Ukrainian war refugees in Lithuania are granted temporary protection for one year, and, if necessary, it can be extended for another year. Granting temporary protection to a particular foreigner is a process taking place in stages. The Ministry of social security and labour presents the social support or employment measures the foreigners fleeing hostilities in Ukraine are entitled to at different stages of the process.
“We must ensure that the minimum needs of people who have fled the war in our country are met. It is very important that they receive the necessary support and help before they can find a job and earn a living in Lithuania. From the very first days, war refugees receive support – those who have no place to stay are provided with housing, food, hygiene products and psychological assistance. After receiving an individual decision that they are granted temporary protection in Lithuania, foreigners will acquire the right to cash social assistance, child benefits, receive a one-time accommodation allowance, social assistance pensions, and social services“, – says the Minister of social security and labour Monika Navickienė.
Who is entitled to the benefits in the initial stage of arrival in the country?
According to the Government resolution, from March 4, 2022, all Ukrainian war refugees will be granted collective temporary protection in Lithuania. Only foreigners who have come to our country and who have registered or have not yet registered with the Migration department have the right to work without a work permit or a decision on the compliance of a foreigner’s work with the labour market needs issued by the Employment service. They also have the right to work under a temporary employment contract, to be self-employed, to receive labour market services provided by the Employment service and employment support measures.
After starting to admit their children to educational institutions, war refugees can apply for social support for students studying in pre-school or general education programs. They are provided with free meals for pupils (free lunches are provided for pre-schoolers, first-graders and second-graders without income assessment) and assistance in purchasing school supplies at the beginning of the school year.
In the initial stage, before individual temporary status is granted, Ukrainian war refugees are also entitled to 3-day food rations. Depending on the situation of each foreigner, they are later given food cards or food packages, hygiene packages, child hygiene packages, assistance to the newborn and mother.
To ensure the minimum needs and livelihood of the Ukrainian people who have fled from the war in Lithuania, municipalities can provide social support to war refugees, such as a one-time, targeted, periodic, conditional benefit, as it is necessary for Ukrainians in difficult situations. However, this depends on the financial capacity of the particular municipality.
After completing the required length of social insurance, Ukrainian war refugees are entitled to sickness, maternity, paternity, childcare and other social security benefits. This applies to any stage of integration in our country.
Who are Ukrainians entitled to after receiving an individual decision on granting temporary protection in Lithuania?
Ukrainian refugees registered with the Migration department will receive an individual decision on granting temporary protection (temporary residence permit in the Republic of Lithuania for temporary protection) after the specialists have completed the necessary procedures. After receiving an individual decision that they are granted temporary protection in Lithuania, foreigners acquire the right to cash social assistance (social allowance, compensation for heating, drinking water and hot water), one-time accommodation allowance, compensation for part of the rental, social services, funeral allowance.
Those who come to Lithuania with minors acquire the right to child benefits and 6 months of compensation for pre-school education.
Depending on their individual situation, those with this status also become entitled to social assistance pensions, disability benefits, assistance, benefits and services for people with disabilities.
Ukrainian refugees with this status continue to have the right to work without a work permit or a decision on the compliance of a foreigner’s work with the labour market needs issued by the Employment service, to work on a temporary basis, to be self-employed, to receive labour market services and employment support measures provided by the Employment service.
If necessary, they retain the right to seek assistance from municipalities or non-governmental organizations.