Learn about the conditions necessary to access the Social Insertion Income, how this benefit works and the amount to be received in 2023.
THE Social Insertion Income (RSI) is one of the most popular social supports of the Portuguese State, although it is also frequently the target of some political controversies.
Recently, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security announced that it will increase the value of this support by 10.3%. This increase reaches beneficiaries’ pockets in Marchbut according to concierge already published in Diário da República, takes effect from January 1, 2023.
The attribution of this support, however, is subject to strict rules. The value is also not always the same. Thus, we have summarized everything you should know about the Social Insertion Income and how it works.
What is the Social Insertion Income (RSI)?
The Social Insertion Income is a monthly cash payment that Social Security assigns to citizens in extreme poverty, to ensure that they are able to meet their most basic needs.
Support is regulated by a program and insertion contract that confer certain obligations on beneficiaries. In addition to combating poverty, this program aims to protect citizens who are at proven risk of social exclusion, by establishing actions that promote their progressive reintegration into the community and into working life.
Who is entitled to the Social Insertion Income?
The allocation of the RSI depends on the fulfillment of one of the following conditions:
- If you live alone or alone: the sum of your monthly income cannot be equal to or greater than €209.11. This amount already reflects the increase announced by the Government, since, until now, this value was €189.66.
- If you live with family: the sum of the monthly income of all members of the household cannot be equal to or greater than the maximum RSI value, calculated according to the composition of the household.
Also, to access the provision of RSI, the value of the movable property (bank deposits, shares, bonds, Savings Certificates, participation certificates and participation units in collective investment institutions or other financial assets) cannot exceed €28,825.80 (60 times the value of the Social Support Index in 2023).
What is the value of the Social Insertion Income?
The value of the RSI essentially depends on the composition of the household and the respective income.
Let’s start with household composition. The maximum value of Social Insertion Income corresponds to the sum of the following values, for each element:
If the applicant lives alone and has no other income, the maximum support he can count on is 209.11 euros (100% of the RSI).
If you live with a spouse and a minor child, both without income, the calculation is as follows: 209.11 euros + 146.38 euros + 104.56 euros. In total, this family with two adults and one child can receive up to 460.05 euros a month.
It happens, however, that if the members of the household have their own income, the benefit paid by Social Security corresponds only to the difference between the RSI value and the family income.
The household income is calculated by adding:
- 80% of earnings from work, after deducting Social Security contributions;
- 100% of income from other categories.
This calculation is based on the yields obtained in the month prior to the submission of the application. If earnings are variable, the average of earnings for the three months immediately preceding the application is taken.
We return to the previous example:
If the sum of the household’s monthly income is 200 euros, then the family will only receive what is needed to complete the maximum value of the Social Insertion Income, that is, 260.05 euros (460.05 euros – 200 euros).
What income is considered?
To determine the household’s monthly income, Social Security counts the income from work (dependent and independent) of each member of the household.
In addition to these, capital income, property income, pensions (including maintenance allowances), social benefits (with the exception of benefits for family expenses, disability and third-party assistance), monthly allowance received in the exercise of activities are also considered. occupational benefits of social interest, rent subsidies or other public support for housing, on a regular basis.
What are the conditions for accessing the RSI?
In addition to earnings, there are a number of conditions necessary to receive the Social Insertion Income. Namely:
- Have legal residence in Portugal (regardless of nationality);
- Being in a situation of extreme poverty (assessed according to the income calculated for the household);
- Sign and respect the insertion contract (which implies, among other things, being available for work or training);
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- If you are under 18 and have an income greater than 70% of the RSI (€146.38) you can also benefit from the RSI if:
- Are pregnant;
- Are married or in a de facto relationship for more than two years;
- Have under their care minors or people with disabilities whose income does not exceed 70% of the RSI (€146.38).
- Be registered with the Employment Centre;
- Authorize Social Security to access all personal information necessary to assess the socio-economic situation of the household to which it belongs;
- If you became unemployed on your own initiative (without just cause), you can only request the RSI benefit one year after the date you became unemployed;
- Not being in prison (even if on remand). However, you can request the RSI within 45 days prior to the scheduled release date;
- Not be “institutionalized in facilities financed by the State, unless it is temporarily accommodated in social responses of a temporary nature with a defined personal insertion plan or in situations of hospitalization in therapeutic communities or in hospitalization units of the national network of integrated continuous care” ( however, it is possible to request the RSI within 45 days prior to the date of medical discharge);
- Not benefiting from specific support from the status of asylum or refugee.
How to claim the Social Insertion Income?
The request for the RSI must be made at a Social Security call centre. The applicant can order all the forms on the spot or collect them on the Social Security website and bring them duly completed.
To formalize the request, the following forms are required:
- RSI 1 – DGSS – Social Insertion Income Application/Initial Application/Renewal Application;
- RSI 1/1 – DGSS – Social Insertion Income Application – Continuation sheet;
- RSI 1/2 – DGSS – Social Insertion Income Application – Information and filling instructions;
- RV 1017 – DGSS – Identification of individuals covered by the citizenship social protection system;
- RV 1017/1 – DGSS – Identification of natural persons covered by the citizenship social protection system – Continuation sheet;
- RSI 28 – DGSS – Declaration of amendments – Social Insertion Income;
- RSI 28/2 – DGSS – Declaration of amendments – Social Insertion Income – Information and instructions for completion.
In addition to the forms, it will be necessary to submit to Social Security:
- Valid identification document of the person making the request and of the other members of the household (citizen card or identity card, civil registry certificate, birth certificate, passport);
- Taxpayer card of the person making the application and the other members of the household (in case they do not have a Citizen Card);
- Photocopies of receipts for remuneration effectively earned (salaries) in the previous month, in the case of regular income;
- Photocopies of the receipts proving the remuneration actually earned in the three months prior to the submission of the application, in the case of variable income;
- Photocopies of the following documents proving legal residence in Portugal, issued by the competent authority:
- Citizens belonging to the European Union, European Economic Area and third countries that have an agreement on the free movement of people in the European Union: Certificate of registration of the right of residence issued by the City Council of the area of residence of the interested party;
- Citizens of other countries – Citizens of other countries: Temporary stay visa, residence visa, temporary residence permit and permanent residence permit, which allow for an assessment of the duration of residence for at least 1 year;
- Citizens with refugee status – residence permit with title type “Refugee”.
Please note that some additional documents may also be required:
- Proof of attendance at an education or vocational training establishment, if you are over 16 and are studying or undergoing professional training (in order to prove exemption from registration at the employment service) – Note: Young people who are receiving family allowance from Social Security are exempt from presenting it.
- Declaration issued by the IEFP, attesting that the beneficiary does not meet the conditions for work;
- Proof of disability (in case the disabled person belongs to a household where the holder is under 18 years of age);
- Medical certificate proving the pregnancy (in case of minors under 18);
- Certificate of temporary incapacity for work, which proves the waiver of active availability for work or that they are providing indispensable support to members of their household;
- Photocopy of the IRS declaration for the calendar year prior to the application in cases where you are not exempt from presenting it and whenever the services of the competent management entity do not have this information;
- Multipurpose certificate;
- Other documents that may be requested by the management entity.
How is it paid and how long do you receive the RSI?
The holder receives the RSI by 12 month periodwhich can be renewed, provided that the award conditions are maintained.
The Social Insertion Income can be combined with other supports, although not all. Social Security accepts that the beneficiaries of this support are also beneficiaries of:
What obligations is the RSI beneficiary subject to?
Any citizen who receives the Social Insertion Income must, first of all, sign a contract with the State. This contract requires, among other things, that the citizen remain available for work and training.
This means that anyone who receives the RSI can be called, at any time, to go to the Employment Center and cannot refuse the offers made to him, with some exceptions.
In addition to respecting the insertion contract, the beneficiary of the Social Insertion Income undertakes to inform Social Security if any of the conditions that made him/her eligible change. This happens, for example, when the beneficiary takes up a job, when his or her family’s income changes, or when the composition of the household in which he belongs has changed.
Failure to inform Social Security about changes to the conditions for granting the RSI may lead to the suspension of support and the obligation to return unduly paid benefits.
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in January 2023.