Overzealous Social Security debt collection system to be investigated
The Ombudsman has handled a 40% increase, between 2017 and 2018, in complaints about the collection of social security debts and has ordered urgent inspections into misuse of the process at several offices, including the one in Faro.
Between 2016 and 2018, 592 complaints were received from citizens who had been subjected to the dreaded ‘coercive collection’ system.
Most complaints were from those whose bank accounts had been frozen ‘beyond the limits of the law’ or that debts were processed for collection before their legal due date when people has contested them.
The Ombudsman’s office cited cases where people had had their accounts frozen when they had not received demands for payment.
The Ombudsman has decided to inspect various social security offices throughout the country, including the one in Faro and that results will be published during the next quarter.