Social Security Benefits

Understand the cover and entitlements of the Brazilian social welfare system...

An individual who contributes to the Social Welfare Fund may receive payments of social security benefits for the following, depending on their personal situation:

Maternity Benefits (Salário-maternidade)

Women who contribute to the Social Welfare system (Previdência Social) are entitled to a minimum of 120 paid days of maternity leave; this also applies to women who adopt a baby. In 2008, maternity leave was extended from 120 to 180 days, however, the supplementary 60 days are optional for private companies. Companies that choose to grant the additional 60 days may deduct the additional salary paid to the woman from their income tax.

Maternity benefits can start from the eighth month of pregnancy (the woman will need to present a doctor's certificate), or from the date of birth. The mother will need to give a copy of the birth certificate to the employer.

Women that adopt a baby are entitled to 120 days of maternity benefits if the adopted child is under 12 months old, 60 days if the adopted child is aged one to four and 30 days if the child is aged four to eight.

  • For further information on maternity benefits in Brazil: Click here (in Portuguese)
  • Applications for maternity benefits can be made online or at a Social Welfare office

Long-Term Sickness Benefit (Auxílio Doença)

This benefit is granted to employers, individual workers and entrepreneurs who are prevented from working for more than 15 consecutive days due to illness or an accident. A contributor is only eligible for sickness benefits (auxílio doença) if they have been paying contributions to the Social Welfare Fund (Previdência Social) for a minimum of 12 months (there is no minimum contribution term in the event of an accident). A medical examination by a medical expert from Previdência Social will be required.

Sickness benefit payments amount to 91 percent of the recipient's salary and begin on day 16 after the beginning of the person's sick leave.

  • For further information: Click here (in Portuguese)

The duration payment of sickness benefits will be paid depends on the individual's situation.

Temporary Incapacity or Accident Benefits (Auxílio-acidente)

An employed worker who has been involved in an accident is entitled to temporary incapacity benefits (auxílio-acidente). Individual contributors, students and domestic helpers are not eligible.

To receive temporary incapacity benefits there is no minimum contribution term, but the person must prove that they are incapable of working. This will be done by means of a medical examination carried out by a medical expert from Social Welfare (Previdência Social).

Temporary incapacity benefits amount to 50 percent of the contributor's salary. Payment begins the day after the recipient's paid sick leave ends.

  • For further information on temporary incapacity benefits: Click here (in Portuguese)

Disability Benefits (Aposentadoria Por Invalidez)

Disability benefits (aposentadoria por invalidez) are paid to workers who, through accident or illness (verified by a medical expert from Social Welfare), are no longer fit to work. An individual must have contributed to Social Welfare for at least 12 months to be eligible for this benefit (except in the event of an accident).

The amount of the disability benefit paid is equal to 100 percent of the salary. If the recipient is dependent on a caregiver (for example, if they need assistance in the home) this amount increases by 25 percent.

  • For further information on temporary incapacity benefits: Click here (in Portuguese)

Child Benefit (Salário-família)

Employees (not self-employed workers or domestic helpers) have the right to a Salário-família benefit if they have disabled children aged 14 or younger and their monthly salary is less than R$710.08.

For further information and payment amounts: Click here

Pension Benefits (Aposentadoria Por Idade)

Pension benefits are paid to men who retire at 65 years of age and women who retire at 60. Benefits will only be paid if the person has contributed to the Social Welfare fund for a minimum amount of time, dependent on whether the occupation is considered arduous or not.

Pension payments are 70 percent of the recipient's average salary, increasing every 12 months by 1 percent up to a maximum payment of 100 percent of the average salary (but capped at a maximum amount, determined by the Brazilian government). The minimum paid is the minimum wage.

Applications for pension benefits can be made online or by telephone.

  • Social Welfare (Previdência Social)
    Tel: 135
  • For further information on pensions in Brazil: Click here (in Portuguese)

Prison Benefits (Auxílio-reclusão)

In the event of imprisonment, a payment of 80 percent of the convict's last salary can be paid for the duration of the contributor's imprisonment. The payment is made to the family of the prisoner, who will have to prove every three months the continued detention of the contributor. To benefit, the prisoner must be earning less than R$710.08 per month.

  • For further information: Click here (in Portuguese)

Death Benefits (Pensão Por Morte)

In the event of death, the family of the deceased contributor can receive 100 percent of the salary. There is no minimum amount of contributions that need to have been made by the deceased in order for the dependent to qualify for this benefit.

  • Applications for this benefit can be made online: Click here

Family Grant (Bolsa Família)

This benefit is part of the Government Social Welfare program Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) and is aimed at the country’s low-income population. The program is an innovative social initiative to reduce inequality and is paid to 11 million families (more than 46 million people).

Families that commit to keeping their children in school and taking them for regular health checks receive an average of R$70.00 in direct transfers.

  • For information from the Ministry of Social Development (Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social) on the Bolsa Família program: Click here (in Portuguese)

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