Updated on 8 January 2024

In Bulgaria, there are several types of family assistance for people who take care of children. In this article we have provided a list of some of the one-off and monthly family assistance opportunities, for which you can apply as a person with a refugee or humanitarian status or if you have temporary protection in Bulgaria. This list is not exhaustive. We will also introduce you to the financial support that students can receive, if they are in Bulgaria without their parents and are placed in a residential care service.

Who can receive family assistance for children?

  • Parents/Single parent of the child.
  • A relative/kinship carer who is raising and taking care of the child primarily

  • A foster family raising a child.

  • An adoptive parent

  • Legal guardians

When more than one person is taking care of the child, then only one of them can apply for family assistance (e.g., only one of the parents)

One-off family assistance for children attending school

This type of assistance aims to help you cover some of the expenses at the beginning of the school year (buying books, stationary, and clothes) for your child who resides in Bulgaria permanently and is not accommodated outside of the family environment by child protection services. Such assistance is provided to children from 1st- to 4th grade and to 8th graders.

You can apply for this assistance at the beginning of every school year but no later than one month after the start of the school year –until 15 October.  For each grade, you need to apply separately. 

You can receive financial aid of 300 leva in 2 instalments. 50% of it is paid after you have been approved for the assistance. The rest of it is paid at the beginning of the second school term. 

Important! You will need to give back the assistance that you have received if: 

  1. It is established that your child is not enrolled in school or hasn’t continued their education in the second school term unless that is impossible because of your child’s health condition

  2. Your child has been absent from 5 school classes within 1 month of the school year without valid reasons. 

To prove that there was a valid reason, you and your child must give the class teacher a medical note from the doctor (if the child was sick) or a note from the relevant sports/art club they are signed up for and because of which they did not attend school. 

See how you can apply below in the section “How can I apply for these types of family assistance?”.

Types of monthly family assistance

This is family assistance, which you can receive every month. Such monthly assistance is provided for:

  • Raising a child who attends school, until the age of 18 or is no more than 20 years old

  • Raising a child with a permanent disability

Raising a child who attends school, until the age of 18 or is no more than 20 years old

This monthly assistance is granted to children who have not graduated high school yet. After they have graduated from high school or in the meantime have turned 21, the assistance is terminated. However, you are entitled to monthly assistance if your child graduates from high school before turning 18.

You are entitled to this allowance if:

  1. Your average monthly income per family member for the past 12 months is lower than or equal to 710 leva. 

In this case, you receive the financial aid in full (see below). If your average income is between 710, 01 and 810 leva, you will only be granted 80 % of the full amount.

You do not have to meet this requirement for maximum income if:

  • Your child has a permanent disability.

  • The child is raised by relatives/ kinship carers.

  • The child is raised by a foster family.

  • The child has a deceased parent and is raised by their single-adoptive parent, regardless of whether they are eligible for a survivor pension.

2. Your child resides in the country permanently. 

3. Your child was not placed to be raised outside the family home by child protection services.

4. Your child attends kindergarten or school regularly unless their health condition doesn’t permit them to do so. 

5. Your child has all required immunisations and has gone through all mandatory medical examinations.

The full amount of financial assistance that you can receive is:

  • 50 leva- for a family with one child

  • 110 leva- for a family with 2 children

  • 165 leva- for a family with three children

  • 175 leva- for a family with 4 children, whereby the assistance for every other child increases by 20 leva. 

  • for a family raising twins- 75 leva

This assistance can be terminated if:

  • The conditions for granting it no longer exist or you don’t comply with the requirements.

  • The child protection services undertake measures to place the child outside the family.

  • Your child attends preschool and within 1 month was absent for more than 3 days without a valid reason.

  • Your child goes to school and within 1 month of schoolyear was absent from 5 school classes without a valid reason. 

In this case, monthly assistance can be re-granted no earlier than 1 year after it was terminated.

  • When your child becomes a parent, unless they keep attending school regularly. Then, they are entitled to a one-off allowance.

See how to apply below in the section “How can I apply for these types of family assistance?”.

Raising a child with a disability until the age of 18 or not more than 20 years old

Under all the conditions mentioned above you may receive monthly assistance if your child has a permanent disability and you do not receive other types of monthly assistance for a permanently disabled child. In this, case you do not need to comply with the requirement to have a maximum monthly income of 710 leva.

To receive such assistance, you need to provide documents from the Territory Expert Medical Committee (TEMC) or the National Expert Medical Committee (NEMC) establishing the degree of disability of your child in percentages.

Procedure for establishing a disability

The financial aid that you can receive depends on the percentage determined by TEMC/NEMC: 

  1. for a child with 90 or over 90% permanently reduced working capacity/type and degree of disability–  1180 BGN;

  2. for a child with 70 to 90% permanently reduced working capacity/type and degree of disability- 570 BGN ;

  3. for a child with 50 to 70% permanently reduced working capacity/type and degree of disability- 450 BGN

By law, you have the right to receive the financial assistance from the 1st day of the month in which the disability was established with a decision by TEMC/NEMC but not more than a 1 year back, as from the day of application. The amount of financial aid for the pre-application period is 50% of what is mentioned above.

When children are accommodated in state-owned medical facilities, or in social/ integrated residences for longer than 1 month, financial aid is not provided for the time of their stay.

How can I apply for these types of family assistance?

To apply for any of the family assistance opportunities for children listed above, you need to submit a standard application form to the Director of the  Social Assistance Directorate (SAD) at your current official address. You will find contact information about the SAD in Bulgaria at this link.

Here are the links where you can download the different types of application forms, depending on the type of assistance you want to apply for:

Together with the application you also need to present the following documents:

  1. Copy of your Bulgarian identity document as an applicant/ temporary protection card

  2. Declaration that you agree for the RSAD to check your income.

  3. When applying for the monthly assistance, you must also report your gross income for the past 12 calendar months before the month of application.  

You can ask your employer to provide you with such a document. 

There is no need for you to report your income when you have a child with a disability.

4. A certificate from a school/kindergarten confirming that your child attends school or is enrolled in the mandatory preschool classes. A form template is available at this link.

5. Medical protocol from a Medical Advisory Committee – if your child, due to health reasons, established in the medical protocol cannot start and attend school.

6. When applying for monthly assistance you also need to provide an official note issued by the child's doctor (GP), and in the absence of a GP, by the regional health inspectorate, certifying that all mandatory immunizations and preventive examinations with respect to the child's age and health status have been carried out - only in cases where this information cannot be obtained by official means;

7. In case your child has an established disability, bring the decision of the TEMC/NEMC

8. If you are the legal guardian of the child, then you need to provide the document with which you were appointed as such. 

You do not have to pay any fees to apply.

Your application should be reviewed within 14 days from the day of submission. However, if additional inspections need to be made, the deadline for issuing a final decision can be extended to 30 days. 

Important! To continue to receive monthly family assistance you need to submit a new application every 12 months/ or upon the expiration of the decision of TEMC/NEMC and present the required documents. 

How can I receive my family assistance payments?

Payments can be received:

  • in cash at the Territorial Social Assistance directorate 

  • via personal bank account. 

If you want the payments to be sent to your bank account, you must expressly state that in your application. You must write down your International Bank Account Number – IBAN, and the name of the Bank. 

In case you do not have a bank account and have difficulties opening one please read this article: 

Access to a payment bank account with basic features

What if my application for family assistance is rejected? 

If you are refused assistance, the refusal decision must contain good reasoning. It will be given to you in writing within 7 days from its issuance. You may file an appeal against such a decision within 14 days from the day that it was made known to you.  Contact a lawyer to do so!

The decision of the administrative court is final. 

Important! You cannot be denied family assistance only because you are a refugee or humanitarian status holder or because you have temporary protection. In such cases contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can help you file the appeal on time. The   Foundation for Access to Rights (FAR) can also help you with the appeal or with any other issues that you may have during the procedure. Contact us through this form: 

Request Assistance

Pocket money for students placed in a residential care service

If you are:

  • a student in grades 1 to 12 with refugee/humanitarian status or temporary protection 
  • there is no adult in Bulgaria to care for you; AND
  • You have been placed in a residential care facility.

You have the right to receive pocket money of 90 BGN every month until you finish secondary education, but no more than the age of 20. 

Monthly support to cover the initial needs of young people aged 18 to 21 .

You are entitled to this support if:

  • you are a young person aged 18 to 21; AND
  • Until turning that age you have been placed in residential/social care service and are leaving this service for the first time. 

To get this monthly allowance you need to:

  • register with the Labour Bureau no later than 1 month after leaving the residential/social care;
  • File an application form at the Social Assistance Directorate at your current address.

You must also attach to the application: 

  • Identity document/registration card for temporary protection;
  • A document certifying the date on which you left the residential/social care, where the information cannot be collected by the authorities.  

The allowance is granted for a maximum of 3 consecutive months starting from the month of registration with the Labour Bureau 

The amount of this support for 2024 is 526 BGN per month. 

If you want to receive this support via bank transfer, you must have a personal bank account in a Bulgarian bank under your name.