01.04.01. Social protection schemes | Brazil

01.04.01. Social protection schemes | Brazil

30 Mar 2022

The Single System of Social Assistance (Sistema Único de Assistência Social – SUAS) is a public system that organises and provides social assistance services in Brazil. These are organised into two main groups; the first is called Basic Social Protection, aimed at preventing social and personal risks by offering programs, projects, services and benefits to individuals and families in situations of social vulnerability, such as poverty and disability. The second is called Special Social Protection, it is aimed at families and individuals at risk and those whose rights have been violated by experiences, such as the occurrence of abandonment, mistreatment, sexual abuse, and drug use. The most popular policy of the first group is a conditional cash transfer program called ‘Bolsa Família’, which seeks to provide a minimum level of income for those who are below the poverty line. In return, these families need to ensure that their children and young people are attending school and are regularly seen by the primary health care teams  (Brazilian Ministry of Citizenship, 2019).

There are also social protection schemes in place to protect those regularly contributing to the Social Security System (Sistema de Seguridade Social) through formal work from events such as unemployment or illness. Benefits include disability allowance, sick allowance and restrain allowance (to the family of those who are arrested whilst contributing to the Social Security System) (Brazilian Ministry of Citizenship, 2019; Brazilian Ministry of Economy, 2016).

A total of 77,467,360 people subscribed to social protection schemes in September 2019, which represents approximately 38% of the Brazilian population. The aforementioned Bolsa Família programme reached 13,537,137 families during this same period (Brazilian Ministry of Citzenship, 2019).


Brazilian Ministry of Citzenship. (2019). Relatórios de Informações Sociais. https://aplicacoes.mds.gov.br/sagi/RIv3/geral/index.php?file=entrada&relatorio=153#

Brazilian Ministry of Economy. (2016). Seguro-Desemprego. http://trabalho.gov.br/seguro-desemprego