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Main tasks

The main tasks of the Social Security Institute, P.I. (ISS, IP – Instituto da Segurança Social, I.P.) are the following:

  • To manage the benefits from the Social Security system and its subsystems;
  • To ensure the recognition of Social Security rights and promote the fulfilment of duties by the Social Security system beneficiaries;
  • To collect the revenues of the Social Security system, ensuring compliance with contributory duties;
  • To report debts to Social Security, namely Social Security contributions debts and the respective interest on late payment, to the executive procedure sections of the Social Security Financial Management Institute, P.I. (IGFSS, IP – Instituto de Gestão Financeira da Segurança Social, I.P.)
  • To lodge Social Security claims within insolvency and enforcement proceedings of a fiscal, civil and labour nature and, as creditor, to request the debtor’s declaration of insolvency, in cooperation with the IGFSS;
  • To ensure, within the scope of its tasks, the fulfilment of duties arising from international Social Security instruments;
  • to conclude agreements that provide for exceptions to the rules governing the determination of the applicable legislation contained in international coordination instruments and to decide on the binding, maintenance or exemption of the legal link to the Portuguese social security legislation, namely within the framework of these international instruments, without prejudice to the specific competences of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNE- Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros);
  • To ensure the benefits granting under international Social Security instruments for the protection against accidents at work and occupational diseases;
  • To promote the implementation of financial provisions laid down in the international Social Security instruments and cooperate in this implementation, in the case of benefits not covered by the Portuguese Social Security system;
  • To promote the settlement of benefits due by foreign institutions, as well as the payment of benefits on behalf of foreign institutions, within the scope of international Social Security instruments;
  • To support the National Council for Solidarity, Volunteering, Family, Rehabilitation and Social Security Policies in the promotion, development and implementation of policies to support and enhance volunteering;
  • To develop and implement social action policies and measures to combat poverty and promote social inclusion;
  • To cooperate with the social solidarity private institutions and carry out its own authority over these institutions, in accordance with the law, as well as to develop cooperation with other social support entities;
  • To ensure social support to families, through direct funding, in accordance with the law;
  • To develop and support initiatives aimed to improve the living conditions of families and promote equal opportunities, namely those aimed at children, young people, active ageing, dependency, immigration, ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups;
  • To ensure technical advice to the courts, in accordance with the law, in what concerns matters of promotion and protection of children and young people at risk and civil protection procedures;
  • To promote the licensing of social support services and establishments;
  • To conclude cooperation agreements or protocols;
  • To assess and determine the workers’ incapacities due to diseases arising from occupational risks and ensure the provision of the necessary medical and pharmaceutical care to the persons concerned, as well as the granting of compensation, indemnities and pensions for damages arising from occupational risks, due to temporary or permanent incapacity;
  • To take part in the Review and Update of the National Table of Incapacities resulting from Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases and ensure the necessary support to this activity;
  • To supervise the fulfilment of rights and duties of beneficiaries and contributors of the Social Security system, social solidarity private institutions and other private entities that carry out social support activities;
  • To carry out sanctioning powers within the scope of illicit acts of mere social order concerning social support establishments, beneficiaries and contributors, in accordance with the law;
  • To ensure, in accordance with the law, the actions necessary for the possible application of sanctioning schemes for criminal offences committed by beneficiaries and contributors within the scope of the Social Security system;
  • To intervene in the adoption procedure, in accordance with the law, and within the scope of international adoption, to act in its capacity of central authority for International Adoption;
  • To ensure legal protection granting in accordance with the law;
  • To promote the dissemination of information and the development of actions aimed to protect the right to information and the right to file a complaint of the persons concerned, as well as information actions aimed to dignify the image of the Social Security system;
  • To ensure foreign relations within the scope of its responsibilities, without prejudice to the responsibilities of the Directorate-General for Social Security and the competences of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • To ensure the promotion of Social responses and support the creation of new social responses in the area of social integration, aimed to prevent and combat identified situations of children and young people at risk of social exclusion, combining the already existing measures with new specific ones;
  • To issue technical guidelines within the scope of its tasks.


Source: Decree-Law no. 83/2012 of 30 March.