Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Portugal - Habitual residence

In what situation can I claim?

The term "habitual resident" means that you must have your "centre of interests" in Portugal. It also refers to permanence: a person who has been in Portugal for some time and intends to stay here for the foreseeable future.

Demonstrating that you are a habitual resident in the country depends on satisfying certain conditions provided for at the European level (family situation, length and continuity of residency, and work situation, among others). If you have lived in Portugal all your life, it probably will not be difficult to demonstrate that you satisfy habitual residence conditions.

What conditions do I need to meet?

In order to be entitled to the benefits below, your habitual residence must be in Portugal:

  • Social Old-Age Pension [Pensão social de velhice];
  • Widower/Widow's Pension [Pensão de viuvez];
  • Orphan's Pension [Pensão de orfandade];
  • Unemployment Benefits [Subsídio de desemprego];
  • Social Unemployment Benefits [subsídio social de desemprego] (non-contributory);
  • Child Benefits [Abono de família para crianças e jovens];
  • Funeral Allowance [Subsídio de funeral];
  • Solidarity Supplement for the Elderly [Complemento solidário para idosos];
  • Social Integration Income [Rendimento Social de Inserção];
  • Social Parental Benefits [Subsídio social parental] (non-contributory).
  • Social inclusion benefit

The condition of habitual residence applies to all persons claiming these social benefits, including to Portuguese citizens.

Certain exceptions to the condition of habitual residence (in Portugal) are provided for in the granting of Unemployment Benefits (when seeking employment in another Member State under European legislation) and Child Benefits (when family benefits are paid in another Member State under EU law or in another country that has signed a social security agreement with Portugal allowing this).

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

If you claim social benefits from the Social Security Institute, you will need to write your place of residence in the personal details section of the form.

Jargon busters

  • Habitual Residence (European definition): "the state in which the persons concerned habitually reside and where the habitual centre of their interests is to be found."

Know your rights

Practical guide on applicable legislation in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and in Switzerland (which includes the definition of habitual residence as well as some practical examples).

Commission Publication and Website:

Who do you need to contact?

Social Security Line: 300 502 502.

Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

From abroad: +351 300 502 502.

Social Security website: www.seg-social.pt

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