Social security is quite adequate in Portugal. In principle, the system is administered by the state and applies to all individuals working in Portugal, including self employed. It provides benefits for health care, sickness, retirement, disability, death and old age, maternity, paternity and adoption. Both employers and employees must register and make contributions. Voluntary registration can also be made by those who aren’t required to register.
Anyone who has paid regular social security contributions in the EU for two full years before coming to Portugal is entitled to public health cover for a limited period from the date of their last social security contribution made in their home country.The EHIC Card entitles the patient to treatment in public hospitals including emergency dental treatment if on holiday, a student or temporarily resident for less than 180 days. If the applicant has moved to Portugal to live and work, an electronic Social Security Card (Cartão de Segurança Social) will be issued, along with a list of GP health centres in their residential area (Centros do Saúde) and hospitals (Hospitais Públicos).
An employer must notify the Portuguese social security authorities of the commencement of work of an employee and deduct contributions from his gross salary and make payments to the authorities by the 15th of the following month. All compulsory social security contributions are tax deductible. Employees' contributions are based on their actual monthly income while contributions for the self-employed are calculated on an amount of between 1 and 12 times the minimum national wage, as chosen by the individual. Social security affiliation is voluntary for self-employed workers whose gross yearly income is less than or equal to six times the national minimum wage, it is mandatory for those self-employed workers who earn more than six times the national minimum wage.
Portugal has reciprocal social security agreements with all EU countries plus Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, the USA and Venezuela. These agreements allow for social security contributions paid in one country to be taken into account under the social security schemes of another country. It also seeks to protect a person's right to benefits when moving from one country to the other. The agreement covers various areas incuding Invalidity Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Maternity Benefit, Accident Benefit, Old Age Pension, Widow/Survivors Benefits, Family Allowance and Death Grant. For more detailed information on social security in Portugal, please click here.
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