Support in financial emergencies

In the worst case, those who fall behind with insurance premium payments and accumulate more debt may face debt enforcement proceedings.

Finanzielle Notlage

Financial difficulties can befall any family, and should not be a cause of embarrassment. If the intentions of those concerned are good, there's almost always an amicable solution to be found.

Premium subsidy

A premium subsidy can offer a ray of light in this situation. In Switzerland, people with modest financial means receive support in paying for their health insurance premiums. Entitlements are regulated on a cantonal basis and apply only to basic insurance. The amount of the subsidy depends on the family's taxable income and number of children. In some cantons, the administrative authorities notify eligible parties automatically based on the information provided in their tax declaration. In other cantons, you have to be proactive and reapply for the premium subsidy each year with your municipality. The payment is generally made directly to the health insurer. You do not receive the money yourself.

More information on premium subsidies

Family allowances

Parents can apply for family allowances depending on the regulations applicable in their canton. These usually take the form of child allowances or education allowances. Some cantons also award childbirth allowances and adoption allowances. The child allowance amounts to at least CHF 200 per child and per month for children up to the age of 16 and disabled children who are unable to work up to the age of 20. For young people in education up to the age of 20, it is at least CHF 250 per child and per month. You can find answers to numerous questions on the topic of family allowances on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office.

If you are employed, you employer will submit the application for a family allowance, which will be paid out to you together with your salary. If you are not employed, you have to apply for the family allowance with your local family compensation office. You can find the address of the offices in the various cantons on the AHVI/IV website under Cantonal compensation offices. If you are unemployed, please contact the administrative authorities in your municipality.

Additional benefits

The Swiss social security system provides additional benefits for AHVI/IV recipients. An entitlement exists if a family's income does not cover their basic living costs. Additional benefits are a legal right and do not fall under welfare or social security.

Additional benefits may also apply if you have close family members past retirement age who are financially disadvantaged but who you yourself are not in a position to support financially.

More information

Help from the social security office
The Swiss Constitution guarantees people living in Switzerland the right to obtain assistance in situations of need. The relevant article in the Constitution reads: "Persons in need and unable to provide for themselves have the right to assistance and care, and to the financial means required for a decent standard of living." Contact the social security office in your municipality or canton if you no longer see a way out of your situation.

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