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Support from the City to residents of Vilnius in a difficult situation

 

The quarantine imposed as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic has caused financial hardship to a significant number of residents, including people who have lost their jobs, the self-employed and the seniors. Taking care of its residents at this difficult time, the City of Vilnius planned for financial support to Vilnius residents – all those, whose income during quarantine fell to EUR 437.50 per person (living alone) or EUR 375 for one family member, will receive a benefit of up to EUR 975 depending on the family size. Municipal utility companies will not charge default interest on late payments for utilities during quarantine.

According to the Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius, the coronavirus has become a great ordeal for all of us, also bringing financial challenges that self-employed and families whose income has drastically decreased due to job losses have to deal with, so the City of Vilnius invites residents to apply for financial support.

“Many people think that support will be provided to those, who used to regularly apply for it before. I want to emphasize that we are extending a helping hand to all those, who are not sufficiently protected by the state social insurance, residents of Vilnius with large obligations, who will run short on state support, and the self-employed, who were directly affected by the quarantine,” says Remigijus Šimašius, the Mayor of Vilnius.

The City plans to grant a one-time, targeted and, in individual cases, a periodic financial support to all Vilnius residents who have suffered financially having imposed quarantine. Self-employed persons, who have directly been affected by the measures introduced during quarantine, may also apply for targeted support. These first of all are people working in the service sector, such as waiters and bartenders, organizers of sports and cultural events, DJs, event illuminators or decorators, and photographers who receive income from royalty agreements.

Financial support will be provided based on the financial situation of a particular person or family. If the income of a person living alone decreased to less than EUR 437.50 per month and income of cohabiting persons declined to less than EUR 375 per person, they will be granted a one-time financial support. Given the specific situation, this benefit can be up to EUR 975.

In cases when the income plunged significantly, to less than EUR 156.25 per month, periodic payments of up to EUR 117 may be granted. Exceptions may apply even if income exceeds the limit set.

Residents of Vilnius having ended up in a difficult financial situation are invited to apply for a targeted support to the City of Vilnius by e-mail info@spcentras.lt  or by completing an application form online at  https://forms.gle/6A2b7C97A1hy6whx7. For more information, please call toll free line 8 700 35545.

“Having cancelled events due to quarantine, there simply are no more orders left, and it is not clear when they will resume,” says a freelance sound and light director Algirdas. Most people work with a self-employment certificate in the leisure and entertainment industry. I talked to my colleagues, and everyone has ended up in a truly unenviable situation.” And this is only one of many similar experiences, which now the self-employed, who are facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic, share.

Self-employed persons can also apply for a monthly fixed benefit of EUR 257 per month from the state. This benefit will not be included in the insured income and may be received together with other social insurance benefits, including sickness, maternity, childcare, unemployment benefits or a retirement pension.

An important fact is the possibility to get a targeted municipal support in conjunction with other benefits paid by Sodra or the state. The support will be allocated based on state register data, making a decision remotely, thus the process will be simple and easily arranged.

The City also wants to reassure regarding late payments of utility bills – utility companies will not charge default interest on late payments for utilities during quarantine. This is especially important for older people, who are unable to pay online. Paying for utilities after the quarantine ends will be possible.

Having notified utility companies of a difficult financial situation, they will provide information on where to apply for additional social benefits. The City will also assess a possibility of granting a benefit that could cover debts to utility companies, if they built up due to the measures introduced during quarantine.

For more information, visit: https://karantinas.lt/pagalba/?fbclid=IwAR0sCE4j4AzzEiYrYFgCFGPChYEQEma0Fww4-pDJ9jk1dvAga2Zajfl2X80