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Social security payouts sky-rocket due to the crisis

In just six months the number of people signing on to the Government’s supplementary benefit, the Social Insertion Fund, has shot up by 10,718, costing the State €280.9 million.

More and more Portuguese are relying on the Rendimento Social de Inserção (RSI) because of the crisis – from February to July the number of applicants for the fund soared to 60 people a day.

According to data from the Ministry of Social Security & Welfare (Ministério da Solidariedade e Segurança Social), 327,506 were receiving the RSI benefits in Portugal in February.

In July that figure had climbed by 10,718 to 327,506 claiming the benefit – even more impressive considering that the Government has already tightened up the rules on who can apply for this emergency social payment.

Between January and August the State spent €280.9 million on RSI payments according to data from the Directorate-General for the Budget, €91.3 million less than in the same period last year because despite an increase in applicants the number actually getting it or the quantities awarded have fallen.

In June the average amount of the RSI social security subsidy paid by the State stood at €89.8 per beneficiary while the average paid out per family was at €243, with a registered total of 121,729 families getting the benefit.

Porto tops the ranking in terms of urban areas with the most signing up to the RSI (104,000 people). Lisbon is in second place with 63,000 beneficiaries.

The majority of families receiving RSI do not officially have other sources of income (31,412 families) while 18,634 families have monthly incomes below €50.