The „Family 500+” („Rodzina 500+”) is a state program that was launched by the Polish government on April 1st, 2016 to support families with children through regular, monthly child benefits. As the name suggests, the amount of the benefit is PLN 500 per month. From 1 July 2019, 500+ is available for every child under the age of 18 are entitled to it, regardless of the family’s income. However, not all foreigners can receive it. It depends on their residence basis (we explain it later).
Who can apply
The benefit is available to both Polish citizens and foreigners who meet the statutory criteria. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who reside in Poland thanks to the coordination of social systems, are eligible for the 500+ child benefit. The benefit is also available to other foreigners who reside in Poland with their children and hold a residence document entitling them to work in Poland.
The law specifies the types of required residence documents, such as, among others, a residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment, as well as a residence permit with the annotation „access to the labour market” („dostęp do rynku pracy”). Foreigners who stay in Poland on the basis of the above-mentioned residence permits are eligible for the 500+ benefits, except for third-country nationals who have received a work permit in an EU Member State for a period no longer than six months, third-country nationals that have arrived in Poland to undertake studies or seasonal work, and those who have the right to work on the basis of a visa. It means that a work visa or a humanitarian visa does not entitle a foreigner to the 500+ benefit.
Additionally, foreigners are eligible for the 500+ benefit, if they stay in Poland on the basis of the UKR status, a temporary residence permit for the purpose of scientific research or long-term mobility of a researcher. The benefit is also available to those staying in Poland on the basis of a visa for the purpose of conducting scientific research. The exceptions are foreigners who have been permitted to stay on the Polish territory for less than six months, unless the rules on social security coordination or bilateral international agreements on social security provide otherwise.
It’s enough if just one of the parents/guardians has a residence basis that allows to receive 500+. Only the parent who is entitled to it can apply. It’s also important to note, that the child has to live in Poland for the family to receive the benefit.
How, where and when to apply
To receive the 500+ benefit, you must submit an application. The application should be accompanied by a copy of your residence permit and permit-related decision, as well as other documents that may be required depending on your situation (e.g. a court order that says you’re the legal guardian of a child, if applicable). You can only apply online. It can be done via the Emp@tia portal, Social Insurance Institution’s electronic platform (PUE ZUS) or electronic banking services. It means that you need an email address and a trusted profile.
You need to apply for 500+ every year!
One benefit period starts on June 1st and ends on May 31st of each year. Parents or guardians who do not yet receive a child benefit may submit an application at any time during the benefit period. The benefit will be paid for a period from the month of submitting your application to the end of the benefit period, that is May 31st of a given year.
You can apply for 500+ for the next benefit period from February 1st of the current period until the end of it (May 31st). If an application is submitted before the current period ends, 500+ is granted for the whole next period. If the application is submitted when the period has already ended, then 500+ is granted starting the month of the application.
Do you need assistance with submitting your application for the 500+ benefit?
Get it done with us!
In the time of coronavirus, our Help Center for Foreigners will help you remotely! Send an e-mail to: [email protected] and put „Child benefit 500+” in the subject line.
The assistance we provide is free of charge.