Government will review Brazil Aid and may cut 2.5 million benefits

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The Ministry of Development and Social Assistance, Family and Fight against Hunger will go over the files of beneficiaries of the Brazil Aid, which will once again be called Bolsa Família. According to Minister Wellington Dias, the forecast is that 2.5 million benefits may be cut.

The intention is to curb fraud. Dias said, in an interview after visiting a solidarity kitchen of the MTST (Movement of Homeless Workers), in the Federal District, last Thursday (9), that about 10 million registrations must be reassessed, which represents half of the 21 .9 million served by the program in January.

We have a focus of more or less 10 million beneficiaries who are in the line of evaluation, of this registry review. Of those who receive, 2.5 million have major signs of irregularity.

The minister even cited cases of people with an income of nine minimum wages (R$ 11,718 today) who would be receiving the benefit. In addition, the ministry is investigating failures in CadÚnico (Cadastro Único) after a blackout in August last year. There are suspicions of irregularities. The episode is also being investigated by the AGU (Attorney-General of the Union) and by the CGU (Controladoria-Geral da União).

In August last year, according to reports, an interruption in the supply of electricity generated unavailability and interruption of services processed on the platform, which aggregates information forwarded by Caixa Econômica Federal, Dataprev (Company of Technology and Information of Social Security) and Serpro (Service Federal Data Processing Office).

CadÚnico is a registry that identifies and characterizes low-income families, a public of social policies. There are currently 40.7 million families registered. “The registration update will safely allow the dismissal of those who receive Bolsa Família without fulfilling the requirements, people who were induced to register by the previous government”, says Dias.

Single parent families are in the crosshairs

Families formed by only one person are in the government’s sights. Although payment to this public was allowed by law last year, there are also suspicions of irregularities.

For Paola Carvalho, director of institutional and international relations for the Brazilian Basic Income Network, it is essential to cross-check data and review payments, to improve the process, including vulnerable families that are outside, but she believes that care is needed when review the benefit of single parents.

“Single-parent families have to be evaluated very carefully. There are situations where there are two registrations in the same residence, but there are also many adults, within the poverty criteria, who need to be considered. An example of this are people on the streets, people that still suffer the economic consequences of Covid-19 and so many more. There cannot be a linear cut, but a qualified assessment”, he says.

What to do to not lose the benefit

The ministry did not give details on how the fine-tooth comb will be. The intention, according to the minister, is to complete an evaluation of the records and hold a meeting with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) to present the data.

Regarding single-parent families, Dia stated that the review will be carried out with great care so as not to provoke injustice.

What to do to not fall into the fine-tooth comb

Paola advises beneficiaries to keep the documentation that guarantees the aid up to date, so that they are not cut unduly from the program. In addition, the data must be updated in CadÚnico and be “consistent with reality”, she advises.

“We still don’t have the criteria and changes that will be adopted by Bolsa Família 2023, so we need to wait for the government to announce the changes, which should start in March 2023”, he says.

Although criteria for access to health and education are included in the law that instituted Auxílio Brasil, the Bolsonaro government failed to demand these conditions. This week, President Lula stated that up-to-date vaccination will be required so that the family can receive the extra aid of R$ 150 per child up to six years old.

Among the constraints cited by Lula are keeping children enrolled in school and with the minimum attendance respected, having their vaccination card up to date and that pregnant women have complete prenatal care.

WHO IS RIGHT TO BRAZIL AID

Citizens who are part of families:

  1. In extreme poverty, with income of up to R$ 105 per person in the family (per capita)
  2. In poverty, with income between R$ 105.01 and R$ 210 per person in the family (per capita)
  3. Under the emancipation rule, when the beneficiary gains a formal job, but remains entitled to receive the benefit if the income per person in the family is up to R$ 525

To receive it, however, you must be enrolled in CadÚnico (Cadastro Único). It is necessary to pre-register through the website or application and then confirm the data in the Cras (Social Assistance Reference Center) of the city halls. The confirmation period is up to 120 days.

Benefit is paid to more than 21 million families

In January 2023, Auxílio Brasil, which will once again be called Bolsa Família, was paid to 21.9 million families, based on an investment of R$13.38 billion. The average amount received per family was R$ 614.21.

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