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Social allowance

Publication: 20/05/2022

A social allowance is an economic service that can be claimed by submitting a request. It is aimed at Italian and foreign citizens facing financial difficulties who have earnings lower than a threshold prescribed annually by law. Since 1st January 1996, social allowances have replaced the social pension.

Social allowances are aimed at both Italian and EU foreign citizens who have registered at the registry office of their place of residence. They are also available to non-EU citizens/refugees/holders of subsidiary protection who have an EC extended residence permit. Beneficiaries must receive an income lower than the thresholds established annually by law.


The allowance payments start from the first day of the month following the month in which the claim was submitted. Furthermore, the benefit is received on a temporary basis and annual checks take place to confirm income requirements and current place of residence.


The sum of the allowance is equal to € 458.00 for a period of 13 months. For 2019, the income threshold is equal to €5,954.00 per year or €11,908.00 for married recipients.

Unmarried individuals who receive no income and married individuals who receive a household income lower than the annual sum of the allowance are entitled to the full benefit.

Unmarried individuals who have a salary lower than the annual sum of the allowance and married individuals who have a household income that falls between the annual sum of the benefit and double this amount are entitled to a partial allowance.

The allowance is not liable for any IRPEF (personal income tax) deductions.


The allowance will be suspended if the recipient resides abroad for a period of more than 30 days. After one year of suspension, the benefit will be withdrawn. This social allowance is temporary and income requirements and current place of residence are checked on an annual basis.

It cannot be passed on to surviving family members and cannot be sent overseas or distributed abroad. If the recipient resides abroad for a period of more than 30 days, the allowance will be suspended. After one year of suspension, the benefit will be withdrawn.


From 1st January 2019, to be eligible for the allowance all Italian and foreign citizens must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 67 years of age;
  • Be in need of financial assistance;
  • Have Italian citizenship;
  • Be a permanent resident of the national territory and have lived there continuously for at least ten years.

In addition, EU foreign citizens must be listed at the registry office of their residential municipality and non-EU residents must be holders of the EC long-term resident permit.

Eligibility for this benefit is calculated based on personal income for unmarried citizens and on total joint income for married citizens.

To carry out this assessment, the following incomes of the spouse and the applicant are taken into account:

  • Income subject to IRPEF (personal income tax) net of tax and social security contributions;
  • Tax-exempt income;
  • Income subject to withholding tax (winnings from games of chance, games of skill, competitions with prizes, payments from the State, from public and private legal persons);
  • Income subject to substitute tax such as postal and banking savings interest, CCT interest and any other Government bond, interest, prize or other earnings from similar bonds and obligations, issued by banks and corporations, etc.;
  • Income from land and buildings;
  • War pensions;
  • Incomes granted from the INAIL (National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work);
  • Old-age pensions received from foreign countries;
  • Pensions and benefits for disabled, blind and deaf citizens;
  • Maintenance payments in accordance with the Italian Civil Code.

In the eligibility assessment the following are not taken into account:

  • Severance indemnity and advance payments of this type;
  • Income from place of residence;
  • Arrears subject to separate taxation;
  • Attendance allowance for disabled, blind or deaf citizens;
  • Life-time benefits for veterans of the 1915-1918 war (Italian front battle);
  • Arrears granted for work performed abroad.

HOW can I claim?

Claims must be made on-line using the dedicated service found on the INPS website. A manual containing general instructions for filling out the claim can be downloaded there.<7p>

Alternatively, claims can be made by:

  • Telephoning the contact centre on +39 803 164 (free from Italian landlines) or +39 06 164 164 from mobile phones;
  • Electronic services offered by patronage institutes and intermediaries thereof.