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Your right to access the welfare system

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The welfare system offers economic benefits to individuals and families in need - if you meet the requirements. The benefits you can access all have different requirements and they often vary from region to region, and even from one municipality to another.

You can use this article to learn more about:

  • 10 things to know before applying
  • Social benefits available at the national level
  • How to apply
  • Who can help

What you need to know before applying for a bonus

Here's a list of good practices to follow if you plan to apply for any kind of bonus. Please, carefully read the list and send us a private message on Facebook if you have any doubts or questions.

  1. Always tell the truth – When you apply for a bonus it’s really important you provide truthful and verifiable information on the kind of permit you hold, your economic condition and your time in Italy when you apply for a bonus, and more in general about your personal situation. Italian authorities often do random checks on people who receive benefits and you could be in trouble with the law if you lie or make a false statement.
  2. Don’t listen to rumors – If a friend tells you that the government wants to give money to everyone, or that the authorities don't monitor who receives a bonus, it’s probably not true. Make sure you check the information on trusted and accurate sources or get in touch with relevant services available.
  3. Be careful with scams and frauds – We are aware that some people ask for money to assist migrants in obtaining bonuses. Do not trust them and ask for help from a CAF or Patronato, such as INCA CGIL or ANOLF.
  4. Always check the requirements to apply – It’s really important to carefully understand the requirements before applying for any kind of bonus. If you receive money or benefits without being entitled to them by declaring false statements, you may get the benefit revoked, you may have to pay back all the money you received, and in some cases you may even face a criminal proceeding.
  5. Take your time – Before applying, make sure you fully understand the requirements and how the benefit works. If you are eligible for the benefit, waiting a few days to fully understand everything won’t prevent you from receiving the bonus.
  6. Ask questions – Asking questions is really important to make sure you understand everything and solve any of your doubts. If you apply through a CAF or a Patronato, remember that these offices are here to help you, so don't worry about bothering them.
  7. Be aware of what you sign – If a CAF or a Patronato helps you to apply, they are not responsible for what you sign and declare in order to receive the bonus. If you don’t understand what you are signing, ask someone to translate it for you. If you are asked to sign a statement that does not reflect your personal situation, delete the parts that are false and write your true status instead. This way you can avoid making false statements.
  8. Be patient – We understand that you would like to receive the money immediately, however, the processing system can be slow.
  9. Contact Refugee.Info – If you need clarification on requirements, have heard rumors about a bonus, or need help with your application, drop us a message. We will do our best to provide you with the information that you need, including requirements and services that can provide individualized support.
  10. Talk to your lawyer – If you find out that you’re taking a bonus without having the requirements, please make sure you get in touch with your lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, drop us a private message on Facebook and we’ll do our best to find a legal helpdesk in your area.

What are the available bonuses

In Italy there are several bonuses and benefits that you could receive if you meet the requirements. In this section we will present some of the bonuses available at a national level, but often regions and municipalities offer other kinds of benefits.

We suggest you visit the website of your comune or contact your local CAF (Centre of Fiscal Assistance) or Patronato to check all the options available for you.

Before you apply, make sure you meet all the requirements to receive the bonus or the benefit. If a CAF or a Patronato helps you to apply, they are not responsible for what you sign and declare to get the bonus. If you are unsure if you are eligible or not, double check with them or send us a private message, we’ll do our best to help you out.

Citizenship income

Reddito di Cittadinanza is a monthly allowance for families with low income meant to help them pay for basic expenses such as food, bills, and rent.

The amount of the bonus depends on your ISEE, a tool used to measure the economic status of families in Italy.

To be eligible for Reddito di Cittadinanza, you must:

  • Prove that you have been in Italy for 10 years and that you have been residing in Italy for the last 2 years
  • Hold an Ex Carta di soggiorno OR a refugee status OR a subsidiary protection permit
  • Meet specific economic requirements

You can learn more on the requirements here.

We know that many people have received this income without being actually eligible. If you’re getting the money without meeting the requirements and the authorities check your application, you may get the Reddito di Cittadinanza revoked, you may have to pay back all the money you have received, and in some cases you may even face a criminal proceeding.

If you are in this situation, get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible. If you need help finding a legal expert, drop us a private message here.

If you recently lost your job

If you had a regular work contract as an employee ('lavoratore dipendente' in Italian) and you recently lost your job, you may be eligible to apply for a monthly unemployment allowance called 'Indennità di disoccupazione NASpi'.

The amount and the duration of the monthly unemployment payment depend on your salary and how long you worked with a regular employment contract.

Everyone with a regular permesso di soggiorno can apply for disoccupazione if they meet the requirements. You can find out the requirements to get the NASpi here.

You should apply as soon as possible after your work relationship ends.

If you are a person with disabilities or with a serious illness

If you are partially or totally disabled, you may be eligible for 'invalidità civile' in Italian, which allows you to access financial, social and health benefits.

The money and benefits you may receive depend on your personal income and disability level which will be determined through medical examinations.

Anyone with a regular permesso di soggiorno with a duration of at least 1 year can apply for invalidità civile.

You can apply for invalidità anytime throughout your life in Italy.

You can learn more about the different benefits here.

If you have children

If you have dependent children or adolescents under 21, or with disabilities with no age limit, living in Italy with you, you may be eligible to apply for the Assegno Unico Universale per i Figli. This social bonus assimilated other family bonuses such as Bonus Mamma Domani and Bonus Bebè.

The amount of the bonus depends on your ISEE and the number of children, but it is a monthly sum between 50 and 175 euros per child.

If you apply by June 30, 2022, you will get the bonus from March 2022 until March 2023. If you apply after that date, you will get the bonus only from the month after you applied until March 2023.

To apply for Assegno Unico, you must:

Learn more on this bonus here.

Note that if you have kids, you could also be eligible to apply for the bonus Asilo Nido, which is a bonus to support you with the costs for the daycare, and for the bonus Assegno Maternità of the Comune for unemployed mums who recently welcomed a baby in their family.

How to apply

You can apply for most of the national bonuses and benefits by yourself through the INPS portal or through a Patronato or CAF office.

You can apply for national bonuses yourself on the INPS portal. Click here to get started.

In order to access the MyINPS portal you need to be able to log in with SPID, Carta di identità elettronica 3.0 (CIE) or Carta Nazionale Dei Servizi (CNS).

Watch the video tutorial produced by Oxfam Italy to learn how to get your SPID account in six steps here.

Since the process may be complicated and you may need some documents, it might be a good idea to contact a CAF or Patronato office, which can assist you with the process.

Who can help

INPS, Municipality and Patronato

To find out which benefits you can qualify for, you can ask the INPS, the municipality office where you live, or a patronato office.

If a CAF or a Patronato helps you, they are not responsible for what you sign and declare to receive the bonus. That is why it is very important that you are certain of the requirements and ask questions until you are certain that you understand everything.

The “Istituto Nazionale Previdenza Sociale” (INPS) is the Italian national Social Security Office. There are offices throughout the country. To locate one, Google “INPS a [the city where you live]”.

To find your local municipality office, Google “Comune di [the city where you live]”.

"Patronati” are centers for fiscal assistance. There are several of them in Italy, such as CAAF CGILCISLUIL, or ANOLF. To locate one, Google “patronato a [the city where you live]”.

The office you go to depends on which kind of assistance you are requesting. To figure out which office to go to, you can visit the websites of these institutions or send us a message on Facebook.

Community Centers of Diaconia Valdese

You can also ask for help from the Community Center of Diaconia Valdese. They are located in Milan, Torino, Rome, Bologna, Perugia, Firenze, Napoli, Catania. Please find the contacts here.

Diaconia Valdese also runs a virtual help desk free-of-charge, active from Monday to Friday, from 9 to 12. To get into contact with them:

  • Call or send a WhatsApp message to +393441874631
  • Send an email to virtualcenter@diaconiavaldese.org

Got any questions? Drop us a message on Facebook.

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