Social protection in Estonia is regulated by general legislation: Employment Contracts Act (2008), State Pension Insurance Act (2001), Health Insurance Act (2002), Unemployment Insurance Act (2001) and Labour Market Services and Benefits Act (2005).
There is no special system for freelance artists to have separate access to the social security system. Many artists work in other fields connected with their art field: education, cultural administrations, media etc.
The Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act was adopted in 2004. The aim of the law is to provide support to creative persons who do not receive regular income. A freelance creative person, who is a member of one of the recognised artistic associations and fulfils the conditions laid down in the Creative Persons and Creatives Associations Act, is entitled to receive support for six months through the artistic association. The amount of this support is the national minimum wage established by the Government of the Republic and the recipient is also guaranteed health insurance. To be eligible for funding, a freelance creative person must apply to their creative union. In case the creative person belongs to several artistic association and has not applied for support from only one association, the application must be submitted to all creative unions of which he or she is a member.
A freelance creative person, who does not belong to a recognised artistic association, but who meets the conditions specified in Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act is eligible to apply for creative support to the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture forwards the application of the creative person to the creative association representing the respective creative field, which evaluates the compliance of the creative person with the requirements of the Creative Persons and Creative Associations Act and decides on granting the support (see also chapter 2.3).
Dancers and circus artists are entitled to apply for the superannuated pension, regardless of age, when one has worked for at least twenty years at the National Opera, national, municipal or private theatre or a theatre operating as a foundation.
Vocalists or chorus singers and soloists, brass players and puppeteers are entitled to the superannuated pension, when one has worked for at least twenty-five years at a national, municipal or private theatre, a theatre operating as a foundation or at the National Opera.