Covid-19. Ombudsman’s suggestion to allow self-employed workers and members of statutory bodies access to support for previous months was welcomed

The Ombudsman welcomes the exceptional time given to self-employed workers and members of statutory bodies to submit applications for support to reduce activity in relation to previous months, according to a report published by Social Security on its institutional website.
 
This possibility welcomed the suggestion that, on 22/06/2020, the Ombudsman addressed to the Secretary of State for Social Security, following several complaints received from self-employed workers and members of statutory bodies who, for whatever reason, were unable to submit the respective applications for access to extraordinary support. The three main reasons then highlighted in the complaints were the lack of knowledge of the deadlines, the lack of knowledge that the extension was not automatic and, in many cases, the unavailability of the form on the platform Social Security Direct from the interested parties.
 
As the feasibility of the right to extraordinary support was at stake, it was then pointed out that any of the reasons presented in the complaints of these citizens for the lack of submission of applications should be highlighted, considering the context of exceptionality experienced, which is why it was necessary to adopt a measure, also exceptional, that would allow interested parties to submit applications for the missing support, so that "no one entitled to it is prevented from accessing it for purely formal reasons".
 
The letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Social Security can be consulted here.
 
In the recent Social Security communiqué, which can be consulted here, the extraordinary period for applying for the grants relating to the previous months runs from 23 to 30 September.
 
This period also covers self-employed workers and members of statutory bodies who are now covered by the supports (support for the reduction of economic activity of self-employed workers and extraordinary measure to encourage professional activity) due to the changes introduced to articles 26 and 27 of the Workers’ Statute. These changes, in turn, were in line with two recommendations made by the Ombudsman in her Recommendation No. 5/B/2020, of 21/04/2020, which can be consulted here [in Portuguese only].