President Sebastián Piñera enacted a law on Monday strengthening the Middle Class Bonus and Solidarity Loan in support of families affected by the pandemic.
These benefits are part of the Social Protection Network program created by the Government and are fully supported by Congress to address the pandemic. Since its creation, the program has helped more than 14 million people, that is, 3 out of 4 Chileans.
“I give my word to all of my fellow citizens that this Social Protection Network, which has been expanded, simplified and strengthened, will be available for as long as necessary to support and help families who have been affected by the pandemic,” emphasized the President in a speech at the Presidential Palace, accompanied by Social Development and Family Minister Karla Rubilar, and Finance Minister Rodrigo Cerda.
A bonus of up to 500,000 pesos (US$700) will be given to every person who, subject to certain prerequisites, earns between the minimum wage and 1.5 million pesos (US$2,100). Likewise, the amount will be reduced proportionally for people with salaries between 1.5 and 2 million pesos (US$2,100-US$2,800).
Chileans earning between the minimum wage and 408,125 pesos (US$570) will be exempted from any prerequisite and will receive the bonus without needing to declare their drop in income. In other words, merely by having an income in this bracket, they will have access to this basic bonus.
People earning more than 408,125 pesos must show their income has dropped by 20%, contrasting the monthly average of the second semester in 2019 with the monthly average of the second semester in 2020. The drop in income will be verified by the Internal Revenue Service (SII) using information available to the State.
“I would like to thank the Senate and Chamber of Deputies for passing and improving this government project, and the dedication and commitment of the ministers who participated in this debate,” said the President in the enactment ceremony.
The initiative includes a solidarity loan of up to 650,000 pesos (US$900) per installment, which can be requested up to three times. This Middle Class Solidarity Loan will benefit 2,731,803 people. Beneficiaries of the Middle Class Bonus will be eligible to apply for up to two solidarity loans.
The new law also expands, simplifies, and strengthens the Household Emergency Income (IFE), which will be paid in April and will protect between 60% and 80% of the most vulnerable households, reaching 4 in every 5 homes. This will enable more than 10.4 million people access this financial support.
“If we’re united, we can address in a much better and safer way not only the pandemic, but also the many challenges that in the future we must face as a country. A united house is always stronger; a house that is divided cannot prevail,” the President concluded.