Getting help in Switzerland

We have been helping people in need in Switzerland since our beginnings. Find out here how to apply for assistance for yourself.

Swiss Solidarity social assistance for people in financial difficulties in Switzerland

Social assistance

Information for private individuals and social services employees.

Swiss Solidarity helps the victims of severe weather in Switzerland

Severe weather assistance programme

Information for private individuals, organizations, communes and businesses

Social assistance in Switzerland

Are you in financial difficulties at the moment? You don’t know how you are going to pay that dentist’s bill?

If you don’t have enough money to pay those unexpected costs, you may be able to get help from our social assistance programme.

Here you can find out if you are eligible for one-off emergency assistance, and how to apply for support:

Swiss Solidarity helps people in financial difficulties in Switzerland

     Private individuals

You can apply for assistance if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are resident in Switzerland
  • You have not received financial support from us before
  • Your monthly income minus expenditure for all family members of the same household (including children) does not exceed our set limit (equivalent to subsistence level)
  • Living costs (e.g. rent, deposit, moving costs, furniture etc.)
  • Health costs (e.g. medical bills, dentist’s bills, medical insurance premiums, glasses etc.)
  • Child costs (e.g. childcare, costs connected with birth, clothes, extra-curricular activities, private tuition etc.)
  • Transport costs
  • Costs for stays abroad (travel, holidays, visiting family, medical services, operations etc.)
  • Education and training
  • Taxes
  • Vet's bills
  • Cost of funerals and graves
  • Credit card and other debt
  • Legal costs
  • 1 person: 900 CHF
  • 2 persons: 1100 CHF
  • 3 persons: 1600 CHF
  • 4 persons: 2100 CHF
  • 5 persons and above: 2600 CHF
We support sports and arts, private tuition and holidays for children up to the age of 18 via our special ‘Cala Sannitica’ fund. This type of assistance can be renewed each year.
You cannot submit an application to us directly. You have to apply via social services. This might be the social services at your commune or a private advisory service (e.g. church advisory service, hospital social services, private charities such as Caritas, Pro Infirmis, Pro Senectute, Swiss Cancer League, etc.)
Normally we transfer the money to the social services that submitted the application for you. They will then transfer the money or give it to you in cash, or pay the bill themselves.
Our emergency assistance should solve your problem long term. So you can only apply for assistance once.
We provide assistance in the form of a donation; we do not grant loans.

Severe weather assistance programme

Has your home or business been destroyed by severe weather? Has the insurance paid out but still you have costs that put you in financial difficulties?

Then you may be able to get help from our severe weather assistance programme.

Here you can find out how our severe weather assistance programme operates and how to apply for support:

Swiss Solidarity helps to clear up after severe weather in Switzerland

     Private individuals and non-profit organizations

First contact your local commune, which will normally be in touch with our partners Caritas or the Swiss Red Cross following a natural disaster. The commune should be able to tell you how to proceed. If the commune cannot help you, you may apply directly to our partner relief organizations, which operate on our behalf:
We provide immediate aid, bridging aid and pay for remaining costs not met by insurance:
  • Immediate aid: necessary purchases and short-term additional costs immediately following the damage
  • Bridging aid: temporary arrangements, extra expenses for e.g. accommodation, food, travel and urgent purchases necessary because of the damage caused
  • Remaining costs: costs not met by insurance and other instances, e.g. for replacing furniture or vehicles; clearing up; restoring land, roads, paths, buildings, infrastructure, private waterbodies etc.
The amount is transferred to you by the partner relief organization via which you make your application (Caritas or the Swiss Red Cross).