See questions and answers about the access to emergency relief for immigrants and refugees
Written by Rodrigo Borges Delfim
Translated by Natália Valverde Jatobá
Read the portuguese version here.
Created by the federal government as a way to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, emergency assistance can also be requested by immigrants living in Brazil, regardless of the migratory situation.
The precarious situation experienced by families who lost their income due to the coronavirus, combined with conflicting information and technological problems, make access to the benefit a complicated task.
From the two lives already promoted by MigraMundo, in partnership with the Missão Paz and Defensoria Pública da União (DPU), answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the access of immigrants – including people in refuge situations – to the benefit have been elaborated.
The questions were answered with the help of João Chaves, from the Defensoria Pública da União (DPU), and Lívia Lenci, a lawyer from Missão Paz. Specific questions that are not covered below can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . It is also possible to watch the live of last Tuesday (21), saved on Facebook.
Are immigrants entitled to emergency aid, regardless of their origin or migration status?
The benefit is available both to brazilians and to immigrants and people in refuge situations. Both the Brazilian Federal Constitution and the Migration Law guarantee equal treatment between nationals and non-nationals, including access to social benefits.
Thus, applicants for refuge, recognized refugees, migrants with residence for an indefinite period of time or for a determined period of time (known as temporary) are entitled to the benefit, provided they meet the other criteria.
What are the criteria for applying for emergency aid?
To be eligible to receive the allowance, the immigrant must meet one of the criteria listed below:
● be a holder of an MEI (Individual Microentrepreneur); ● be registered in the CadÚnico until March 20 (the system went into maintenance after that date for adjustments); ● have an average monthly income of up to half minimum wage per person, and up to 3 minimum wages per family; ● be a taxpayer – individual or optional – of the General Regime of Social Security;
It still has to fit all the criteria below:
● Being 18 years of age or older; ● monthly income of up to half minimum wage (R$ 522.50) per person; ● monthly income of up to 3 minimum wages (R$ 3,135) per family; ● not having a formal job; ● not receiving social security or welfare benefit, unemployment insurance or other cash transfer program (except Bolsa Família)
For women who are mothers and heads of households, they may receive R$ 1,200 per month (the equivalent of two quotas), if they meet any of the criteria listed above.
Where should I apply for emergency assistance?
The benefit must be requested via the internet (https://auxilio.caixa.gov.br ) or by mobile application, available for Android and iOS devices – no download or access any other program or website to request the benefit.
What documents do I need to apply for the benefit?
The primary document for requesting assistance is the CPF, which must be in good standing. Pending migration is not an impediment to requesting assistance.
Is the registration for emergency aid individual? Even in a family?
Yes, the record is individual. However, if more than one person in the family is entitled to the benefit, it is important that they are both together at the time of
registration to ensure that the information provided is the same. In this way, we avoid delays in providing the benefit due to incompatibility of information. The benefit can be granted to up to two persons of the same family, provided that they meet all the criteria.
I have only CPF and the emergency assistance request system asks for RG. What do I do?
Although the system does not provide this explanation, the RG field on the emergency assistance form also accepts other document numbers, such as RNE (current DRM), refuge request protocol and even passport number.
I have no CPF or it is in an irregular situation. What do I do?
The CPF is the main document for requesting emergency assistance. Without this registration on time, it is not possible to request the benefit. In this case, it is necessary to apply for the CPF (or regularize, if applicable) with the Receita Federal.
How to regularize the CPF?
According to the Receita Federal, the immigrant can also make the regularization or update of the CPF by e-mail. The message must contain the information below:
● full name; ● CPF number; ● residence address; ● contact phone number; ● brief description of the application and the procedure you need to follow
In the same message, the immigrant must include a clear and legible copy of an updated identity document (it can be an RG, driver’s license or other that has a photo), and a photo in “selfie” format, in which it appears displaying the document.
The e-mail for sending the information changes according to the immigrant’s State of residence. See the list below:
● Distrito Federal, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Tocantins:email@example.com
● Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Pará, Rondônia and Roraima: firstname.lastname@example.org
● Ceará, Maranhão and Piauí: email@example.com
● Alagoas, Paraíba, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte: firstname.lastname@example.org
● Bahia and Sergipe: email@example.com
● Minas Gerais: firstname.lastname@example.org
● Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro:email@example.com
● São Paulo: firstname.lastname@example.org
● Paraná and Santa Catarina: email@example.com
● Rio Grande do Sul: firstname.lastname@example.org
If it is impossible to apply online, the immigrant must go to a post office, Caixa Econômica Federal or Banco do Brasil. In this case, a fee of R$ 7 is charged.
It is worth remembering that, although kept in operation, the agencies of these three institutions have service restrictions because of the measures to prevent the coronavirus.
I don’t have a bank account. How am I gonna get the help?
For those who do not have a bank account, a simple digital account is created at Caixa Econômica Federal, which is moved through a mobile application, Caixa TEM. This account is free of charge and has no bank fees.
Like the app to request emergency assistance, Caixa TEM is available for iOS and Android phones. Access is done with the CPF and a 6 digit numeric password, which is created on the spot.
To access your account information, make payments and transfers with the same password, you must enter your mobile number and wait for an SMS message with a code to confirm your identification. More information can be obtained on the Caixa Econômica Federal website.
I am in an irregular migratory situation (visa or residence permit expired, among other cases). Can I apply for emergency assistance?
Yes, the migratory situation is not an impediment to apply for emergency assistance. It is worth remembering that all deadlines and processes related to this matter are suspended due to the paralysis of activities in the Federal Police amidst the coronavirus.
I work as an employed and I was removed from work because I was in the risk group. Can I apply for the benefit?
No, because the benefit applies to unemployed people, informal workers or those who act as MEI (Individual Microentrepreneurs). Those who have active formal work are not assisted by the emergency aid.
I have an intermittent contract of employment regime. May I request assistance?
If the applicant is not being summoned to work, yes. The law provides that the worker who is actually working cannot receive the benefit. The intermittent contract is one in which the worker is available to be called to the employer when necessary and receives payment based on the hours worked – that is, if he does not work, he does not receive.
Congress thought about these cases when it approved the Law that instituted the emergency aid in order to guarantee that the worker who has this type of contract and is not being called to work is not left without income, being entitled to the aid.
Family that already receives Bolsa Família is entitled to the aid? What are the steps? Does the assistance arrive automatically?
Yes, the person who receives the Bolsa Família can receive the aid, just remembering that they are not cumulative benefits. You will only receive the one that represents the greatest value for your family. In this case, the amount will be available on the same day you usually receive the Bolsa Família. It is worth remembering that those who already receive the Bolsa Família do not need to register again to obtain the emergency aid.
I receive the Bolsa Família benefit and my husband, who is unemployed, is attached to my registration. Can he receive the benefit or just me?
Yes, he can. The Bolsa Familia is a social benefit of family character, that is, he considers the family composition to determine the amount to be received by each family, so your husband is already contemplated in this amount. In this case, as the Bolsa Familia registry states that there are two unemployed adults in your home, the value of the emergency assistance should be R$1,200.00, or R$600 per person.
Why are some people always on demand and have no answer?
Initially, the information provided is that the request would be analyzed within five working days from registration. However, there are several reports from brazilians and migrants that this deadline has expired and the request is still under analysis. For now, there is nothing to be done. It is necessary to be patient and wait for the analysis of the application. In the social networks, later, the Caixa Econômica informed that the deadline of 5 working days is an estimate.
My registration was approved, but I haven’t received the benefit yet. What happened?
There’s a specific schedule for the payment of benefits. So even if the application has been approved, the deposit will only occur on the date indicated in this calendar, which varies according to several factors.
I made a mistake filling out the aid application. Is there any way to correct it?
If you have already made an application, but you have made a mistake or forgot to include information, you can tidy up your registration after receiving the answer to your application. According to the Caixa, it will be possible to correct the data through the site or the application, but you must wait for the end of the first analysis.
That is why it is very important to fill out the registration carefully and with my attention. Double check that all data is correct, that the name is written exactly as it appears in your document. If necessary, ask for help.