Supplementary benefits (SB) are paid out according to the financial needs of the person concerned. They are paid out to recipients drawing a pension for old-age or disability who live in Switzerland and are unable to cover minimum living costs with their total income. The SB thus follow the principle of finality and differ structurally to social insurances that are paid out regardless of need following the principle of causality.
According to the principle of subsidiarity they precede economic social assistance – i.e. social assistance in a narrower sense – and are functionally considered together with this as social assistance in a broader sense.