O que fazer se a Segurança Social pedir a devolução de um subsídio?

What to do if Social Security demands the return of a grant?

The alert comes from DECO PROteste, which explains: if Social Security (SS) asks for the return of a subsidy, you can request the repayment in installments, and if you earn the minimum wage, you don't even have to repay. Understand better, next.

31 Jan 20244 min

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If you need to save immediately, Savings in a Minute provides a free service to help you lower loan and insurance installments: Contact us. But let's better understand DECO's warning.

SS asked me to return a grant, and now?  

If Social Security notifies you to repay an overpayment of a subsidy, learn what to do.  

According to DECO PROteste, quoted by Notícias ao Minuto, this is not such an uncommon process: Social Security mistakenly pays a subsidy and then asks the beneficiary to return it, catching them off guard.

The consumer defense organization, cited by Notícias ao Minuto, explains: "It all starts with a written notification to return the money that may have been paid improperly as a social benefit. For example, unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, maternity benefit, among others. As a rule, the beneficiary is given 30 days to return the amount in question."

So, what to do if you find yourself in this situation? "Carefully check what the amount corresponds to and confirm if you actually received it. Check your bank statements and see if the money has been credited to your account. You can also request this information directly from Social Security," advises DECO.  

Next, "if it effectively has to return the money, there are two options: pay what is due or see the amount deducted from other social benefits you may receive from the Social Security". If you choose the first option, "you can pay the full amount or request payment in installments for up to 150 months," it details.

"However, as of February 2, new rules come into effect that determine that you only have to return improperly paid benefits if your monthly income is higher than the national minimum wage (820 euros, in 2024). Those who receive a salary equal to or lower than the national minimum wage will no longer be contacted by Social Security to return the money. In cases where the beneficiary is already repaying, in installments, an amount improperly paid by Social Security, and has a monthly income equal to or lower than the national minimum wage, the payment plan is suspended," DECO also guarantees.

In the case of the second option, "he must be guaranteed to receive, at least, the equivalent of the Indexing of Social Support (IAS) - 509.26 euros in 2024 - when receiving a benefit that corresponds to a compensation for the loss of labor income (pensions, parental allowance, sickness benefit, or unemployment benefit, for example)".  

Considering that "in other types of benefits, you must receive at least the equivalent to the value of the social pension: 237.25 euros in 2024. These rules also change from February 2nd. If you are receiving, for example, unemployment benefits, the compensation cannot exceed one third of the total amount of unemployment benefits received. If the unemployment benefit is equal to or less than the national minimum wage, you are exempt from returning the improperly paid amounts".

Finally, DECO PROteste concludes that "in the case of other benefits or social supports, other than unemployment benefit, from February 2, the limit for reimbursement becomes the value of the social support index. This means that if the beneficiary is entitled to receive, for example, a funeral subsidy, the repayment of amounts incorrectly paid by Social Security through that subsidy will only proceed if it is ensured that the beneficiary receives, at least, an amount equal to the IAS."

Note that, as the organization warns, these "rules do not apply if the beneficiary has received support improperly for providing false statements to Social Security."

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