Recipients of means-tested social benefits

The distinction between social assistance in the narrow sense (or financial social assistance) and social assistance in the broader sense is a result of the social protection system.

Financial social assistance guarantees a minimum standard of living and is only granted when the other social protection measures prove insufficient. It is the last safety net in the social protection system and corresponds to social assistance in the narrow sense.

Other benefits precede social assistance: social insurances that insure against such risks as old age, disability or unemployment and social benefits paid by the cantons when social insurance benefits are not enough. The latter are paid in relation to the financial needs of the person concerned; they are means-tested.

The list of means-tested social benefits gives an overview of the support available in each canton.

Categories of means-tested social benefits
Social assistance in the broader sense
Social assistance in the narrow sense Other means-tested social benefits   
Financial social assistance

Alimony advances

Old-age and invalidity benefits

Child benefits

Housing benefits

Unemployment benefits

Supplementary benefits to AHV/IV

Source: FSO, Swiss statistics on social assistance recipients, 2016

Social assistance in the broader sense comprises financial social assistance and other social benefits granted by the cantons.

Poverty indicator NFE

The ARMIN poverty indicator is a partial indicator of the socio-demographic cost compensation (SCCA) of the new fiscal equalisation (NFE). The legal bases (Art. 34 FiLaV) defines the poverty indicator as a cantonal beneficiary rate of social assistance in a broader sense. Social assistance in a broader sense includes all cantonal means-tested benefits as outlined in the corresponding inventory of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). Data for the indicator comes from individual data from the Swiss statistics on social assistance.

Further information

Graphs

Press Releases

Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Social benefits before social assistance

Key indicators on recipients of benefits preceding social assistance

Monetary social assistance

Key indicators on social assistance recipients

Asylum seekers

Key indicators on recipients of financial social assistance in the context of asylum

Refugees

Key indicators on recipients of social assistance in the context of refugees

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Social Welfare
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel
Switzerland

info.social@bfs.admin.ch

Tel.
+41 58 463 64 21

Remark

Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).

https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/social-security/social-assistance/recipients-means-tested-social-benefits.html