The Minister of Pensions, Karine Lalieux, is preparing a reform of the control procedure for the Guarantee of Income for the Elderly (GRAPA), she explained on Monday in the House Social Affairs Committee, while a action of “Grapa collective“denouncing these controls.
A new procedure for monitoring the obligation to stay in Belgium, a condition for benefiting from this allowance, saw the light of day under the previous legislature. It involves the passage of the postman who makes the beneficiary sign a certificate of residence. If the latter is absent three times, he has five days to return the signed certificate to the administration. The system has been denounced because, according to the Collective, it leads to a virtual confinement of elderly people who hardly dare to be absent for a few days.
Due to the pandemic, controls were suspended until October 1. Despite the minister’s request, the suspension was not extended. In practice, however, controls have not yet resumed. Ms. Lalieux is working on a review of the mechanism. She proposes that the postman be limited to depositing a registered letter with the person, which removes any control role, and to align with what is already in force for social integration income, namely the possibility of leaving. seven days without having to inform the administration (compared to two days currently).
“I would like to remind you once again that 80% of GRAPA beneficiaries have set up a pension. They worked in Belgium but their pension is too low. I therefore want to call for respect for these workers who live with an income around the poverty line. The goal is always the same: to improve the situation of people“, explained Mrs. Lalieux.