The standard of living of a person or family is not defined by income alone. It is affected by various factors such as living and housing conditions, wealth, employment and education. The combination of these indicators makes it possible to establish whether their personal situation is adequate or perhaps modest. The Luxembourg socio-economic model seeks to maintain social cohesion, promote integration and guarantee equal opportunities for all. In this context, a series of measures are available to support vulnerable households.
Social protection policy
The National Solidarity Fund (Fonds national de solidarité, FNS) was created in 1960 by a law that was based on social assistance mechanisms by allocating means-tested benefits. From the outset, the fund was primarily a point of contact for self-employed workers whose social security could not sufficiently satisfy their needs in terms of social protection. At present, the FNS is responsible for managing the payment of various social security benefits affecting, for example, single-parent families, the long-term unemployed or individuals with a severe disability.
Social inclusion income (REVIS)
In 2018, the Chamber of Deputies passed the law on the Social Inclusion Income (revenu d'inclusion sociale, REVIS), which replaced the Guaranteed Minimum Income (revenu minimum garanti, RMG) at the beginning of 2019. The REVIS has four objectives
- Foster social inclusion.
- Create a coherent system between stabilisation, social activation and reintegration policies.
- Tackle child and single-parent poverty.
- Bring about a simplification of administrative procedures.
The REVIS essentially consists of the inclusion allowance - a type of financial assistance providing a basic means of subsistence to individuals who have no income or whose income does not reach a certain threshold - and the activation allowance - an allowance for people who take part in activation measures as part of the REVIS.
On the website www.revis.lu, the general public and eligible individuals can find all the relevant information, conditions, terms and procedures of REVIS.
The cost-of-living allowance and the energy bonus
From 1 January to 31 October of the current year, low-income households that meet the conditions and procedures set out in the Government Council Regulation can apply for the cost-of-living allowance (allocation de vie chère, AVC) and the energy bonus. The amounts of the allowance and the premium are determined according to the income of the applicant's domestic community, whether they are living alone or with several people. You'll find more information and the procedures here.
Allowance for severely disabled persons (RPGH)
Individuals who are unable to work or who have obtained disabled employee status and who, for reasons beyond their control, do not have access to the job market or earn less than the RPGH, are entitled to the RPGH. The FNS is responsible for paying the benefit; however, the application to receive the RPGH is made via the Medical Commission Secretariat of the Employment Development Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi, ADEM).
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The Ministry of Housing provides rental assistance to low-income households. The sum varies between EUR 200 and EUR 400 per month. You can find all the information, the procedures to take as well as a rent subsidy simulator on the Ministry's website.
Obtaining an advance and recovering maintenance payments
A maintenance payment is a financial contribution paid to any person who requires maintenance. It is set by a legal ruling. The person requesting assistance must be in a difficult economic situation and have explored all legal avenues in order to obtain maintenance. This sum is paid and recovered by the FNS. The property of the debtor (the person who has to pay the maintenance) and the creditor (the person who will receive the maintenance) is subject to a mortgage registration in favour of the fund. This guarantees the restitution of benefits in the event of a return to better fortunes or in the event of succession.
Financial assistance to pay for gerontology services
The FNS contributes to the services provided as part of gerontological care for users of integrated centres (CIPA - integrated centre for the elderly), care homes and other supervised and approved accommodation. This supplement is issued to persons who are admitted to one of the aforementioned institutions on an indefinite basis, but who do not have the resources to cover the cost of accommodation and other personal needs. It is paid directly to the facility housing of the applicant.
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The health system in Luxembourg is based on the values of solidarity, universal accessibility and equal treatment. Through the system of Universal Healthcare Cover, the Luxembourg State pays the contributions for voluntary affiliation to health insurance of any vulnerable person, as well as any personal contribution that cannot be paid by this person due to insufficient financial means.
The amended law of 18 December 2009 on social welfare establishes a right to social welfare support and is aimed at tackling poverty and social exclusion and enabling every person to lead a life of human dignity.
Social welfare support ensures that those in need and their families are able to gain access to products and services that are appropriate to their specific situation, so that they can gain or maintain their independence. The assistance may be palliative, curative or preventive in nature. It is based on short-, medium- or long-term welfare support; if need be, this support may be supplemented by a material aid, either in kind or in cash.
Any person legally residing in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is in principle entitled to social welfare support and may apply to the Welfare Office of the municipality in which they reside. There are 30 Welfare offices in Luxembourg, which are public establishments under the control of the Ministry for the Family, Integration and the Greater Region. A full list of Welfare offices can be found on the Ministry's website. The practical details of the steps to take in order to benefit from social assistance are explained on guichet.lu - the administrative portal of Luxembourg.
There are approximately twelve foods banks in Luxembourg and they provide vulnerable people with access to food and everyday items. Open five days a week, food banks are also places where people can meet and spend some time together. On average, items are two-thirds cheaper. In order to shop in a food bank, it is necessary to obtain an access card which can be requested from the Welfare Office of the municipality of residence or from other social services.