Poles rush to apply for extended child benefits

Half a million Poles have applied for pay-outs from the country’s extended flagship child benefits programme, a government minister said on Monday evening.

The expanded “Family 500+” initiative kicked in earlier that day.

Thousands of online applications were submitted in the first half hour after it was launched, said Family, Labour and Social Policy Minister Bożena Borys Szopa.

Applications in traditional paper form can be submitted from August 1

After coming to power in late 2015, Poland’s socially conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government introduced handouts of PLN 500 (EUR 118, USD 134) a month per child for families with two or more children. The move aimed to ease the burdens of child rearing.

Poorer families were made eligible for the allowance even if they had just one child.

Under new rules approved by the Polish president in May, the Family 500+ programme was expanded to include all single-child families regardless of income.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said the initiative is “a revolutionary socio-demographic project.”


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