Government crackdown on social security fraud

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT fraud is being actively tackled by the government, thanks to new legislation.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the social security office in Monchique last week, the Minister for Employment and Social Security, Vieira da Silva, said the government was well aware that there are people in Portugal who work and claim unemployment benefits, but the new system network and legislation will make the detection of these fraudulent cases easier.

New legislation that comes into effect this month will mean greater austerity in granting unemployment benefits and will also crack down on fraudulent claims.

Since March, the social security database has had access to employment databases to cross reference names in both systems to detect whether people are still working while claiming they are not. At least 5,000 people have already been caught and with the new laws, punishments will be harsh.

He said that he hoped to encourage the many people, who are entitled to receive benefits, but are unaware of their right to claim.

Vieira da Silva remained in the Algarve for three days, with meetings with the Área Metropolitana do Algarve (AMAL), the entity that represents the interests of the 16 câmaras of the Algarve, to discuss social security and employment matters.