From Saturday, the single universal child benefit (L’assegno unico e universale) is open for applications and will be distributed from March 1st 2022.
The measure forms part of Italy’s overall Budget Law 2022, which has established tax and pension reforms as well as extended some tax breaks for home renovations and help with buying a first home.
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The new single allowance replaces a raft of other so-called ‘baby bonuses‘, unifying a series of measures to support families – hence the term ‘unico‘. It’s also called ‘universal’ because it is granted to all families with dependent children resident in Italy.
Scrapped bonuses include the bonus for birth or adoption (Bonus mamma domani), the allowance for families with at least three minor children, family allowances for families with children and orphans, the birth allowance (Bonus bebè) and tax deductions for children up to 21 years of age.
However, the bonus that aids kindergarten costs, Bonus asilo, remains in force.
Those eligible to apply are all categories of employees (both public and private), the self-employed, pensioners, unemployed and the unemployable.
The move will provide a monthly benefit to those who have children, from the seventh month of pregnancy until the child reaches the age of 21.
What a family receives is based on household income, according to the socio-economic indicator the government uses to calculate benefits, known as ISEE.
Approved in November by Italy’s government cabinet, the Council of Ministers, the single and universal child allowance varies depending on the ISEE and the age of the children, except for disabled children for whom there is no age limit.
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The benefit ranges from €175 to €50 per month for each child under 18.
The universal single allowance forms part of the country’s wider strategy, its so-called Family Act, which is intended to help make starting a family in the country a more affordable and realistic prospect.
It was approved for 2022 as part of a broad package of financial measures in the Budget Law, including funds for managing the continuing Covid-19 health emergency, resources to help tackle high household bills and relief for areas hit by last summer’s wildfire damage.
For more information and to apply for the single universal allowance, check the dedicated section of Italy’s social security and welfare site, ‘INPS’, here.