Social Assistance

Asylum seekers and refugees can join many social programmes of the Brazilian Government. Besides, you also have access to UNHCR and our partners’ support. Below, we will explain which assistance you may receive in Brazil, both from the government and UNHCR partners.

CRAS - Reference Center for Social Assistance.

It is a public unit focused on Social Assistance issues. It seeks to prevent situations of social risk and, therefore, is located in regions of greater vulnerability in order to bring benefits to the communities residing in these areas.

It is through services and projects that CRAS can support families, such as lectures, campaigns, events, in addition to the Service of Protection and Integral Assistance to the Family (PAIF) and the Service of Coexistence and Strengthening of Links ( SCFV). CRAS is also responsible for registering with the Federal Government’s Single Register for Social Programs.

To learn more about CRAS and where it is closest to your home, visit the website.

CREAS - Specialized Social Assistance Reference Center

It is a public unit that deals with issues of social assistance, with a focus on providing support and specialized guidance to people who are at social risk or have their rights violated.

CREAS makes referrals to other social services and other public services. In addition, it carries out juridical guidelines, support to the family among others.

To find out more information and where CREAS is located in your city or region, visit the website.

How to Register for the Government Social Programmes (CadÚnico)?

Registration for most social programmes offered by the federal government is done through a system called Cadastro Único para Programas Sociais do Governo Federal (CadÚnico). Go to the nearest Centro de Referência de Assistência Social (CRAS) in your city in order to register at Cadúnico. Note that, although mandatory to access those programmes, the registration does not guarantee the reception of assistance.

List of Federal Social Programmes

  • “Bolsa Família” – Monthly Financial Assistance
    Bolsa Família can benefit extreme poor (those whose monthly income per person is under R$85,00) and poor families (whose monthly income per person is under R$170,00). In cases of poor families, pregnant women or children under 18 years old must be included. The benefit is provided on a monthly basis and it usually ranges between R$35,00 and R$ 350,00 per family. For more information, click here.
  • “Minha Casa”, “Minha Vida” – Special Conditions for Poor Families to Buy a House
    Federal government programme that offers special financial conditions for low-income families to buy houses.
    There are two family profiles who can benefit from this programme:
    families with a monthly income of up to R$ 1.600,00;
    families with a monthly income of up to R$ 6.500,00
    Find more information online by following this link.
  • “Aluguel Social” – Monthly Assistance to Pay the Rent
    The ‘Social Rent’ programme offers a monthly assistance for low-income families to pay their rents. The programme is not the same in every city, and may not be available in your town. Go to the nearest CRAS to know more about how this programme works in your location.
  • “Projovem” – Scholarships for Youth to Complete Basic School
    The “Pro Youth” programme offers scholarships for young adults between 18 and 29 years old who are literate and never completed elementary school. The participants of the programme receive a monthly assistance of R$ 100,00 as an incentive to finish their studies. The rules of this programme are not the same in every city. Go to the nearest CRAS to know more about how this programme works in your location.
    Find more information online by following this link.
  • “Tarifa Social de Energia Elétrica,” – Discount in the Electricity Bill
    This benefit provides a discount in the electricity bill for low-income families.
    Find more information by following this link.

You can also register at social assistance programmes available at the State and Municipal level. Please consult the nearest CRAS (Centro de Referência de Assistência Social) and CREAS (Centro de Referência Especializado de Assistência Social) in your city.

If you need assistance on how to contact these public organizations, please refer to one of UNHCR’s partners in Brazil.

I am an asylum seeker/refugee; will I receive financial assistance from UNHCR or the Brazilian government?

There is no regular financial assistance conceded to UNHCR or the Brazilian government to asylum seekers and refugees. However, for those individuals who are in a specially vulnerable situation (e.g. pregnant women, the elderly, persons with serious illness), there is a possibility of receiving an emergency assistance. This assistance is usually limited for a period of three months. Contact UNHCR partners in order to request a social assessment.