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Big Social Security Clamp Down In Portugal

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I wont forecast chaos & injustice; at least not yet, but it is almost inevitable.

NB: the value of your house now matters over here

The cash-strapped Government has this week declared war on benefit abusers as it looks to save millions of euros in payments to citizens who are better off than they would have authorities believe.

Letters should start arriving in post boxes across the country from Monday next week, with the authorities gearing up to receive evidence from September 10th.

Any citizens, including foreign residents in Portugal, who receive social welfare such as unemployment, family support and RSI (Social Reinsertion) benefits, are eligible for the check.

In an interview with Lusa News Agency, Portugal’s State Secretary for Social Welfare, Pedro Marques, explained that the nationwide re-evaluation of the system and handouts was introduced on August 10th and will require main beneficiaries to update the status of their family units, as well as provide proof of their income and assets.

“It is a very big effort. There will be well over one million families who are contacted and who are going to have to provide proof of income, which is essential to guarantee thoroughness when attributing benefits”, he explained.

According to Mr. Marques, to achieve the “unprecedented effort” Social Welfare Services have adopted contingency plans for manning phones and customer service desks. IT systems have also been reinforced and specific training for the initiative has been given.

An online tool has been created for proof-submitting and will be operational during the period from September 10th to December 31st.

Beneficiaries who receive the letter will have to provide evidence that family real estate does not exceed €100,000, amongst other requisites, in accordance with new rules that were introduced at the beginning of this month. (I'm not sure how this one works, but wouldn't it be fun in Britain? :) )

To prove the value of assets, beneficiaries will be offered two choices: to allow social services to consult information from their respective financial institutions, or submit copies of up-to-date bank statements on the day specified to provide proof.

Interest payments found in bank accounts will be confirmed at a later date after cross-checking information from the Ministry of Finance.

Pedro Marques stressed: “As a rule we will trust beneficiaries’ statements, but we must have mechanisms for our inspections”.

In light of the new rules, as well as salaries, other sources of family income will also be scrutinised, such as pensions, social welfare, housing welfare, and scholarships.

A main measuring stick to continue receiving benefits is that they must not have more than €100,000 in their bank account.

The definition of a ‘family unit’ is also altered under the new legislation, and now takes into account all people who live with the beneficiary, including “direct and extended family” up to the third generation.

With the introduction of the new law Social Welfare Services also cancelled Social Reinsertion Support (RSI) being provided to unemployed individuals aged between 18 and 55 who refuse “suitable jobs”, “socially necessary” work, or offers of training.

There are currently more than 24,250 foreigners receiving unemployment benefits.

It has also since been calculated that, in terms of RSI, the new rules have allowed Segurança Social to make savings in the region of €10 million this month alone.

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I wont forecast chaos & injustice; at least not yet, but it is almost inevitable.

NB: the value of your house now matters over here

When you claim for JSA over here, they want to know about the amount of savings you have...You need to declare any savings over £5,500 (with bank statements), mortgage repayments, rent you receive from lodgers, any property owned, etc, etc..

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  • 441 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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