Emergency assistance for persons who have received a final decision dismissing their application and ordering their removal

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Within the framework of the 2003 budget cuts, the Federal Parliament also decided on various economy measures within the asylum sector. Since the 1st of April 2004, the Federal Government only pays the cantons a one-time lump sum for emergency assistance – as opposed to standard social assistance – for persons who have received a decision to dismiss an application without entering into the substance of the case and whose removal order became res iudicata. In addition to this change in subsidies, the Parliament also decided that those persons, who are ordered to leave Switzerland as mentioned above, are no longer subject to the provisions of the Asylum Act and therefore may no longer claim any right to welfare benefits. Since this new clause came into force the 1st of April 2004, this group has been excluded from welfare structures. Anyone who remains in Switzerland in violation of their obligation to leave the country and subsequently gets into a position of need may, however, apply for emergency assistance under the provisions of Article 12 of the Federal Constitution. Periodic reports on the effects of the new provisions are available to the public on the Internet.

Extending the withdrawal of social assistance to other groups of persons

The group of persons who are no longer eligible to receive social assistance was extended under the provisions of the revised Asylum Act of the 16th of December 2005. Since the 1st of January 2008, everyone being obliged to leave Switzerland after his or her application has been dismissed can be excluded from receiving social assistance.

Anyone who gets into a position of need may apply for emergency assistance. The payment of such assistance is made under the provisions of cantonal law.

Costs arising from emergency assistance are recorded and made available to the public on the Internet.

The Federal Government reimburses the cantons by means of a one-time lump sum payment for the costs incurred for emergency assistance to persons who are obliged to leave Switzerland following a final decision. In 2008 these costs amounted to 6000 Swiss francs per person. Two-thirds of this amount (i.e. 4000 Swiss francs) is paid to the canton in which the person in question resides. One-third (i.e. 2000 Swiss francs) is initially kept back by the Federal Government to be distributed on agreement by the cantons.