The postman checks whether all the children are numbered

The Ministry claims that "there is no other mechanism for controlling whether persons exercising rights to material benefits reside at the registered address."

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Children's allowance exclusively through the Post of Montenegro (illustration), Photo: Luka Zekovic
Children's allowance exclusively through the Post of Montenegro (illustration), Photo: Luka Zekovic
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

As of yesterday, parents or guardians can submit an application for exercising the right to child benefit to social work centers, and as previously announced by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, this benefit will be paid exclusively through the Post Office of Montenegro, to the address of the child's residence.

Such a method, say the Parents Association, is absolutely unacceptable in the 21st century, especially bearing in mind that until now children had the right to child allowance until they reached the age of six, and that their parents or guardians could choose the method of payment - on bank account or by mail.

Ministry: Mechanism of control

The Ministry claims that the payment of child allowance "should be made exclusively through the Post Office of Montenegro, since there is no other mechanism to control whether persons exercising rights to material benefits reside at the registered address in Montenegro".

"That mechanism of control or prevention of abuses does not only apply to child allowance, but to all rights from social and child protection, and in that case the right to child allowance cannot be an exception. Rights from social and child protection are exercised by citizens of Montenegro if they live in the territory of Montenegro. A possible payment through banks would open up the possibility for Montenegrin citizens who do not live in the territory of Montenegro to exercise their right to child allowance, where, in accordance with the Law on Social and Child Protection, centers for social work do not have jurisdiction in procedures for exercising rights in the field of social and child welfare. of protection", according to the Ministry.

They also claim that the Law on Residence and Residence Registers from 2015 does not prescribe the obligation of citizens of Montenegro to register their residence when going to work abroad, compared to the previous legal solution, which was in force during the enactment of the Law on Social and Child Protection in 2013. which established the obligation to deregister residence.

"For the reasons stated, there is no longer any possibility of controlling the place of residence and determining whether the beneficiary of rights from social and child protection is located, that is, lives in the territory outside of Montenegro," state the Department of Labor and Social Welfare.

Mihailović: No seriously, until now, parents had the option of receiving an allowance through the bank

Director of the non-governmental organization Parents Association Kristina Mihailović says that it is completely unacceptable that child allowance is paid exclusively through the Post Office.

She said that "this kind of frivolity has not been seen for a long time, given that we knew in December that we should prepare for the implementation of the amended Law on Social and Child Protection".

Mihailović also asked if this means that parents of children up to the age of six will have their right to receive child benefit through a bank account "because it was possible for them until now".

She also asked what the proof of residence was for, as well as the fact that the centers are networked with the bases of the Ministry of the Interior.

"If the postman returns the money, because he didn't find anyone at the address, the parent has to go to the marked branch, wait in lines, spend his time and resources. Thus, among other things, additional costs are incurred for the parents", stressed Mihailović in a statement for "Vijesti".

She also pointed out that, if it is about commission costs at the banks, then an adequate analysis should have been made beforehand.

"Which would show how much the commission would be for the banks, and how much it would be for the Post Office of Montenegro, so let's see how it can be resolved," Mihailović points out.

We learned nothing from the last application cycle

According to her, the registration system could have been different.

"Instead of having learned something compared to the last application cycle, that we managed to create an online application, we are forcing parents to wait in lines in these temperatures in order to register their children for the supplement," says Mihailović, emphasizing that parents have only learned yesterday how the application system will work.

"Let's say, at the door of the largest center for social work in the country, in Podgorica, instructions for applying appeared yesterday afternoon. "Parents learned yesterday that they can register at two facilities of the center in Podgorica... Not all centers treated parents in the same way, so there were bright examples like the Danilovgrad center, which published the registration schedule on its website last week," she said. Mihailović.

"In addition to the fact that we have already been through this, it is completely illogical that we do not take at least one step forward, on the contrary, we are unnecessarily complicating things," she concluded.

The Ministry says that work with breaks is organized from municipality to municipality, "since not all centers are equally burdened by the expected number of requests".

"According to the instructions of the Ministry, each center for social work announced individually through the local media about the deadline for receiving requests," said the department.

They also add that they will work on the development of an option for online submission of requests for exercising social and child protection rights.

"In order for the citizen's application to be legally 'correct' in terms of the protection of personal data and the Law on Administrative Procedure (which was also confirmed in consultation with the competent inspection), the prerequisite for online application is that it be carried out through the citizen's personal digital certificate, and for which also requires a digital certificate reader provided by the citizen...", specified the Ministry.

You can apply for child allowance until September 30. Applications can be submitted after that deadline, but the right "to the allowance will be recognized from the following month in relation to the month when you applied". Children up to the age of 30 are entitled to an allowance in the amount of 18 euros.

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