Child allowance

Child allowance is a cash provision used by a parent or another person defined in the Child Allowance Act as support in upbringing and care of children

The right to child allowance may be exercised if the average monthly income per household member in the previous calendar year does not exceed 70% of the budget base. In 2020, the budget base amounted to HRK 3,326.00.

The right to child allowance may be exercised if the average income per household member in the previous calendar year does not exceed HRK 2,328.20 per month.

The right to child allowance is exercised with the help of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.
 

Requirements to qualify for child allowance  

The Child Allowance Act stipulates the following requirements to qualify for child allowance: 
  • The applicant has to have Croatian citizenship or the status of a foreigner with approved permanent stay, and has to have resided in the Republic of Croatia for at least three (3) years prior to filing the application
  • The applicant has to have the status of an asylee, foreigner under subsidiary protection or the status of an asylee’s family member in accordance with the asylum regulations, without the requirement of citizenship and length of permanent residence or stay in the territory of the Republic of Croatia
  • The total income generated in the previous calendar year per household member may not exceed 70% of the budget base per month
  • The applicant has to live in the same household with the child
  • The applicant has to live support the child.
By way of exception, the right to child allowance for children with severe or profound disabilities and for children of Croatian veterans who died or went missing is exercised notwithstanding the total income of the household.
 

Child allowance beneficiaries and children who are awarded child allowance

The right to the child allowance may be granted to a parent, adopted parent, guardian, stepparent, grandparent and a person to whom a child is entrusted for custody and care on the basis of the decision of a body competent for social welfare affairs, under the conditions stipulated by the Act.
 
Child allowance may be granted to a parentless child over the age of majority in regular education.

The child allowance is granted for children born in marriage, outside of marriage and for adopted children or stepchildren, as well as for supported grandchildren and other children without parents.

Child allowance is granted until the child reaches 15 years of age; that is, until the end of the school year in which the child turns 15 years of age, and after that if the reason to attend a primary school after the age of 15 is enrolling in the first year at an older age than usual or failing a year due to health issues or prolonged illness.

Child allowance is granted to the child in regular secondary education up to the end of that education and no longer than the end of the school year in which the child turns 19 years of age.

An exception is a child attending a secondary school with a five year programme, in which case child allowance is granted to the child until the child finishes regular secondary education, but no longer than the end of the school year in which the child turns 20 years of age. Children with health disorders are also an exception and are, pursuant to special regulations, granted child allowance after the age of 19, but no longer than the age of 21. The right to child allowance for children who have not finished school in the prescribed time limit due to illness is extended after they reach the cut-off age, but not past the age of 21. Child allowance is granted also in the period when the child cannot attend school due to being ill.
 

Right to child allowance for children with severe or profound disabilities

A severe or profound disability is determined by the finding and opinion of the Institute for Expert Evaluation, Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of People with Disabilities pursuant to the provisions of the Regulation on the Methodologies of Expert Evaluation (Official Gazette No 67/17 and 56/18⁠—Regulation).
 
Pursuant to the aforementioned Regulation, the expert evaluation procedure is initiated by the authority deciding on the right. 

The right to child allowance for a child with severe or profound disability is gained on the date of filing the application to exercise the right to child allowance and is granted for the period of the disability, provided that the disability occurred before the child turned 18 or in the course of the child’s regular education.
 

Child allowance under the Act on the Rights of Croatian Homeland War Veterans and their Family Members

Under the Act on the Rights of Croatian Homeland War Veterans and their Family Members (Official Gazette No 121/17), children of Croatian war veterans who died or went missing are granted the highest prescribed amount of child allowance.
 
These children are granted the highest prescribed amount of child allowance, which in 2020 amounted to HRK 374.18 a month, notwithstanding the total income per household member.
 
Child allowance is not granted to the beneficiary:
 
  • In the period in which the child is receiving education abroad, unless an international treaty or rules of the European Union on the coordination of social security schemes state otherwise
  • In the period in which the child has been permanently placed in institutional care pursuant to a special regulation, at the expense of the state, local or regional budget
  • Who is a child with permanent residence abroad or who is a child staying abroad for more than three (3) months, unless an international treaty or rules of the European Union on the coordination of social security schemes state otherwise.
 
The right to child allowance ceases when the child marries.
 

Baby bonus

Apart from child allowance, beneficiaries are also granted a baby bonus of HRK 500.00 for the third and fourth child. This means that HRK 500.00 a month is added to the total amount of child allowance granted to the beneficiary pursuant to a decision if the beneficiary is using child allowance for three children; that is, HRK 1,000.00 a month is added to the mentioned total amount if the beneficiary is using child allowance for three and more children.
 

Thresholds and allowance amounts

You can find out more about the income threshold requirements, amounts of child allowance depending on the threshold established and third and fourth child baby bonus on the website of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.
 

Filing an application

An application can be filed with the competent regional or branch office of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute in the applicant’s place of residence, via e-Services or it can be made orally. 
Applications can also be filed free of charge in post offices in the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
 
The documentation required to establish whether an applicant is qualified should be enclosed with the application. The documentation varies depending on whether the applicant is already a child allowance beneficiary or is applying for it the first time.
Detailed information on the process of filing an application and the data and documentation which needs to be enclosed can be found on the website of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.