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The Social Security Benefits and Beneficiaries and Gypsies: The Case of the Municipality of Faro – Algarve - Portugal
Sofia Aurora Santos

Last modified: 2011-08-15


Modern societies are founded on the values ??of equality, in particular principles of equal opportunity, and that is the way to build citizenship. Simply, it seems that equality of opportunity has not yet been fully achieved, because there remain vulnerable to poverty and exclusion, and these situations tend to reproduce themselves socially from the same categories of individuals. The most common way to describe poverty is to assess the material conditions of each individual and how you live your day, to meet the basic needs: food, clothing, hygiene and housing, access to education and health, among others. Social exclusion, emerges as a relational process that removes the individual from society, and can be caused by inequalities associated with the causes of poverty and welfare dependency of the state. In turn, public policies haven’t been able to combat poverty and exclusion, nor predict its onset.


The study tried to provide some ideas that would clarify the issues surrounding the beneficiaries of Roma Social Security Benefits (SSB), the municipality of Faro.


The European Social Model is the basis for creating the so-called 'benefit of the poor "in Portugal, called the Guaranteed Minimum Benefits (GMB) established in 1996. Which allowed the assignment of a monthly value to families and individuals who were unemployed or living situations of economic need and who meet certain conditions for allocation.


This allowance would remain living with a guaranteed minimum, the chief aim of the output term of this situation and at the same time help contribute to meeting the basic needs of these people. In 2003, there was a change of social policies in Portugal, spent the GMB its name to the Social Security Benefits (SSB), in which it is the responsibility of the beneficiary to enforce a plan for social inclusion, with the aim of improving the material conditions and find a better way to life, with the support of a cash benefit, each beneficiary is assigned a Technical Monitoring.


Currently, to take advantage of the SSB, the applicant can not have monthly income above € 189.52. These social policies are based on a set of innovative measures and new methods of social intervention to those most vulnerable and let there be an institutional linkage and closer to the ground, seek to counter the economic dimension of exclusion, defending the right to work, principle of equal opportunities and universal access to social policies, but also acts to prevent accommodation and dependency allowance.


The Roma are the ethnic group most exposed to poverty and social exclusion, and are constantly cited as the main 'predatory' state social benefits, without first had contributed to such support. Against this backdrop, a large part of society seems to express some form of dislike for this ethnic group, resulting largely from a poor implementation of social policies in the country. The issues of poverty are visible in Roma for several years.


This research has two aims: to know how experienced the allocation of the SSB and perceive the situation as it is lived with the subsidiarity of the Roma, as they are perceived by the principle of social solidarity. The aim is also known as perceived allocation of this allowance by the technicians as well as the prospects for entering and leaving the world of poverty of the target population.


This research, like all scientific work, followed a method of information collection and field research. The main techniques adopted were the semi-directive interviews and informal conversations. The entry field was facilitated by daily contact and continuing with the Roma population.





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