Answer The prime minister gets numerous letters from citizens, and a fair amount are requests for financial assistance for various purposes. Neither the prime minister nor the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic have any financial resources or funds earmarked for these purposes, and therefore cannot meet requests of this character. As of 1 January 2007, changes in legal regulations in social areas have responded to citizens in difficult social situations. Citizens have the possibility of applying for three new benefits in situations of material need. These are subsistence contributions which replace social assistance benefits tied to social need. There is also an additional housing payment, which, together with the housing contribution from the state social support system, deals with assistance in paying costs connected with housing, and for extraordinary immediate assistance, in reaction to certain specific situations for citizens in material need connected to a lack of financial resources. The applicant's income and overall social and asset situation are taken into consideration on the amount of benefits mentioned, as well as the circle of people assessed along with the applicant. We recommend that you contact the city hall in the place of your residence, where trained personnel can provide more detailed information on the social security system. Further information on the assistance system in material need can be found on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs website at