The second part of REGI training program for social work professionals hosted three guests from Foreign Benefits Department of Social Insurance Board. Experts Merle Trufanova and Ene Tiitsaar and Advisor Kadri Tomingas explained the principles of social insurance coordination and benefit payment rules based on the examples of cases in Finland.
Merle Trufanova: “My area of expertise is determining the country of insurance for people who work in other European Union countries or elsewhere. Therefore we are very closely connected to the families where one of the family members is working abroad and we see their problems daily. People who move to another country or start working abroad should always learn what their rights but also obligations are arising from this change. I also encourage social workers to advise people to turn to institutions where people can get relevant assistance. Social Insurance Board is certainly one of such institutions in Estonia where you can get help regarding family benefits or pensions.”
Ene Tiitsaar gave a closer overview of the rules of family benefits in European Union and also informed of what is necessary to know when you start working abroad. Kadri Tomingas explained why it is important to be aware of determination of insurance country, and defining and paying procedures of cross-border family benefits and pensions. „More and more families are divided between several European Union countries because of their jobs. Moreover, our pensioners have become more mobile and therefore the topic is very much of current interest. Thus it is extremely important for people and social work professionals to know their rights and obligations. It is important that people get the benefits and subsidies that they are entitled to either here in Estonia or in any other country where they have worked or lived earlier“.
The feedback from the social work professionals participating in the training was very positive. The specialists agreed that the topic handled during the day helps them to understand the social insurance issues even more profoundly. Practical examples offered during the training were appreciated by the participants. „Cross-border cases are becoming more and more common and it is important to know the differences of subsidies and benefit payment systems in Finland and Estonia“, one of the professionals said when summarizing the training day.