Child allowance is a cash provision used by a parent or another person defined in the Child Allowance Act (Official Gazette nos. 94/01, 138/06, 107/07, 37/08, 61/11, 112/12, 82/15, 58/18) as the support in upbringing and care of children.
The Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO) handles the right to child allowance, while the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy oversees the implementation of the Act.
Until 31 December 2020, the procedures for resolving the right to child allowance by applying the EU regulations on the coordination of the social security system in the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute were centralized and their implementation was the responsibility of the Zagreb Regional Office. With the aim of increasing the up-to-dateness and faster exchange of information with competent institutions from other countries and improving the quality and accessibility of the service to users, as of 1 January 2021, the resolution of the right to child allowance by applying the European Union regulations on the coordination of the social security system in the first instance is performed in all regional organizational units of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.
Exceptionally, the requests for child allowance that are resolved by applying the legal regulations of the EU applicants who have a permanent or habitual residence in the area of Karlovac and Sisak will be resolved until further notice by the Regional Office in Zagreb.
Territorial jurisdiction for resolving cases in the regional organizational units of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute is determined according to the criterion of residence or usual stay of the applicant or his spouse / extramarital / divorced spouse if the applicant does not have permanent / usual residence in the Republic of Croatia.
The right to the child allowance may be granted to a parent, foster 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. The child allowance may be granted to a parentless young adult child in regular schooling.
The child allowance applies to all children actually supported by the beneficiary: for children born in wedlock, out of wedlock, for adopted children or stepchildren, for supported grandchildren and other children without parents.
The child allowance is granted up to the beneficiary’s 15th years of age, that is, up to the end of the school year in which the child turns 15 years of age. The 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.
Exceptionally, the child allowance may be realised after that age for a child with a health disorder, up to the completion of the regular secondary education even after 19 years of age, but not longer than 21 years of age.
The entitlement to allowance for children who have not completed the school within the prescribed time period due to illness is prolonged, but not longer than up to 21 years of age.
Children with severe disability
A child with severe disability, determined according to special regulations, is entitled to child allowance from the date of filing an application for entitlement to allowance, and this entitlement continues as long as such disability exists.
The right to an allowance for a child with a severe disability shall be granted provided that the disability occurred before the age of 18 or during the regular schooling of a child.
Beneficiaries who realised the right to child allowance for children with severe health disorder determined by special regulations until 1 September 2015, and whose right has not ended until the date of entry into force of the Act, are entitled to child allowance after the child reaches 27 years of age, for as long as severe health disorder exists.
Beneficiaries whose entitlement to allowance for children with severe health impairments determined by special regulations ceased before the entry into the force of the Act due to completed 27 years of age, are entitled to allowance for children from the date of filing the application under this Act (not before 1 September 2015), for as long as severe health disorder exists.
Child’s health impairment and/or severe disability, based on which the allowance is realised under more favourable conditions, is determined by the finding and the opinion of the Institute for Expertise, Occupational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities.
The child expert assessment procedure is initiated by the regional office / branch office of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute by official means if the application for entitlement to rights states that the child for whom the allowance is sought has health impairment.
The Child Allowance Act defines the following conditions for the acquirement of the right to child allowance:
- The applicant must have Croatian citizenship or the status of foreigner with approved permanent residence, and must reside in the Republic of Croatia for at least 3 years prior to submission of the application,
- The applicant must have the status of asylum holder under subsidiary protection or the status of a member of an asylum holder’s family in accordance with the rules on asylum, without conditions regarding the nationality and length of residence or permanent residence in the territory of the Republic of Croatia,
- The total income realized in the previous calendar year per household member does not exceed 70% of the budget base per month,
- The applicant must live in the same household with the child,
- The applicant supports the child.
The right to a child allowance may be realized if the average monthly income per household member in the previous calendar year does not exceed 70% of the budget base, i.e. if the average income per household member in the previous calendar year does not exceed HRK 2.328,20 per month.
Based on the average income per household member, we differentiate between three census groups on which the amount of child allowance depends.
If the total income per household member does not exceed HRK 543.14 per month, the child allowance amounts to HRK 299.34.
If the total income per household member exceeds HRK 534.14 per month but does not exceed HRK 1,119.53, the child allowance amounts to HRK 249.45.
If the total income per household member exceeds HRK 1,119.53 per month but does not exceed HRK 2.328,20 , the child allowance amounts to HRK 199.56.
For a child without both parents, the amount of child allowance determined according to the specified census is increased by 25% (HRK 374.18, HRK 311.81 or HRK 249.45). For a child without one parent, the amount of child allowance determined according to the specified census is increased by 15% (HRK 344.24, HRK 286.87 or HRK 229.49).
For a child with severe disability, the child allowance is determined in the amount of 25% of budget base, regardless of the total income per household member (HRK 831.50).
The beneficiary of the child allowance, in addition to the determined amount of the child allowance, is also entitled to an allowance in the amount of HRK 500.00 for the third and fourth child. This means that with a certain total amount of child allowance determined by the decision, HRK 500.00 is added to the beneficiary if he or she is entitled to allowance for three children, or HRK 1,000.00 per month if he or she is entitled to allowance for four or more children.