In case of a family member’s death on Polish territory while fleeing the war in Ukraine, is a family entitled to any social welfare allowance or do they have to bear the full cost of the funeral?

Funeral allowance is a type of benefit specified in the Act on Pensions from the Social Insurance Fund. Pursuant to this Act, a person covered by the social insurance and a remaining family members of that person are entitled to benefits specified in the Act.

The Act of 12 March 2022 on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in Connection with the Armed Conflict does not provide for social insurance coverage for Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland on or after February 24, 2022.

Therefore, if a foreigner was not subject to social insurance, for example due to work, there is no entitlement to this benefit.

However, according to Art. 29 sec. 1 of the Act on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in Connection with an Armed Conflict in the Territory of that State, a citizen of Ukraine residing on the territory of the Republic of Poland, whose stay in the territory of Poland is considered legal and who is entered in the PESEL register, may be granted cash and non-cash benefits in accordance with the Social Assistance Act. Pursuant to this Act, a person or a family who suffered losses as a result of a mishap, natural or ecological disaster may be awarded a specific benefit. The death of a family member falls under the category of a mishap, so it is possible to apply for a specific allowance to cover the costs of the funeral.