In an ordinance published on Monday (24) in the Official Diary of the Union, O National Social Security Institute (INSS) confirmed that face-to-face service at the agency’s agencies will only return on September 14. Until then, beneficiaries and other citizens will have to resort to remote assistance, as has already been done.
The suspension of services at the INSS units started in March due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Since then, the agency has postponed the resumption of face-to-face service. This is the seventh postponement. The previous forecast was to return to today’s date.
Alternatively, the INSS advises citizens to seek assistance from the telephone number 135 or from the platform My INSS, available both via the web and via Android and iPhone apps.
Meu INSS offers various services, such as social security statements, request tracking, simulation of contribution time, updating of registration data and sending digitalized documentation for retirement requests.
But in practice, not everything is so simple. Certain procedures, such as those related to medical expertise, still depend on face-to-face assistance. There are not a few cases of people who entered the Sickness Aid through My INSS, for example, but are unable to move the process forward.
In addition, the first access to the platform can be laborious. In many cases, citizens need to generate a provisional password on the bank’s website or ATM where they have an account to enter My INSS. The problem is that many people work informally and do not have access to banking services.
Another complicating factor: it is common for people of low income or old age to have little or no intimacy with technology. In these circumstances, they may have to rely on help from relatives or acquaintances to make requests via My INSS.
As already reported, the reopening of the branches was rescheduled for September 14th. However, the INSS explains that the resumption will be gradual and will depend on the specificities of each of its units. These should assess factors such as staff, volume of services performed, organization of physical space and cleaning measures for resumption.