With the publication in the Official Gazette of Law no. 46 of 01/04/2021, the Government is now called upon within 12 months of its entry into force – therefore by 20 April 2022 – to adopt the decrees necessary for the reorganization, simplification and strengthening of measures to support dependent children through the introduction of the “”Single and Universal Allowance”.
Although art. 1 of the measure does not state any specific starting date, it should be noted that the Government has repeatedly affirmed its intention to approve the implementing rules in time for the new single universal allowance to take effect from July 1, 2021.
The objective of the new measure, introduced by the Budget Law 2021 (Law 178/2020, art. 1, paragraphs 7-9) is to replace and absorb, when fully implemented, the current system of pulverized benefits in the system to protect the birth rate and families with children, also expanding it to a wider range of beneficiaries according to criteria of universality and progressiveness.
Scope of application
The allowance will be available to all families, including the self-employed. In particular, households with children will be eligible to receive the single allowance regardless of whether the parent is:
- a recipient of income support measures.
Conditions of entitlement
The applicant for the check must simultaneously meet the following conditions:
- be an Italian citizen or a citizen of a European Union Member State, or a family member, holder of the right of residence or the right of permanent residence, or be a citizen of a non-EU Member State in possession of an EU residence permit for long-term residents or a residence permit for work or research purposes of at least one year’s duration;
- be subject to the payment of income tax in Italy;
- be resident and domiciled with dependent children in Italy for the duration of the benefit;
- to have been or to be resident in Italy for at least two years, even if not continuous, or to have an open-ended or fixed-term employment contract of at least two years duration. Specific exceptions may be granted in the presence of proven needs related to particular cases and for defined periods, on the proposal of the territorial social and health services responsible for the protection of the birth, maternity, childhood and adolescence, subject to the approval of a national commission established ad hoc.
Measurement and calculation criteria
According to the guidelines of the delegated law , the allowance will be structured with a fixed quota for each dependent child and a variable quota based on the Isee of the family nucleus; the amount currently estimated varies from 200 to 250 Euros for each child by month.
In substance, the allowance will vary according to the number and age of children and according to the economic situation of the families, and will be recognized monthly for
- each unborn child as from the seventh month of pregnancy;
- each dependent minor child;
- each dependent adult child up to the age of 21, provided that he/she attends a school or vocational training course or a university degree course, carries out an apprenticeship or a limited work activity with a total income of less than a certain annual amount, is registered as unemployed and looking for work with a job centre or employment agency, and performs universal civil service;
- each disabled child, even after the age of 21, if he/she is still a dependent.
Increases are also provided for under certain conditions, such as:
- in the case of children subsequent to the second
- for mothers under the age of 21.
- for disabled children, the increase in allowance must be provided at a rate of no less than 30% and no more than 50% for each disabled child, respectively a minor or an adult and under 21 years of age, with the amount of the increase graduated according to the classification of the disability condition. Disabled children aged 21 or over who are still dependents are not entitled to any increase.
Methods of payment
- is paid as a tax credit or monthly cash payment.
- shall be divided equally between the parents or allocated to the person exercising parental responsibility.
- In the event of legal and actual separation or annulment, dissolution or cessation of the civil effects of marriage, the allowance shall be payable, in the absence of agreement, to the custodial parent. In the case of joint or shared custody, the allowance, in the absence of agreement, shall be divided equally between the parents.
The receipt of the allowance is fully compatible
- with the use of citizenship income. For the purpose of determining the total amount, the share of the economic benefit of the RdC attributable to the members of the household who are minors is possibly taken into account.
- with the benefit of any other cash measures in favour of dependent children provided by the regions, the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano and by local authorities.
- The amount received by way of single and universal allowance shall not be counted as income for the purposes of claiming and receiving subsidized social benefits, welfare treatments and other benefits and social benefits provided by other rules in favour of children with disabilities.
- Work grants aimed at including or bringing persons with disabilities into employment are not taken into account for the purposes of access to and calculation of the allowance.
The measures replaced by the allowance
The single allowance will replace six support measures. In particular they will be eliminated:
- the allowance for families with at least three minor children, a measure introduced in 1999, which provides for the allocation of a monthly amount to families with three dependent children under 18 years of age.
- the birth allowance, introduced by the 2015 Stability Law, recognised for each child adopted or born within the year considered and paid up to the first year of age or until the first year of adoption.
- the birth or adoption bonus, introduced by the 2017 Stability Law, which consists of a one-off contribution of €800, paid in a lump sum and due on the seventh month of pregnancy or at the time of adoption;
- the birth support fund, established by the 2017 Budget Law aimed at facilitating access to credit for families with one or more children up to three years old (or up to three years of adoption) through the issuance of guarantees to banks and intermediaries.
- IRPEF deductions for dependent children, as provided for by Article 12, paragraphs 1, letter c), and 1-bis, of the Consolidated Income Tax Law. On the other hand, deductions for dependent spouses and other dependent family members are not lost.
- household allowance
However, the following support measures are excluded:
- the Day Care Bonus,
- parental leave and related allowances,
- the Family Card (only activated in 2020) and the Family Policy Fund (whose resources are used both at central and local level)
We would like to point out that at the moment there are no clarifications about the competence of the payment of the allowance, in particular whether it should be advanced by the employer and whether, in this case, the employer will also be responsible for calculating the amount due to the employee.
We therefore reserve the right to carry out further investigations, as soon as the appropriate clarifications have been issued by the competent bodies.