Thousands more Swiss residents claim welfare due to Covid-19

Self-employed workers like taxi drivers risk turning to the state for welfare support due to the Covid-19 crisis. Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

Nearly 8,300 residents, in particular the self-employed and others on short-term work, have been forced to claim welfare benefits in Switzerland since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

This content was published on June 21, 2020 - 16:34
NZZ am Sonntag/sb

The number of new welfare claimants in Switzerland has risen by 8,300 to 280,000, according to the Swiss Conference for Social Welfare (SKOS).

Christoph Eymann, the president of SKOS, told NZZ am Sonntag that the number of new claimants increased by 3% between the beginning of March and end of May. The numbers increased especially in “hotspots” such as French- and Italian-speaking regions, and in central Switzerland, he added.

According to SKOS’s median scenario, the total number of new welfare claimants may increase by 75,000 by 2022.

Of these, one third are likely to be self-employed and one quarter refugees and asylum seekers who have been given temporary residence in Switzerland.

This should result in an additional financial burden for the cantons and communes estimated at CHF3-4 billion, which Eymann hopes will be shared between the different regions.

He said if the SKOS’s scenarios are confirmed the cantons will require additional federal funds over the next two years.

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