VILNIUS – Legislative amendments providing for social benefits for the Ukrainians fleeing war have been submitted to the Seimas of Lithuania on Thursday.
“Those are extra social guarantees for people, in addition to the temporary protection mechanism, which will switch on after the adoption of a respective decision by the government, and the coming into effect of this [temporary protection] status will make it possible to pay basic minimum social welfare benefits,” Social Security and Labor Minister Monika Navickiene told MPs while presenting draft amendments.
Draft amendments passed the first reading in the Seimas with 114 votes in favor and with no abstentions or votes against and will now go to parliamentary committees.
The ministry stated that the Ukrainians fleeing war would be granted temporary protection for a period of one year, which, if necessary, could be extended for another year, and the persons covered by temporary protection would be eligible for social benefits.
They could apply for all child benefits, one-off installation allowances, partial reimbursement of rental costs as well as social assistance pensions. Also, the Ukrainians granted temporary protection in Lithuania should be eligible for social assistance as well as compensations for the cost of heating, drinking water and hot water, if they have no income.
More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since Russia unleashed its invasion of Ukraine in late February. Some of those refugees are heading to Lithuania.
According to the data from the Social Security and Labor Ministry, approximately 5,000 Ukrainians have already arrived in Lithuania.