Self employed to be offered COVID payments from 1 March


Starting from March 1, self-employed workers and employees who do not receive LADI support will be able to access financial aid designed for those in difficulty due to the coronavirus - Here is everything you need to know

Self employed to be offered COVID payments from 1 March
COVID bridge annuity, we start on 1st March

Self employed to be offered COVID payments from 1 March

COVID bridge annuity, we start on 1st March

1. What is the COVID bridging service in detail?

The COVID bridge benefit is a complementary measure to the federal and cantonal social security system and to the aid provided by the Confederation, the canton and the municipalities. It represents further support for people experiencing economic difficulties due to the pandemic. The aid of which is financial and limited in time is designed for self-employed workers and employees who do not receive LADI (Federal Law on Unemployment Insurance) support. The goal, the director of the Health and Social Affairs Department Raffaele De Rosa spoke yesterday at a press conference, is to «allow you to overcome a difficult phase and recover your financial autonomy», limiting the increase in arrears and the use of welfare benefits.

2. Who can access the financial aid provided?

The measure is aimed at self-employed workers affiliated with an AHV compensation fund who have suffered a reduction in turnover as a result of the pandemic and paid workers who are not eligible for LADI support. «For example, these are employees who cannot benefit from LADI allowances because they have not accumulated enough days» explained De Rosa by way of example. In addition, the bridging benefit could also be useful for companies that started their own business during the pandemic. For this category, currently excluded from the aid provided for hardship cases, «we are looking for solutions, but if it does not work we can think of this COVID bridge service». In order to apply for aid, it is necessary to have resided in Ticino for at least three years, not yet having reached retirement age, not benefiting, as mentioned, from LADI unemployment benefit, nor from LAPS benefits (assistance, API), as well as supplementary benefits. Those who benefit from the supplementary family allowance only (AFI) can instead request the benefit.

3. Why did the Council of State want this measure?

«There are numerous interventions by the Confederation, the Canton and the Municipalities. In recent months there has been constant contact with municipalities and social actors active in the area to understand how to be able to support those who could not benefit from the measures made available» explained De Rosa requests related to LAPS services were constantly monitored. “There are people who have not had access to aid. We have a thousand more unemployed than a year ago, and 500 more than in December. We think there may be an increase in requests for help in the coming months. This is the reason for this COVID bridge performance».

4. How long does the support last?

The assistance will enter into force on 1st March and the aid will be granted until 30 June. The benefit can be awarded for a maximum of three times (three months). In the meantime, a cantonal hotline has been activated (0800 91 91 91 from 8.30 to 12 and from 13.30 to 17, Monday to Friday) for anyone with questions. Alternatively, you can send an email to [email protected]

5. How is entitlement to aid calculated?

The right to receive the benefit is determined by the Municipality of residence on the basis of a calculation that follows the principle of annual disposable income (income after expenses), which establishes whether there is actually an income gap. The financial «gap» is then filled with the COVID bridging service, which can be a maximum of 1,000 francs per month for the applicant and an additional 500 francs for each additional component of the reference unit (i.e. composed of all those who are part ‘domestic economy). For example, if a family consists of three people, the total will be 2,000 francs per month (one thousand for the head of the family, plus 500 francs for the spouse and the same for the child) for a maximum of three months.

6. How can you apply for the service?

The request must be sent directly to the Municipality of residence. The official application form can be downloaded from the website, with instructions on how to fill it in and on the necessary documents to attach. After the delivery of the complete documentation, the Municipality will make an initial evaluation. If the service is considered «possibly decisive», the analysis of the request is continued. Otherwise, the person is oriented towards other benefits.

The key role of municipalities

The role of the Municipalities is fundamental: they are the ones who evaluate the presence or absence of an income gap. «We are the local authority, the one that knows the territory and the needs of its residents», said Felice Dafond, president of the Ticino Municipalities Association. The key to the allocation of the 7.9 million envisaged is 75% borne by the Canton and 25% by the Municipalities. «However, we also provide the facilities and staff to manage the meetings and the files,« added Dafond. «Only in Chiasso we expect to help between 250 and 300 people,« said Roberta Pantani, Deputy Mayor of Chiasso. «It’s not about small numbers. And the administrative work will be a lot. We hope that it will be a limited service in time and that as soon as possible we can return to a more normal situation».

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