Social Security: understand what it is and how it works in Brazil

Did you know that you have the right to public policies that guarantee you protection in situations that compromise your livelihood? Learn more about Social Security.

Did you know that every Brazilian has the right to public policies that ensure protection against situations that could compromise their livelihood and that of their family? This is part of social security.

In this text, learn about the Brazilian Social Security system, which guides the installation and implementation of measures to promote citizen dignity. Furthermore, find out what iFood initiatives are to ensure dignity, safety and health protection for delivery partners.

What is social security?

Social Security is an integrated set of actions and initiatives by Public Authorities and society. It ensures that all Brazilians can feel safe, protected and assisted in times of difficulty. In addition to contemplating rights relating to Health, Social Security and Social Assistance, in accordance with the article 194 of the Brazilian Constitution.

Origins of social security in Brazil

In the process of redemocratization in Brazil, starting in 1985, one of the issues that provoked the most debate was the institution of public policies.

In this context, Social Security arises to protect Brazilian citizens from situations that could put their livelihood and that of their family at risk. For example, illness, death, disability, imprisonment, temporary disability, unemployment, maternity, old age, among others.

In the work to draft the 1988 Federal Constitution, constituents organized all of these concerns when establishing the Social Security system.

Social Security follows the fundamental principle of valuing dignity of human person. It brings together social rights for all Brazilians in sectors such as education, health, social security, maternity protection and others. In this way, the objective is to establish a free, fair and supportive society, contributing to the reduction of poverty, marginalization and social inequalities.

Next, understand how the Social Security system works, what benefits and services are offered and how it is financed.

Objectives of Social Security

Social Security's main objectives are:

  • Protect individuals against social risks: Social Security aims to protect people against social risks, such as unemployment, illness, work accidents, maternity, old age, disability and death.
  • Promote social equality: promotes social equality by providing assistance to the least favored in society and ensuring that everyone has access to health, welfare and social assistance services.
  • Ensure quality of life: guarantees the quality of life of citizens, promoting their social and economic integration, through access to basic services such as education, health, housing and food.
  • Stimulate economic development: stimulates the country's economic development, through the generation of jobs and income, contributing to economic growth and social stability.

Social Security Law: understand what defines the Brazilian Constitution

The Social Security Law is defined by the Brazilian Constitution as a set of actions aimed at guaranteeing the social protection of Brazilian citizens. This law covers three areas: Health, Social Security and Social Assistance.

Health is guaranteed through the Unified Health System (SUS), which offers free, quality medical care for the entire population. Social Security, in turn, guarantees retirement and other benefits for workers who contribute to Social Security.

Social Assistance offers support to people in situations of social vulnerability, such as the elderly, people with disabilities, children and low-income families. This assistance may include food distribution programs, financial benefits and shelter services.

The Social Security Law is an important tool to guarantee social protection for Brazilian citizens. Furthermore, it is fundamental to stimulating the country's economic development, as social security contributes to the generation of employment and income and to social stability.

What does Social Security guarantee Brazilians?

A federal Constitution, in force since 1988, establishes that every Brazilian citizen has the right to social protection from the State. It is validated by actions of Public Authorities and society, which must guarantee rights to Health, Social Security and Social Assistance.

In this sense, in relation to Social Security, the objective is to contribute to ensuring that individuals (insured people) and/or their dependents are able to live with dignity. For example, in cases of inability to work, imprisonment, old age or death.

Therefore, Social Security offers:

  • Retirement (by age, contribution time, disability);
  • Sickness benefit;
  • Accident assistance;
  • Death pension;
  • Prison aid;
  • Family salary;
  • Maternity pay.

In turn, the Social Assistance policy guarantees:

  • A monthly minimum wage for people with disabilities or elderly people who prove that they do not have their own source of income or cannot be supported by their family;
  • Services to address social vulnerabilities – for example, violence and sexual exploitation, child labor and homelessness.

What is the Social Security tripod?

The Social Security system is based on the tripod of Health, Social Security and Social Assistance. Thus, its objective is to ensure that citizens feel safe and protected from the necessary assistance and resources.

What is the difference between Social Security and Social Security?

The Federal Constitution establishes that every Brazilian citizen has the right to social protection from the State. Therefore, this set of benefits and services is called Social Security. It is based on the tripod of Health (SUS), Social Security and Social Assistance.

Social Security is the policy to replace the income of individuals who lose, temporarily or permanently, the ability to work. Therefore, to be entitled to Social Security benefits, workers make monthly contributions to the system, which also receives resources from employers and the Union.

In addition to retirement based on contribution time, the worker has the following risks covered by Social Security: illness, disability, maternity, old age, death, accidents or work-related illnesses.

What is the difference between Social Security and Social Assistance?

Social Assistance is one of the pillars of Social Security, which also includes Health (SUS) and Social Security.

In this sense, providing Social Assistance to citizens who are in a situation of social vulnerability is a duty of the State, according to the Federal Constitution. At the same time, receiving assistance is also a right for citizens who are on the poverty line or in a state of misery.

In this case, access to the benefits offered by the State does not require the counterpart of a financial contribution, as in the case of Social Security. Therefore, the article 203 of the Constitution establishes that Social Assistance must serve to:

  • Provide protection to the family, motherhood, childhood, adolescence and old age;
  • Support needy children and adolescents;
  • Promote the integration of the unemployed into the labor market;
  • Enable and rehabilitate people with disabilities and promote their integration into community life;
  • Guarantee a minimum wage monthly benefit to people with disabilities and elderly people who prove that they do not have the means to provide for their own maintenance or have it provided for by their family.

Who is entitled to Social Security in Brazil?

Since 1988, policies associated with Social Security have expanded, as follows:

  • In 1991, the coverage of the social security system was expanded and access to benefits for rural workers was made more flexible (law 8,213/91);
  • In 1993, non-contributory public policy recognized Social Assistance, which operates services and monetary benefits (law 8,742/93);
  • Access to health services, from 1990 onwards, became universal for all individuals, regardless of ability to pay. Furthermore, through the consolidation of the SUS (law 8080/90) service networks were integrated.

What are the revenues for funding Social Security?

Social Security funding revenues are the sources of financing that support the programs and services offered by Social Security, health and social assistance in Brazil. There are several sources of revenue that make up social security and they are:

  • Social contributions: main source of financing for social security and correspond to Social Security collections, such as contributions from employees, employers and self-employed people.
  • Tax revenue: collections from taxes and fees, such as Income Tax (IRPF) and Tax on Industrialized Products (IPI).
  • Equity income: correspond to income from social security assets, such as income from real estate and investments.
  • Financial income: income from social security investments, such as the profitability of public funds and bonds.
  • Other recipes: additional sources of financing, such as income from lotteries and contests, for example.

What are the principles of Social Security?

In 1991, the National Congress approved the Social Security Organic Law to regulate its organization and funding. Thus, according to Article 1, the guidelines and principles of Social Security are:


  • Universality of coverage – meeting all social contingencies (all events) that place people in a situation of need.
  • Universality of care – all people in need must be supported and protected.


  • Uniformity and equivalence of benefits and services for urban and rural populations – regardless of where they live or work, Brazilians receive the same support from Social Security.


  • Selectivity and distributivity in the provision of benefits and services – as the State's financial resources are finite, there is no way to meet all situations (contingencies) that prevent the individual from maintaining their own and their family's livelihood. To do this, congressmen must “select” (selectivity) the most important risks or needs of greater social scope.
    Then, “distribute” the benefits and services to as many people as possible under the impact of these contingencies. The family allowance is a great example of this principle, as it is only intended for low-income workers.


  • Irreducibility of the value of benefits – the Brazilian State cannot reduce the value of benefits.


  • Equity in the form of participation in funding – equity means a sense of justice. In this way, the principle dictates that those who have more economic capacity must contribute more. Therefore, the employer's share is greater than the employee's. And among employees, those who earn more contribute more.

Funding diversity

  • Diversity of the financing base – To comply with the principles of universal coverage and care, it is necessary for the system to be financed with resources from various sources. These, therefore, must guarantee their financial sustainability over the years.
    In this way, resources from society as a whole must contribute to the Social Security coffers. Thus, the system's financiers are: Union, states, municipalities, Federal District, employers (contributions are levied on payroll, revenue and profit), employees (Social Security policyholders), revenue from lotteries and football games and importers of goods and services.

Democratic character

  • Democratic and decentralized nature of administrative management with the participation of the community, especially workers, businesspeople and retirees.

How is Social Security financed in Brazil?

Social Security is financed by the entire society, directly and indirectly. Therefore, the resources come from the coffers of the Union, the States, the Federal District and the municipalities. In addition, there are social contributions (as established in the Article 195 of the Federal Constitution and the Social Security Organic Law).

At the federal level, the Social Security budget is made up of revenue from the Union, social contributions (companies, workers, lotteries and football games) and revenue from other sources, such as 40% from amounts obtained in Federal Revenue auctions. .

iFood says it wants to guarantee the dignity of delivery people and social protection. What does that mean?

Every Brazilian has the right to social protection from the State, which has the duty to guarantee citizens rights relating to Health, Social Assistance and Social Security. The latter, as we have already seen, aims to help people (insured people) and their dependents to be able to live with dignity.

Therefore, guaranteeing a social protection network for delivery people – which necessarily involves their inclusion in Social Security – is among the agendas that iFood launched for discussion around labor regulation on digital platforms.

Therefore, for the company, this is one of the pillars that need to be ensured when it comes to the dignity of the delivery person. Together with security, minimum gains, transparency, freedom of choice and autonomy.

In this sense, in recent article published in the press, the president of iFood, Fabricio Bloisi, calls on workers, digital platforms, public authorities, universities and organized civil society to dedicate themselves to a constructive dialogue about a regulation mark.

After all, it's time to build a debate together that promotes the well-being and social protection of app workers. As well as legal security for companies and the inclusion of millions of other workers in Social Security.

To learn more about iFood's proposal in relation to social protection for delivery people, check out this article

Safety and well-being of delivery people registered with iFood

Delivery people are part of the iFood ecosystem. That's why we never stop supporting them. Therefore, we continually promote different initiatives to improve your working experience with our platform:

Health Benefits Package:

O iFood available free of charge – in partnership with AVUS – a health service benefits plan for all delivery professionals registered on the platform. Therefore, they now have access to an accredited network of medical clinics, laboratories and pharmacies, with discounts of up to 80%.

Furthermore, the benefits are also valid for a dependent, without the need for family ties. As of June 2021, more than 45,000 delivery drivers had already registered with the initiative and more than 10,000 appointments had been scheduled.

Personal accident insurance:

iFood offers personal accident insurance to everyone who works for application. Therefore, the policy covers the delivery route and return home, medical appointments, emergency care, dressings, sutures, plaster casts, exams and surgeries.

Furthermore, the policy provides compensation in the event of death or permanent or temporary disability. Since the beginning of the program, 687 delivery drivers have benefited.

Education and traffic safety:

iFood carries out educational and awareness-raising actions. This is the case with the campaign Responsa Traffic, which rewards active delivery drivers on the platform who participate in the journey of knowledge about traffic safety. Therefore, more than 5 thousand participants have already completed all modules related to safe practices.

The course Helmet Angels, promoted in partnership with public authorities, aims to encourage good practices to prevent accidents and train delivery drivers in first aid practices.

Furthermore, 514 cycle delivery drivers have already completed the Pedal Responsa learning trail, developed in partnership with Aromeiazero Institute, with modules on care and responsibilities towards electric bike, healthcare and delivery communication.

iFood Takes Off

iFood Decola is a platform offering quick and free courses for all of the company's partners, with the aim of developing technical and human skills.

The courses are divided into 3 categories: market, restaurants and delivery people. 

It is important to highlight that all courses are designed based on the partners' needs, such as technical developments, delivery improvements and much more.

How does security contribute to the regulation of work on digital platforms? Check it out >>

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