A common social phenomenon in many countries is the poor family, that is, a unit of society with low incomes that do not allow it to have a certain standard of living. Many states are trying to help such citizens by developing special benefits, benefits or subsidies for them.
What is a low income family?
In many countries of the former USSR, it is generally accepted that a low-income family is when the total income of all its members does not exceed the monthly subsistence minimum for each. It is important to take into account some points:
- All able-bodied citizens of such a cell of society work or are actively looking for work (officially registered with the Employment Centers), receive pensions based on age or health status, and take care of young children under 3 years old.
- Only spouses and their blood relatives who are officially registered in the same living space, adopted and adopted children, stepdaughters and stepchildren are taken into account.
There are various situations in which families can be considered low-income or poor:
- Both parents have or do not have children, but receive low incomes from their work.
- The only parent (legal representative, for example, grandmother) lives with the children, again with a low salary or pension.
- The spouses have many children, so even with a good salary, the indicator for each family member is small, and so on.
Criteria for a poor family
It has already been mentioned above what income a low-income family should have. The amount of all money received per month should not exceed the subsistence level in a particular region for each adult and child. This takes into account:
- Wages of all able-bodied adults.
- Pensions and scholarships.
- Income from private activities (i.e. earnings of IP).
- Income from the rental of real estate.
- All social benefits and grants received.
- Dividends, that is, profit from share ownership, auction profit.
- Author’s fees.
There is a simple formula for how to calculate a low-income family or not:
- The calculation is made quarterly. That is, all the above sources of family income for the last three months are summed up.
- The amount received is divided into three (months).
- The intermediate value is divided by the number of officially living family members. That is, if there are two adults and two children in the apartment, then the amount is divided by 4. If one mother is raising two children, then by three, and so on.
- The amount received should be compared with the subsistence minimum per capita in the region. If it is lower, then the poor family has the right to receive such status and assistance from the state.
What gives the status of a low-income family?
When the status is officially received — a low-income family, then its representative is entitled to the following types of assistance from the state:
- Grocery kits, clothes, medicines or fuel for heating a home in the winter, relying on certain categories of citizens.
- Regular or one-time cash payments.
- Benefits, for example, tax or for the admission of children to educational institutions.
- Subsidies, for example, to pay for housing and communal services or housing.
- Preferential terms of mortgage lending or extraordinary receipt of housing, land for gardening or horticulture.
Payments to low-income families
The state provides two types of benefits for low-income families:
- Regular payments that are accrued for a period of 1 year and are paid monthly. After a year of subsidies, they can be extended, provided that income has not increased. The amount of benefits varies greatly depending on the region of residence, family budget, age of children and other parameters, therefore, in each case, it is calculated individually.
- A one-time payment to low-income families is more often timed to coincide with a specific event. This may be the Day of Knowledge, for example, then funds are issued for the purchase of uniforms and stationery for schoolchildren, or the loss of housing. The amount of the subsidy is also set at the regional level and is constantly indexed.
Benefits for low-income families
The state is not limited to providing material assistance to poor families with and without children. Such cells of companies can be provided with a certain package of benefits:
- Free legal aid and free litigation. Such support can be obtained not from all lawyers and notaries, but only from those who work in specialized government agencies.
- Tax incentives, in which the applicant is exempted from paying taxes on receiving social grants and payments.
- The right to enroll children in higher and secondary technical educational institutions on a non-competitive basis, if they are dependent on a disabled parent.
- Extraordinary allocation of places in nurseries and kindergartens for kids from low-income families.
- Free travel once a year on intercity transport to another city for medical care or treatment.
Subsidies for poor families
The list of what is due to low-income families includes some subsidies. This is the name given to specialized payments from certain funds and budget levels: state, regional, municipal. A poor family has the right to:
- Subsidizing utility bills. At the same time, such an allowance is assigned for a period of six months, if the cost of a communal apartment exceeds a certain percentage of family income (usually 20%) and there are no debts. Payment is made in the amount determined by regional legislation.
- Compensation of payment for preschool children’s institutions.
- A special subsidy that is provided for obtaining a mortgage loan for the purchase of housing on preferential terms, that is, at a special minimum rate.
Products for low-income families
In many regions, food assistance is also provided to low-income families, which may include:
- Issuance of specialized food products to pregnant women, children under the age of 1.5–3 years. The composition of the kit is determined by the region and may include juice, milk, cottage cheese, specialized milk formula, and more. Issued only on the advice of a doctor.
- For a student from a low-income family in free meals in school canteens.
- Accrual of a certain number of points to the so-called social card, which can be used to pay for products in the networks of partner stores. Poor Muscovites, for example, have it.
Housing for low-income families
Under the law, the status of a low-income family gives the right to receive housing from the state for free use or for a small fee under a social contract. For this you need:
- Obtain the official status of the low-income by collecting the necessary package of documents and waiting for the approval of the special commission.
- Register in a special queue with the social security authorities as a family in need of housing. At the same time, each region has a number of its own conditions: mandatory residence for at least 5–10 years in the city, maintenance of certain living conditions for 3–5 years, and others.
How to apply for the status of a low-income family?
There is a clear algorithm for how to become a low-income family, that is, to obtain such a status in state support bodies:
- Collect the required package of papers, proving the low income for each of the family members.
- Submit documents to specialized bodies providing support to the population.
- Wait for the consideration of the submitted documents by the commission. This procedure takes about 10 days. In rare cases, it can be extended up to 30 days.
- Provide additional documents for the calculation of benefits, benefits or other state support measures, if necessary.
Where to apply for the status of a low-income family?
In order to be officially recognized as low-income, one of the adults must apply to:
- Multifunctional centers for the provision of state and municipal services (MFC) at the place of residence.
- The status of a low-income family can also be obtained by personally contacting the local department of social protection of the population.
- In some regions, the submission of all necessary documents is possible using the electronic portal “Gosuslugi”. The service is not available everywhere.
Documents for registration of a low-income family
Regardless of which authority it is planned to submit all the necessary papers to, the documents for a low-income family that the specialist will require are identical. For some documents, only originals are needed, while others are provided along with photocopies for verification by specialists:
- Passports of all family members over 14 years of age.
- Birth certificates for children under 14 years of age.
- Certificates of marriage and divorce (if any). Other papers confirming kinship: adoption documents, death documents and others.
- Information about the composition of the family.
- Papers that record the income of all able-bodied adults: a 2‑personal income tax certificate from a place of work or from an individual entrepreneur and others.
- Documents that indicate the income of minor children: alimony, scholarships, disability pensions and others.
- Unemployed citizens in a low-income family are required to provide copies of work books and notifications from the employment center that they are registered, certificates of disability and others.
- Documents confirming the ownership of the residential premises by the applicant (required for the calculation of subsidies for the payment of housing and communal services, for example).
- Extract from the house book with a list of persons registered in the housing.
- Application of the established form.
- Bank account details for crediting benefits.
How to write an application for a low-income family?
In all regions, the procedure for applying for a low-income family is standard, however, the form of a typical application may vary slightly. You can always ask for a sample at a specialized agency (MFC or social security), where such paper is more often on site and compiled. It will contain the following information:
- Full name, passport and contact details of the applicant (address of registration and residence, telephone).
- Justification for recognition as a poor person: an indication of income with the provision of supporting documents.
- A list of all family members indicating the degree of relationship.
- Date of application and signature of the applicant.