The Italian social security system Job
Although the term ‘social security is generally associated with income maintenance and support programs, it’s noted here as the introduction to this article that social policy scholars in different parts of the world have used the term in different ways.
In some countries, notably Italy, it is used narrowly to refer exclusively to the federal government’s social insurance retirement program. Similarly, in many Anglophone developing countries where provident funds are the primary form of income maintenance, social security also has a particular meaning.
On the other hand, in Europe and many other Western nations, the term is used broadly to connote a variety of income protection programs, including means-tested social assistance, contributory social insurance, employer mandates, and demo grant or universal social allowances. In several continental European countries, it also refers to health insurance.
The term has an even broader meaning in many Latin American countries, referring not only to income protection but to the provision of health care, social work services, and even educational and recreational facilities.
However, Italy has an extensive social security system covering most of the population.
Social insurance provides benefits for unemployment, sickness and maternity, accidents at work, and occupational diseases, as well as old age, invalidity, survivor’s pensions, and family allowances. It doesn’t include the national health service, which is funded by general taxation.
The system is run by several state agencies, which have been brought together under the umbrella of the National Institute for Social Security. All resident and self-employed workers pay social security contributions, with a few exceptions.
If you’re an employee, your employer completes all the necessary formalities for registering with social security.
All workers who are registered with social security may enjoy its benefits, be it free public healthcare, pensions, work leave, or benefits in cases of need. Self-employed workers register with a different social security scheme, which means some benefits may not apply to them.
what is social security?
In Italy, Social Security is the commonly used term for the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program and is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The original Social Security Act was enacted in 1935, and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompasses several social welfares and social insurance programs.
Social Security” is the term used for the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program in the United States, which is run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), a federal agency. Though it is best known for retirement benefits, it also provides survivor benefits and income for workers who become disabled.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) uses three criteria to define a social security system. First, the objective of the system must be to grant curative or preventive medical care, to maintain income in case of involuntary loss of earnings or of an important part of earnings, or to grant supplementary income to persons having family responsibilities.
Secondly, the system must have been set up by legislation that attributes specified individual rights to, or that imposes specified obligations on, a public, semipublic, or autonomous body. And third, the system should be administered by a public, semipublic, or autonomous body.
How to Apply For Social Security Disability:
The Social Security Administration has an online Social Security Disability application form on its website, or you can apply for disability benefits by phone or in person at your local Social Security office.
Although that sounds simple, you’ll first need to gather quite a bit of information, including the following:
- Information about your current and former spouses, including names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and marriage and divorce dates.
- Names and birth dates of your children who are under 18, still in high school, or who became disabled before age 22.
- Information about your military service, including the dates you served.
- Employment information for the current year and the previous two years, including your employer’s name, the start and end dates of your employment, and the amount of money you earned.
- A list of your medical conditions.
- Information about the health care providers you’ve seen, including their names and addresses, the dates you saw them, your patient ID numbers, the names and dates of medical tests and who prescribed them, and the names of any medications you take.
- Information about your work history, including when you became unable to work and the type of work you’ve done for the past 15 years.
- Information about your education and vocational training.
As part of the application process, you’ll sign a medical release form that allows the Social Security Administration to obtain information directly from your doctors, and you’ll have the option of mailing in any medical records that you have in your possession.
Special features of the Italian system:
There are three features of Italy's social security system which are unique and that impact the operation of the Agreement with Australia.
The features are:
if the contribution-based benefit is less than the minimum rate of benefit guaranteed by Italian law (the guaranteed minimum), Italy pays a 'welfare supplement' (the integration al minimo) to bring the rate of INPS benefit up to that minimum. The supplement has an income test.
The unusual feature of Italy's system is that the welfare supplement is paid overseas as well as in Italy (with the exception of European Union countries). Under the Agreement, there are special arrangements for the way Australia treats this 'welfare supplement' under the income test.
If the contributions-based rate of benefit paid under an agreement is less than the specified amount under Italian law, the rate is increased to that 'specified amount', regardless of the pensioner's other income.
This specified amount is called the import minimal and the increase paid to bring the benefit to that amount is known as the differential amount according to law 335/95 (Importo differenziale ex L. 335/95). Under the Agreement, there are special arrangements for how Australia treats this 'specified amount' under the income test.
Special assistance available to the Italian community through the Patronato agencies. Patroni is a welfare organization affiliated with the Italian trade unions. Each Patronato is recognized under Italian law and funded by INPS. Their role is to help people get social security entitlements by advocating the person's case with INPS. There are Patronati offices and branches in all Italian cities and most towns and workplaces.
They are also present in overseas countries, including Australia, where many Italian migrants reside. In Australia, DSS recognizes the critical role of the Patronato and co-operates with them when authorized by the claimant or pensioner.
The Patronato may also help people in dealings with Centrelink. This is done only with the authorization of the person. Patronato does not charge pensioners for their services.
How Social Security Works:
Social Security is an insurance program. Workers pay into the program, typically through payroll withholding where they work. Self-employed workers pay Social Security taxes when they file their federal tax returns.
Workers can earn up to four credits each year. In 2022, for every $1,510 earned, one credit is granted until $6,040, or four credits have been achieved. That money goes into two Social Security trust funds—the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (OASI) for retirees and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI) for disability beneficiaries—where it is used to pay benefits to people currently eligible for them. The money that is not spent remains in the trust funds.
A board of trustees oversees the financial operation of the two Social Security trust funds. Four of the six members are the secretaries of the departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services, and the Commissioner of Social Security. The remaining two members are public representatives appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
Medicare, the federal health insurance program for Americans 65 and older and some people with disabilities, are also supported through payroll withholding. That money goes into a third trust fund, which is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Types of Social Security Benefits:
There are four basic types of benefits based on the person receiving them. The types are retirement, disability, survivors, and supplemental benefits.
Retirement benefits are what typically come to mind when most people think of Social Security. Such benefits are available for people 62 or older who have worked at least 10 years. Your benefit amount will vary based on your pre-retirement salary as well as the age at which you begin collecting benefits. While it is not meant to be your only source of income, it can help you avoid debt during your retirement years. Additionally, your spouse or divorced spouse may be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits even if he or she has not paid into the program.
Disability benefits support people who cannot work because of disabilities. As with retirement benefits, you need to have worked a certain number of years to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The amount of work you need depends on your age, and your monthly benefit amount depends on your pre-disability salary. SSDI benefits may also be available for your spouse or divorced spouse.
Survivors' benefits can help bridge financial gaps for survivors of workers and retirees. Eligible recipients typically include help for widows and widowers, divorced spouses, and children. The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Obergefell v. Hodges) gave same-sex couples access to Social Security benefits.
The level of benefits depends on a number of factors, including the worker’s age at death, the worker’s salary, the survivors’ ages, and the survivors’ relation to the deceased.
There also is a “death benefit” for survivors that is a one-time payment of $255 that goes to the spouse or children of a deceased worker.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helps people who cannot earn sufficient wages on their own. It is available to adults with disabilities, children with disabilities, and people 65 or older. Individuals with enough work history may be eligible to receive SSI in addition to disability or retirement benefits. The amount individuals receive varies based on their other sources of income and where they live.
Social Security Payouts:
The Social Security program is funded primarily through dedicated payroll taxes called the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA). Employers also pay Social Security taxes. This funding method has not changed since the program’s inception.
Revenue collected and not used immediately is credited to the Social Security Trust Fund and invested in securities issued by the Italy Treasury to fund government operations.
Recipients of Social Security benefits receive payouts once a month.
Full retirement benefits are available to you when you reach your full retirement age, which is between 65 and 67, depending on your birth year. For people born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age is 67. For those born before, the retirement age may be lower by several months.
Although retirement benefits are available to people 62 or older, the program encourages seniors to wait until they are of full retirement age before they begin collecting retirement benefits. An early collection of benefits results in a permanent decrease in monthly benefit amounts. The earlier you begin collecting, the fewer benefits you receive over time.
Assume your full retirement age is 67. Here is the percentage of benefits you’d receive each month based on the age at which you begin collecting:
"The Italian social security system" is an article that creates awareness of the availability of social security jobs in Italy.
The article further explains the meaning of the social security system, how to apply for social security work, the features of the social security system, how social security work in Italy, and the types of social security benefits.