Convenience that Counts.
When glowing, yet tired first-time parents Karl and Maria had already spent two weeks at home with their three newborn babies, the time was ready for the them to apply for the state provided maternity and paternity benefits, ensured under the Estonian law. Maria and Karl had already moved to the countryside more than a year ago and were now taking full pleasure in living in a smaller community, away from the big city hassle. A considerable distance from a bigger city means more privacy and romantic seclusion but in turn, makes one more isolated from the bigger institutions, including government offices.
Whilst their two baby boys and sweet baby girl were sleeping during a walk that afternoon, the relieved and smiling parents grabbed their iPad and were ready to put names to their children and apply for the state-provided benefits. Using Mobile ID, Karl and Maria logged onto the State Portaland were ready to officially name their newborns. Young parents hvave chosen original names for Estonia and new citizens Robert, Martin and Lily became registered in a few minutes. After having chosen the link to the state benefits, filled in the necessary fields on the given form and added their digital signatures to finish the process before their lucky triplet was about to wake. Being citizens of the capital, they now also took the time to apply for the one-time childbirth allowance for the citizens of Tallinn. Lucky parents have spared their time for unpleasant bureaucracy and now had more time to spend with their beloved children at home.
Yes, instead of driving to the city and figuring out how to collect and submit the necessary documents within one day without stressing their newborn sons and daughter the application process took around 20 minutes and saved hours, if not days, of precious time. Instead of paying a visit to the Insurance Fund, sitting down at the Ministry of Social Affairs and filling additional forms in other necessary agencies all across town, the X-Road system collects all the relevant data itself, including data from the hospital database, where the baby was born, and suggests additional steps to be taken in the process. One can also send a name query for the name wished to be given to the child and get an answer from the statistics official explaining the suitability of the choice. This way, Estonia’s e-infrastructure allows parents to spend their first weeks at home without any extra stress and also provides them with a certainty and peace of mind, knowing that the benefits are on their way.
Those precious first weeks young parents can spend with their children without worrying about setting up various appointments in government agencies give them the blessed possibility to focus on the most important part of their lives. For the parents, it means ultimate comfort, reduced stress and added security. For the state, it means less paperwork through-out its many offices on the related field. All in all, it’s convenience that counts.