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, all children under the age of 18 are entitled to it, regardless of the family’s income.
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 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 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.
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 apply online via the [email protected] portal, Social Insurance Institution’s electronic platform (PUE ZUS) or electronic banking services. You can also do it the traditional way, that is fill out the paper application form and submit it in person at the relevant office or send by post. In Warsaw those are the district offices (check the list of reception points).
The current benefit period 2019/2021 has been extended until 31 May 2021. Parents or guardians who do not yet receive a child benefit may submit an application at any time during the current period, if they are eligible. In this case, the benefit will be paid for a period from the month of submitting your application to the end of the benefit period, that is 31 May 2021. The next period of benefit will start on 1 June 2021 and will last until 31 May of the following year. From 1 February 2021, you can apply for the upcoming period online, and from 1 April you can submit your application in person at the relevant office or send it by post. If you have been receiving the 500+ benefit in the current period, it will not be automatically extended – you have to apply again to continue to receive it for the next benefit period.
Do you need assistance with submitting your application for the 500+ benefit?
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