The information in this section arises from Ministerial Order no. 85-A/2020, which applies to institutions with cooperation agreements with the Social Security Administration for the provision of social services, under Ministerial Order no. 196-A/2015, of 1 July, as amended by Ministerial Order no. 218-D/2019, of 15 July, as well as to non-governmental organisations for people with disabilities (“ONGPDs”), as foreseen in Decree-Law no. 106/2013, of 30 July.

 

Is there any support for day centres that have had to start providing home care services?

In situations where day centres have to start providing home care services, the amount of the Social Security Administration’s co-payment will be increased by the amount corresponding to the difference between the contribution paid for a day centre’s services and that paid for home care services, up to a maximum limit of services provided at 100%.

The effective need for home care services, as well as the services strictly required to ensure the continuity of care, namely relating to hygiene and meals, must be technically evaluated by the institutions.
The institutions must also guarantee the same support to users of their Occupational Activity Centres who live with relatives that cannot provide them with the necessary support. In these cases, the amount of the co-payment remains the same.

 

What was decided regarding family co-payments?

The criteria to calculate the family’s co-payment remains unchanged; however, higher reduction rates may be applicable.
A reduction of at least 10% of the family’s monthly co-payment must be guaranteed when the period of duly justified absence exceeds 15 consecutive days.

On the other hand, it is foreseen that institutions may revaluate the family’s co-payment, having the authority to grant greater discounts or even to suspend the co-payment altogether, given the possible change in the circumstances based upon which a family’s co-payment was initially defined, notably, its per capita monthly income.

We are a private sector entity and have a social support facility that is not yet licenced. Is any change to the licencing process expected?

Yes, during the state of emergency all licenced social facilities and/or those with a cooperation agreement that are ready to enter into operation and are duly equipped are expected to be used. A temporary authorisation to operate is foreseen for facilities that have not yet obtained their operating licence. After this exceptional period, the licencing process shall be resumed, safeguarding, whenever possible, the activity already started.

 

Is there any change in the value of the co-payments due under cooperation agreements?

Yes, the amounts paid by the Social Security Administration under cooperation agreements for social services signed with social sector entities will increase by 3.5% in 2020, when compared to 2019, including day nurseries, after-school activity centres, nursing homes, day centres, home care services, and support centres for families and parental advice. It has also been established an extraordinary reinforcement of 2% for social services developed by Private Social Security Institutions (IPSS) or equivalent, namely for residential structures for the elderly, nursing homes, autonomous residencies and home support services for both the elderly and disabled people.

 

Can we request a deferral of payments to the Solidarity Sector Restructuring Fund (“FRSS”)?

The beneficiary entity may apply for a deferral of the reimbursement due in the first and second quarters of 2020, under the reimbursement agreement of the financial support in force, by submitting a duly substantiated request to the management board of the Solidarity Sector Restructuring Fund.

 

Was any form of funding specifically established for social sector institutions?

Institutions of the social sector can benefit from a line of funding that will be governed by a separate agreement, in partnership with SPGM – Sociedade de Investimento, S.A., the coordinating entity of the Portuguese Mutual Guarantee System.

The Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security signed a protocol with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for non-refundable funding to institutions, with respect to which the Social Security Administration will provide the necessary technical support.

What is the Emergency Regulation for Social and Health Facilities?

This is a temporary exceptional measure intended to respond to the emerging needs of both public and private non-profit corporate bodies providing healthcare or social support services and which need more personnel in the short-term. People participating in projects developed by eligible entities are entitled to a monthly grant. Those receiving unemployment benefits will be attributed a complementary monthly grant in the amount of €438.80 (corresponding to the IAS – Portuguese Social Support Index); all others, will receive a monthly grant of €658.20 (corresponding to 1.5 times the IAS).

Which entities and people are eligible?

Eligible entities include public entities and non-profit private entities working in the social or healthcare fields, which develop projects related to overload situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, namely due to an increase in their activity or the temporary absence of their workers, due to sickness, prophylactic isolation or the provision of assistance to relatives or dependants.

The following persons are eligible to be covered by the benefits, provided that they are not older than 60 years of age and do not belong to any group subject to a special duty of protection:

  • Unemployed (regardless of whether they are registered with the IEFP);
  • Workers with suspended employment contracts or reduced working hours (in lay-off mode);
  • Workers with part-time contracts;
  • Students and trainees aged 18 years or older (preferably from fields related to the projects).

What is the exceptional regime increasing the monthly grants of the CEI/CEI+ and who benefits from this increase?

This is an extraordinary measure to increase the monthly grants paid under Employment Integration Contracts and Employment Integration Contracts Plus (CEI/CEI+) in projects integrated in healthcare or social support activities. The measure is entirely backed by the IEFP and is directed at those participating in the CEI/CEI+ measures. In practice, 0.8 of the IAS value is added to the monthly grant paid to those receiving unemployment benefits, thus increasing their grant to €438.80 euros (which is added to the unemployment benefit received). Regarding the unemployed not receiving benefits, the increase is 0.5 of the IAS, resulting in a monthly grant of €658.20.

 

My organisation has submitted an application in the context of the Partnerships for Impact, Social Innovation Fund or Social Impact Bonds financing programmes managed by the funds team of Portugal Social Innovation. What impacts will the Covid-19 pandemic have on my application and/or already approved projects? Is a final decision on the submitted applications expected to be postponed?

Regarding the submitted applications, the available information is that no significant delays are expected due to the current situation, and any delays that may possibly occur will arise from a higher than expected number of applications, objections and/or reimbursement requests. However, the Portugal Social Innovation team is working at full capacity to reduce the number of possible delays in this context to a minimum.

For further information about the guidelines issued by the Managing Authorities of European Funds regarding amendment requests with a view to postponing the completion of operations (for reasons related to COVID-19) and/or reimbursement requests with respect to projects in progress during/related to this period, click here.

Regarding Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), the respective notice will remain open until the end of the funding allocated to this financial instrument.

The Social Impact Fund remains operational, receiving and analysing applications, even during the State of Emergency.

In what concerns new notices, their launch will always depend on the approval and alignment of the Managing Authorities of European Funds, and even of the Government. However, the launch of a (new) notice of funding availability under the Partnerships for Impact financing instrument (for the North and Centre of Portugal, as well as the Alentejo region) is planned for the coming months.

For any questions related to this kind of European funding (including questions related to the current situation), you may contact the team managing these funds here, which remains fully available to help.

 

In the context of the BPI “la Caixa” Awards, has any measure to tackle the impact of Covid-19 been approved with the aim of supporting social sector entities?

The 2021 edition of BPI’s “la Caixa” Awards was brought forward and launched on 25 April 2020, with the aim of supporting entities from the social and solidarity sector committed to fighting, controlling, preventing and responding to the health, social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this edition of the Award, the projects to be submitted must have as a common denominator the Protection of People, through initiatives developed in the fields of healthcare, solidarity and inclusion, and the promotion of employment.

The prizes, which may range from € 2,000 to € 20,000, will be awarded in the form of donations and applications will be open until 23 May 2020.

For more information, see here.

 

What is the Adaptar Social+ Programme?

The Adaptar Social+ Programme aims to reduce the costs associated with adapting entities’ way of functioning to COVID-19. Eligible expenses include those related to the purchase of personal protective equipment, for both workers and users, and sanitation equipment, disinfection contracts, the training of workers, the reorganisation of workplaces, and changes to the layout of social response equipment. Each eligible entity can only submit one application under this programme and their request for support is limited to the amount of €10,000. The financial support granted under the Adaptar Social+ Programme cannot be combined with any other programmes or public subsidies covering the same expenses.

 

 

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This information is being updated on a regular basis.

All information contained herein and all opinions expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to substitute recourse to expert legal advice for the resolution of real cases.