Helplessness allowance

The purpose of the helplessness allowance is to enable people with disabilities to live as independently as possible. They are awarded to the insured whose health impairment means that they require long-term help or supervision from a third party to perform everyday tasks (e.g. dressing, eating and personal hygiene).

Helpless minors may also claim a helplessness allowance.  Infants under one year are entitled to an allowance if their helplessness is likely to persist for more than 12 months.

Under certain circumstances, minors requiring intensive care for a minimum of four hours are also entitled to an intensive care supplement. The supplement is determined on the basis of the extra time required to care for a child with an invalidity compared to a healthy child of the same age. Only minors who still live at home are entitled to this intensive care supplement.

Adults who live at home but require long-term assistance with basic everyday tasks are also entitled to claim a helplessness allowance.  In other words, their health impairment means that they:

• are unable to live independently without the assistance of a third party;

• are reliant on the assistance of a third party with activities and social interaction outside the home; or

• are at serious risk of long-term isolation from the outside world.

Only recipients of an invalidity pension of 25% or more  who live in Switzerland may claim a helplessness allowance. Entitlement to an IV/AI helplessness allowance ceases if the person is entitled to claim a helplessness allowance under the obligatory accident insurance scheme or military insurance scheme.

The IV/AI scheme recognises three different degrees of helplessness: slight, medium and severe. The allowance rate varies. For example, the allowance rate for claimants in residential care is one quarter of the allowance rate for claimants who live at home.

Last modification 11.05.2022

Top of page