Decree Law No. 126-A/2017
- Issuer: Work, Solidarity and Social Security
- Diploma Type: Decree Law
- Number: 126-A/2017
- Pages: 5600-(2) a 5600-(14)
Summary in plain english
This decree-law creates the Social Benefit for Inclusion, a benefit for people with a degree of disability of 60% or more.What will change?
The Social Benefit for Inclusion replaces a set of social benefits and is made up of these components:
- a base amount
- a supplement
- a top-up.
The reference values for each component will be set by the Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security and the Minister of Finance, and will serve as the basis for calculating the amount of the benefit to receive.Base amount
The base amount compensates disability related expenses. It replaces the monthly life annuity, the social disability pension and the disability pension for agricultural workers transitional schemes.
Only the disabled person’s income will be taken into account when determining the base amount.
To calculate the base amount, the following may be taken into account:
- salary and other professional or business income
- capital income (interest or stock dividends)
- property income (rent from land or housing)
- the amount of social benefits due to illness, unemployment, maternity, paternity and adoption.
For persons with a degree of disability of 80% or more, the value of the base amount does not depend on their income, unless the income is a result of social supplements from disability or old age pensions.Supplement
A supplement may be granted if a person with a disability does not have enough financial resources. It is a tool to fight poverty suffered by people with disabilities.
To calculate the amount of the supplement, the household income of the person with a disability will be taken into account.
The household is made up of the people who live with the disabled person and are their:
- husband, wife or people who have been living in a registered partnership for more than 2 years
- parents and in-laws, stepparents
- daughters, sons, stepdaughters, stepsons, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law
- sisters, brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, as long as they are underage
- underage relatives
- adopters, guardians and people to whom any member of the household has been legally entrusted.
Supplements will only be granted to people who:
- do not live in a State funded institution
- are not in a foster family
- are not in jail.
A top-up will compensate for additional specific expenses a person has due to their disability. It will replace the different benefits that used to compensate for additional specific expenses.
The rules for granting this component will be defined in another law.Certain benefits will end
The following benefits will end:
- social disability pension
- disability pension of transitional schemes for agricultural workers
- monthly life annuity.
The Social Benefit for Inclusion will automatically replace the social disability pension and the disability pension of transitional schemes for agricultural workers in January 2018.
The Social Benefit for Inclusion will automatically replace the monthly life annuity for social security beneficiaries in October 2017. Beneficiaries of the convergent social protection scheme (who receive this benefit through another protection scheme) can apply for a replacement up until 2023.
The amount of the Social Benefit for Inclusion will be taken into account for the calculation of the Social Integration Income (RSI - rendimento social de inserção).The Social Benefit for Inclusion will be implemented in phases
- In phase one the benefit will be granted to people of working age through the base amount.
- In phase two the protection of people with disabilities with fewer economic resources will be improved using the supplement.
- In phase three the top-up and the protection of children and young people with disabilities under the age of 18 will be implemented.
For now, people with disabilities who meet all of the following requirements may request the Social Benefit for Inclusion:
- over 18 years old
- below the normal retirement age (under 66 years and 3 months old in 2017)
- have a medical certificate of multiple disabilities with a degree of disability of 60% or more, applied for or obtained before the age of 55
- legally resident in Portugal.
These people can be:
- citizens without a defined nationality.
The Social Benefit for Inclusion can be combined with other income and benefits.
For example, the Social Benefit for Inclusion can be combined with:
- social security pensions and the convergent scheme
- pensions of foreign social protection schemes
- widow's pensions
- child benefit
- prenatal child benefit
- benefits granted to those attending a special education school
- benefit granted to those who need help with basic daily needs (dependent person’s supplement)
- social integration income (RSI - rendimento social de inserção)
- unemployment benefit
- parental benefit
- compensation and pensions for work accidents and occupational disease
- compensation for civil liability of another person.
The convergent scheme guarantees civil servants a scheme of social protection similar to social security. The beneficiaries of that scheme must request the Social Benefit for Inclusion at Social Security Direct (Segurança Social Direta) or at a Social Security Service.
Social protection schemes, such as social security and the convergent scheme, are systems where workers make contributions when they work and receive assistance when they cannot work for health reasons or because they are too old.There will be criteria to certify a disability in order to claim benefit
A disability is considered to be the loss or irregularity of bodily functions or structures (including mental health issues causing specific difficulties. In combination with environmental factors, they limit or hinder a person’s activity and participation in society on an equal basis.
In order to be entitled to the Social Benefit for Inclusion, the disability must be associated with a degree of disability of 60% or more, demonstrated with a medical certificate of multiple disabilities issued by a medical board of a public health service.Benefit duration
The benefit starts from the beginning of the month the application is filed with all the documents that Social Security needs to analyse the process.
The benefit will be paid as long as the conditions continue to apply. These conditions have to be re-evaluated every 12 months, which means the benefit can:
- be suspended
The benefit is also re-evaluated whenever there are changes in:
- the household
- the household income
- the degree of disability of the person who requested the benefit
- the base amounts of the benefit components.
The beneficiary must inform Social Security within 10 working days whenever there are changes in the circumstances that were assessed to grant the benefit and calculate its amount. For example, if there are changes in the household incomes or in the degree of disability.Benefit suspension
The benefit’s basic component may be suspended if:
- the medical certificate of multiple disabilities expires and the person fails to provide proof that they have applied for a disability reassessment (or failed to do so due to illness)
- the person no longer lives in Portugal, if they are Portuguese; no longer has legal residence in Portugal, if they are not Portuguese
- the person is out of the country for more than 30 days a year not for health, study or professional training reasons
- the person with a degree of disability of less than 80% does not provide the income information requested
- the person fails to provide the necessary documents to prove that they still meet the conditions to receive the benefit.
The supplement can be suspended if:
- the base amount is suspended
- the person does not deliver the necessary documents to prove that they still meet the conditions to receive the benefit
- the person is arrested
- the person is living in a State funded institution or with a foster family.
A suspended benefit may be resumed, at the request of the beneficiary or by initiative of the social security services, as long as the person regains the conditions to receive the benefit.Benefit cancellation
A person will lose the right to the base component and to the supplement if:
- the person no longer meets the conditions to receive the benefit
- the degree of disability reduces to below 60%, or 80% if they receive a disability pension
- the benefit has been suspended for 6 months and the reason for the suspension continues
- the person no longer wants to receive the benefit
- the person dies.
Anyone who gives false information or omits information necessary to assess the request for benefit and, as a result, receives a benefit to which they would not be entitled, may have to pay a fine between 100 euros and 2,494 euros.What are its benefits?
This decree-law is intended to simplify, modernize and make social benefits for people with disabilities more effective, in order to:
- improve their social protection
- fight poverty suffered by people with disabilities
- encourage the participation of people with disabilities in society and at work
- contribute to their autonomy.
This decree-law comes into effect the day after it is published but the changes it introduces take place on 1 October 2017.
The rules on the supplement come into effect on 1 October 2018.
The rules relating to the solidarity supplement for the elderly come into effect on 1 October 2018.
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