Children and Young People with Disabilities

Information about the services available to young people with disabilities in Portugal and their parents, including details on education and extended child benefits...

Social Services in Portugal can offer the following types of support to families with disabled children:

  • Specialised support programmes to promote development and integration
  • Early support - help from government agencies in education, health and social security for children up to six years of age
  • Socio-educational centres, which operate as a semi boarding schools with the aim of giving socio-educational assessment and support
  • Support homes for children and young persons with disabilities from the ages of six to sixteen
  • Residential care for over-16s who are unable to continue to live in their usual environment and therefore need temporary or permanent accommodation
  • Holiday camps, catering for children and young people with disabilities during school and work holidays
  • Financial support for acquiring technical aids to help disabled youngsters participate more fully in academic, professional and social life

In addition, parents or guardians may be entitled to the following for children up to the age of 24:

  • Family Allowance (Subsídio Familiar a Crianças e Jovens)
  • Disability Bonus to the Family Allowance (Bonificação, por deficiência, do Subsídio Familiar a Crianças e Jovens)
  • Special Schooling Subsidy (Subsídio por Frequência de Estabelecimento de Educação Especial)
  • Complementary Payment for Assistance by a Third Person (Subsídio por Assistência de Terceira Pessoa)

Once they reach the age of 24, young disabled adults who are unable to work, are entitled to the Monthly Lifelong Subsidy (Subsídio Mensal Vitalício).

Schooling

Disabled children have priority in attendance at state kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools that integrate disabled children may have a maximum of two such children per class of twenty pupils.

In the case that regular state schools are unable to meet the needs of pupils with disabilities, a special school may be recommended. If a special school is recommended, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be prepared by the special education department.

More information on schooling for disabled children can be obtained from the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministério da Educação e Ciência), the Regional Offices of Education (Direcções Regionais de Educação), the Area Centres for Education (Centros de Área Educativa) and local schools.