Foreign citizens. Lack of articulation between the Institute of Social Security and SEF compromises access to social benefits

The Ombudsman addressed an alert to the competent authorities after receiving various complaints from foreign citizens reporting difficulties encountered with services provided by the Institute of Social Security (ISS, IP) that are not taking into account the exceptional rules in force in relation to the regularity of their stay in national territory, thereby blocking access to various social benefits.

At stake is, namely, the validity of documents issued by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), which has been successively extended by the Government under the exceptional measures justified by the pandemic.

One of the goals of this measure is precisely to ensure access to social support benefits, which requires close coordination between entities and a permanent attention of the ISS to the regimes that, in this matter, are approved.

To read the letter sent by the Ombudsman click here [in Portuguese only].