Social welfare and emergency aid subsidies

Federal and cantonal responsibilities

The cantons are responsible for assessing and granting social welfare and emergency aid to persons in need of support. Under the law, the federal authorities must subsidise these payments, i.e. reimburse the cantons for these expenditures.

Under Article 115 of the Federal Constitution, people in need are supported by their canton of residence. This means that the federal authorities may not issue directives or supervise this area of financial assistance. If a person in need has applied to the cantonal authorities for social welfare or emergency aid and not received any assistance, or thinks the assistance they have received does not correspond to the legal provisions, they can appeal against the decision through the courts.



(These documents are not available in English)

Legal bases

(Most of these documents are not available in English)

International law

National law

Cantonal law


Last modification 28.08.2017

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