison;
  • persons who have been fined for truancy of their children.

Living allowance (příspěvek na živobytí)

Individuals or families are eligible if income is less than the subsistence/living amount (částka na živobytí) after subtracting reasonable housing costs.

This amount is defined individually for every person in the family after evaluating their options and efforts. The living and subsistence minimums are used as the reference scale.

The individual living amounts are then calculated in the case of a family.

The living minimum is defined as follows:


CZK 3,410

First adult in the household

CZK 3,140

Other adult in household

CZK 2,830

Dependent child up to age 6

CZK 1,740

Dependent child, aged 6 to 15

CZK 2,140

Dependent child, aged 15-26

CZK 2,450

The subsistence minimum is defined as CZK 2,200.

Housing supplement (doplatek na bydlení)

Individuals and families are eligible if they lack sufficient income to cover adequate housing. In general, assistance is provided if income is still insufficient after the family has been declared eligible for the housing allowance from the State social support system and for the living allowance.

Extraordinary immediate assistance (mimořádná okamžitá pomoc)

Such assistance is provided to those on low income experiencing an emergency situation or who are at risk of social exclusion. This assistance is provided if such situation must be resolved immediately and the applicant lacks funds to resolve such situation.

The second group of allowance beneficiaries are those affected by natural disaster.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Living allowance

It is calculated as the difference between the subsistence amount and the family's income after subtracting housing costs. Such costs must be reasonable and up to 30% (or 35% in Prague) of the family's income.


Subsistence amount (2 adults + 4 children 6-15 years) 

CZK 14,530

Family income

CZK 18,000

Housing costs

CZK 6,000

Income after subtracting costs

CZK 12,000

Living allowance

CZK 2,530

In some cases the subsistence amount equals the existence minimum:

  • if the applicant is more than three months late in maintenance payment for dependent children;
  • if the applicant's employment was terminated due to a gross violation of duties over the past six months;
  • if the individual is in the care of a healthcare establishment for the entire month.

The living allowance may be increased if the applicant's health requires special dietary foods. The maximum adjustment is CZK 2,200 per month. The exact table of such increases can be found on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs website.

Housing supplement

The amount is defined so as to ensure the subsistence amount remains for a family or individual after paying housing costs.

Extraordinary immediate assistance

The amount depends on the applicant's situation.

Applicant situations

Amount of assistance

Person is not in material need but the lack of financial resources puts them or their child at risk of serious health injury

Up to CZK 2,200

Extraordinary event (flood, fire, etc.)

Up to CZK 51,150

Lack of funds for an important one-off expense (duplicate of an identification card, etc.)

Up to actual cost

Lack of funds to purchase or repair an item of long-term use

Up to CZK 34,100

Lack of funds for education and hobby activities of children

Up to CZK 34,100

Potential for social exclusion (release from prison, children's home, etc.)

Up to CZK 1,000

Where and how to apply

Assistance in material need must be applied for in person or in writing at the Labour Office's regional offices and contact points at the place of residence.

Jargon busters

  • The living minimum (životní minimum) is the socially recognised minimum level of cash income for food and other basic needs.
  • The existence minimum (existenční minimum) is the minimum cash income considered essential for survival. The existence minimum cannot be applied to dependent children, old-age pensioners, persons with a third degree disability and persons over the age of 68.

Forms you may need

Know your rights

These links do not lead to European Commission websites and do not represent the views of the European Commission:

Please make use of EU assistance services if you experience any problems in applying your rights:

Useful contacts

Labour Office of the Czech Republic (Úřad práce České republiky)
Contact counselling centre:
Tel. +420 844844803
kontaktni.centrum@mpsv.cz, callcentrum@mpsv.cz

List of the Labour Office's regional offices and contact points, in Czech: http://portal.mpsv.cz/soc/ssp/local

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic (Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí ČR) Na Poříčním právu 1/376
128 01 Prague 2
Tel. +420 221921111
Data box: sc9aavg

Integrated portal of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic (Integrovaný portál Ministerstva práce a sociálních věcí ČR) in Czech

Website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic in English

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