Czech Benefits for Survivors

Benefits Available to Holocaust Survivors Under the Czech Republic Social Security Administration

The Claims Conference wishes to inform Holocaust survivors who were Czech Republic citizens and were persecuted on a racial and religious basis during World War II, including victims of Nazi persecution, that they may be eligible receive either an additional allowance to an existing pension or, if not receiving a pension, a lump sum payment from the Czech government.

Holocaust Czech Republic

The Jews of Pilsen, including the Rosenbaum family, at the gathering point near the Radbuza River, pending their deportation to the Theresienstadt ghetto
Pilsen, January 18-26, 1942 Photo: Yad Vashem

The Czech Social Security Administration is the Czech government body that administers the payments. The office’s website has information about the payment program. In particular, the office has posted information for applicants from abroad, including the required application form. Please note, the English version of the CSSZ website does not contain the links to the information necessary for a Holocaust survivor to apply for this payment. If you do not speak Czech, please use the links below to navigate in the CSSZ Czech website.

BACKGROUND

Under the Czech Republic’s pension insurance system, people born in the Czech Republic who were persecuted on a racial and religious basis during World War II, including victims of Nazi persecution, might be eligible to receive either an additional allowance to an existing pension or, if not receiving a pension, a lump sum payment from the Czech government. In some cases, orphans and heirs may be able to receive payment. The payment amount ranges from $6,000 to nearly $40,000 depending on the particular applicant’s family history. The payment is not based on income and there is no deadline to apply.

In order to be eligible for the one-time payment, a claimant must have:

(1) Valid Czech citizenship confirmed by either a Certificate of Czech citizenship or by a Czech passport; Czech survivors living abroad who wish to apply for these benefits must first apply for a return or reinstatement of their citizenship;

(2) Never received any retirement pension from the Czech Social Security Office; and

(3) A Certificate of Participant in a National struggle for freedom as a political prisoner from the Czech Ministry of Defense.

In addition to the application form, applicants living outside of the Czech Republic are required to complete the following forms:

  • The Application to Ministry of Defense Requesting a Political Prisoner Certificate (Žádost o vydání osvědčení podle § 8 odst. 2 zákona č. 2551946 Sb)
  • Citizenship Questionnaire (Obcanstvi zjistovaci dotaznik)
  • Statement of Citizenship (Prohlaseni o statnim obcantsvi)
  • Declaration regarding the right to use his name and surname (prohlaseni o opravneni uzivat svejmeno a prijmeni)

All application forms are in Czech.

Please note:

  • Holocaust survivors who were born in the area that is currently the Slovak Republic and the Sub-Carpathian region are not eligible for the return of Czech citizenship.
  • These benefits may not be inherited if the person who applied and was approved passed away

APPLICATION MATERIALS AND RESOURCES

Further explanation about eligibility and the application process can be found here.

Application form can be downloaded from the Czech Social Security Administration (CSSZ) website here.

The Claims Conference is not involved in the implementation, administration or application processing of these Czech Social Security payments. The information given here is merely information of a general nature. It does not constitute legal advice and is not legally binding. It is only a summary of certain points and not a concrete and complete opinion on the programs and regulations of the competent authorities and governments. This information may also not meet the specific needs, interests or circumstances of individual applicants. The individual relationships are different and the applicants should seek individual advice.  The Claims Conference provides information of a general nature to the individual relief and support organizations; however, each facility is responsible for the information it shares. The information above has been reproduced to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing; however, it may change at any time.