Disability justice

20 de April, 2023

Continuous Cash Benefit at the Brazilian Supreme Court (O Benefício de Prestação Continuada no Supremo Tribunal Federal), 2010.

This article analyzes decisions of Brazil’s Supreme Court regarding the Continuous Cash Benefit (BPC, Benefício de Prestação Continuada in Portuguese), a cash transfer program to the elderly or persons with disabilities not capable of working and living an independent life, whose household per capita income is lower than a quarter of the minimum wage. The litigation of social policies before the Brazilian Supreme Court is a growing phenomena, and the BPC case is paradigmatic. The paper examines the budgetary arguments prevailing in recent Supreme Court decisions, and challenges the appropriateness of the income eligibility threshold set by the Social Assistance Act (Lei Orgânica da Assistência Social). Furthermore, the study evaluates the fiscal impact of raising the threshold to half minimum wage. The main conclusion is that an increase in the threshold would lead to an increase in the number of beneficiaries but, due to the current targeting errors, the increase in costs would be lower than the growth of the eligible population.

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