Joint Commission proposes to debate the adequacy of the Informal Caregiver Statute to reality and the law

The Statute of Informal Caregiver (ECI) must be analyzed and debated by the monitoring committee of this measure to assess its suitability to reality, its consistency with national legislation and also allow a proposal for improvement.

Mário Cruz / Lusa

The Statute of Informal Caregiver (ECI) must be analyzed and debated by the monitoring committee of this measure to assess its suitability to reality, its consistency with national legislation and also allow a proposal for improvement.

“It is important to analyze their suitability to the reality in our context, to the existing support structures, as well as to their coherence and integration in other national legislation in order to better support caregivers. This analysis will allow us to elaborate a proposal to improve the Statute of Informal Caregiver, appropriate to the national reality, with an impact on the life of the caregiver and the person cared for and guaranteeing a true status of the caregiver, in an integrated and supportive view, along the way care, ”reads a report released this Friday.

The document is the first quarterly report produced by the Commission for Monitoring, Monitoring and Intersectoral Evaluation, which brings together the ministries of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security and Health, on the pilot project underway in 30 counties in the country for the implementation of the Informal Caregiver Statute, approved in 2019, which has been in force since April 2020.

In the document, it is suggested that the commission meet to discuss issues such as the caregiver's rights vis-à-vis the person being cared for in matters such as palliative care; the operationalization of the student-worker status, applicable to caregivers; the definition of requirements so that the parenting regime or the caregiver's rest can be adapted to caregivers, among others.

The objective, says the commission, is "to deepen the reflection and analysis on the matter, with a view to the continuous improvement of the implementation of the Statute and associated measures".

The document focuses on the period of validity of the ECI between April and August 31, 2020, during which 415 applications were submitted for recognition of the status, the majority of which were in person at the Social Security service centers ( 82%), but also a minority (18%) for Direct Social Security.

“Of the 74 applications granted in the pilot counties, 32 receive a subsidy to support the main informal caregiver. Until August 31, payments were made in the amount of 31.422, 75 euros, referring to the period from April to August 2020. The average amount allocated was 283,63 euros ”, explains the report.

In the State Budget for 2020, Social Security had planned a budget of 7,5 million euros under the ECI.

The number of informal caregivers in Portugal is expected to be 1,4 million people, boosted during the pandemic due to the closure of social responses, as revealed by a national survey by the National Association of Informal Caregivers (ANCI), released in November 2020 and that these people should have more rights.

The Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, took stock of the implementation of the statute of informal caregivers in Parliament in late December, where she mentioned that, up to that moment, there were around 1.000 requests for recognition of the status granted in All country. Of these, 360 were in the municipalities covered by the pilot projects, where the recognition of the status is expected to be accompanied by a payment of a subsidy to caregivers.

By the beginning of November, about 2.700 requests for recognition of the status had been submitted and about 600 were granted.

The characterization that guardianship has reveals that the average age of people who have already applied for the status is 53 years. 40% of people ask for the status for taking care of an ancestor - father or mother - and 29% of descendants.

“58% of the people accompanied are over 65 years old, 30% are between 18 and 65 and 12% are up to 18 years old,” said the minister.

Social Security has already made almost 12 calls in the context of providing information on the status of informal caregivers, added Ana Mendes Godinho at the time.

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