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Bridging Rights: Relaxation of definition of 'family burden'

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Today, the self-employed with dependent children on his or her "sick note" are eligible for an increased benefit for "family burden," even if he or she lives with a partner with his or her own income.

Self-employed persons can receive either a bridging entitlement at the single person rate, or an increased benefit if there is 'family burden'. Thus, the bridging right amounts to EUR 1,291.69 for single persons, and EUR 1,614.10 for persons with 'family burden'. For the double bridging right these amounts rise to EUR 2,583.38 and EUR 3,228.20 respectively.

To determine whether a self-employed A beneficiary with 'family burden' Until recently, the strict definition from the Health Insurance Act was used. Concretely, this meant that only single self-employed persons with dependent children or cohabitating self-employed persons with a dependent partner could receive an increased allowance for family burdens. In other words, the self-employed who cohabit with a partner who has an income of his own, could not receive an allowance for family burdens. Not even if they had dependent children.

That's changing now. A recent legislative amendment, now published in the Official Gazette, provides for a more flexible interpretation of the concept of 'family burden'. From now on, every self-employed person who has dependents with his/her health insurance fund will be considered an entitled person with a family burden.

Concretely, it has to be checked whether, for example, children are registered on the self employed person's sickness record. If this is the case, an increased benefit for the family burden can be requested.  Thus, a cohabiting self-employed person with children on his/her sick note is eligible for the increased amount even if he/she lives with a partner with his/her own income.

However, it is not intended that cohabiting self-employed individuals with multiple children would wantonly spread those children across both parents' sick books in order to receive twice the benefit at family rate.

This change was made retroactively, and applies to the bridging rights paid out from March 2021.


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