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-   -   So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration (https://www.englishforum.ch/insurance/288432-so-called-social-security-desperation-suicide-capitulation-emigration.html)

doropfiz 04.12.2018 01:55

So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Warning: long post to follow, broken into several parts, for ease of reading.

doropfiz 04.12.2018 01:56

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
The system of so-called security, even known as social security, in Switzerland, is a big, spidery network, across many different kinds of insurances, aimed – at least officially – at providing adequate support, financial and social, when a person is faced with illness, the consequences of an accident, old-age, becoming and orphan or a widow (sometimes also of becoming a widower) becoming a soldier or a parent, having a learning disability or a genetic impairment, needing medical equipment, becoming disabled, unemployed, retired and old.

The bureaucratic procedures can be a nightmare to follow, even with the best of intentions. Some discover to their horror that, just when they needed it most, they do not have insurance cover. In Switzerland it is very easy to have unintended gaps in cover. Even for those who are covered, proving their claim can entail a huge amount of work, from the insured person themselves, and from the doctors, nurses, schools, government officers, many of whom may be competent in their own area of expertise, but cannot hope to master the intricacies of the governing law(s).

The purpose of this thread is not to compare Switzerland’s systems to those which may, or may completely not, exist in other countries. I only wish to report on what I have observed here, and that the situation is scary.

doropfiz 04.12.2018 02:00

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
During the past four or five years, I’ve met two persons in Real Life and one online, who found the procedures unbearable. One was in the mill of the RAV/unemployment office, a second crushed by the IV/AI/disability office, and the third gripped by the realisation of growing old without help as needed. They simply couldn’t bear having to beg and plead for another several years, just to get basic needs covered and, having run out of their own resources, ended up choosing suicide, instead.

Currently, I know seven more people who are at least partially suicidal, or contemplate it from time to time, sometimes very earnestly, such that I think some of them will really choose that way out.

All of the two plus one plus the seven, said that they consider suicide as their only remaining viable option NOT because of the actual “insured event” (= whatever their problem is, for which they have applied for insurance payouts), but because of the strain of the procedures.

They say it is humiliating to be subjected to repeated rounds of scrutiny, to having to keep submitting documents which they had to obtain through a struggle with other departments/official. The report that it is demoralising to be disbelieved, and to be told by officials who ought to know better, that they should or could just “get a grip on themselves” or “put their best foot forward” or “take this as a challenge to grow” so they could just magically “become” re-employed, young, no longer in pain, etc.

I keep hearing that the coordination between the various insurers is unbearably tedious. This is severalfold as soon as more than one person in a family needs insurance cover, each for a different issue.

During the past months, three people have told me that their applications would be considered only after they had submitted over 1kg of supporting documents. And the effort of collecting those is considerable, the more so if one is ill.

Worst of all is the uncertainty, waiting for very, very long periods, until Someone Out There, with Authority and Power, finally decides on the definite outcome.

doropfiz 04.12.2018 02:04

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
The Swiss social security system’s best outcome, for an individual, is death. That closes the file, so no further benefits need be paid out, except, perhaps, to insured immediate family members.

We’ve seen the next best outcome on this Forum over and over again: emigration. Whoever can’t afford to live here and removes themselves from the country does the Swiss system a favour, as many (but not all) kinds of insured sums are payable only to those whose de facto domicile (demonstrable centre-point of their lives) is in Switzerland.

Paradoxically, this very fact keeps some of those who need support living here, at the bottom of the scale. They cannot afford to leave, even though they would probably be able to set up more health-engendering life circumstances in another country, but they’d be able to afford that if only they were permitted to receive their Swiss pensions and all the auxiliary benefits while living outside of Switzerland.

A medical professional told me she knows five patients who would be entitled to certain kinds of help from various branches of the social security network, but each of these patients – by reason of their poor health – has to forego even submitting the application. It’s just too much to ask of them. That is tragic for the individual, but keeping the threshold so high that they don't even enter the system is a “success score” for the insurance.

Three people I know support their aging parents, two support their adult siblings, and these families settle into this mode because the financial contribution is felt to be less difficult both to give and to obtain, both less time-consuming and less demeaning, than submitting to the official procedures. That kind of capitulation before the system works well, though, only within cooperative families which have sufficient means, and generosity, to support their relations.

It’s not homogenous. Some of these people were executives in their former lives, some worked in a trade, others have had hardly any opportunities from the start.

doropfiz 04.12.2018 02:06

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
I’m weary. And disillusioned.

Whereas I used to believe that Switzerland had this great thing going, providing proper protection against the blows of fate, I’ve now come up against the bitter reality, over and over, in a range of cases.

As I recently posted in another thread:
Quote:

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 3018725)
I'm becoming increasingly convinced that it is known as a social security net because it is made mostly of air, and then a little string, tied up in knots.

It seems to me a shame when this rich, rich country leaves the weakest in the lurch – not because there is no cover, but because the route to obtaining what one needs has been made to terribly arduous, perhaps deliberately so.

I’d be interested, please, in posts with names of any medical and psychological professionals, insurance experts and lawyers, in Zurich, Basel and Bern, who are known to be able to cope with tenaciously navigating the strained bridge between insurer and insured, between doctors and the law and the courts. Thank you.

Today only 04.12.2018 07:00

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Switzerland has always been very heavily biased towards self responsibility and this is followed through on the Social Security.


RAV may not be nice, but which other countries provide up to 80%, respectively 70% of your last salary for up to 2 years.....

Mikers 04.12.2018 07:52

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Today only (Post 3019670)
Switzerland has always been very heavily biased towards self responsibility and this is followed through on the Social Security.


RAV may not be nice, but which other countries provide up to 80%, respectively 70% of your last salary for up to 2 years.....

But in fairness this is an insurance, not a state contribution. I have paid in now for 11 years and fortunately have not used it so like any insurance policy it’s not free.

Switzerland is about self responsibility but I completely agree on the posting here, when you get to a stage where you can’t actually help yourself the state has a moral obligation to assist especially given the wealth here and Switzerland simply does not, it would prefer people who cannot hold self responsibility simply didn’t exist.

If people are taking the piss that’s different, but these people really aren’t: they need state help and it’s made as difficult as possible.

runningdeer 04.12.2018 08:00

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
While I'm sorry to hear there are so many people in dire circumstances, I was raised with the view that one had to be responsible for oneself and there was no safety net. I guess in many countries of the world, like mine, this net doesn't exist or is so fine it doesn't do much. I m afraid today so many people have an attitude of 'entitlement', that is such a foreign concept to me. My own grandmother faced many hurdles, mostly financial, in old age, but our family, with very modest income had to cut back more, made many sacrifices to help her. That's life.
And if you look back at the era of my older other grandfather, there was no social security at all, so either you worked, died, or family helped out. Perhaps difficult to accept today, but reality not that long ago.

As to the difficult process or procedures you refer to that are putting such individuals under, as stated in another thread, there is the concept of tuteur (in French) here, who are specifically tasked to do this on behalf of someone so I don't understand why these persons do not use such service unless it doesn't exist is Swiss German part or something.

fatmanfilms 04.12.2018 08:05

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikers (Post 3019679)
But in fairness this is an insurance, not a state contribution. I have paid in now for 11 years and fortunately have not used it so like any insurance policy itís not free.

Switzerland is about self responsibility but I completely agree on the posting here, when you get to a stage where you canít actually help yourself the state has a moral obligation to assist especially given the wealth here and Switzerland simply does not, it would prefer people who cannot hold self responsibility simply didnít exist.

If people are taking the piss thatís different, but these people really arenít: they need state help and itís made as difficult as possible.

The premiums don't cover the full costs, a huge proportion comes from the AHV fund which is also insurance although the likelihood of drawing a pension is pretty good.

Guest 04.12.2018 08:45

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
The issue is finding the balance and there's never going to be a system that makes everyone happy. I like the Swiss emphasis on self responsibility and far better to have a few fall through the safety net rather than the life style choice we see of social security across much of Western Europe.

slammer 04.12.2018 08:53

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Loz1983 (Post 3019688)
The issue is finding the balance and there's never going to be a system that makes everyone happy. I like the Swiss emphasis on self responsibility and far better to have a few fall through the safety net rather than the life style choice we see of social security across much of Western Europe.

But what if you are one of those who falls through the net like a pinball without ever touching the paddles?

Guest 04.12.2018 08:56

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slammer (Post 3019692)
But what if you are one of those who falls through the net like a pinball without ever touching the paddles?

The same applies if you're one of those who catches cancer, or gets hit by a car. You will never be able to help everyone. Life's just not fair.

fatmanfilms 04.12.2018 08:59

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Switzerland is a fabulous place to live if you earn 100k plus a year, with 'just' 40k income I can't think of anywhere worse. To put this in perspective 'just 40k' exceeds average UK pay.

Sandgrounder 04.12.2018 09:39

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
And don't forget that you only usually hear from the people who are struggling and at their wits end.

I know of one mum who was forced to flee her violent boyfriend, who ended up in prison for his violence, she was left with nothing. The state has stepped in to support her and even take the pressure off so she can work and study (she has young children).

Her situation is the product of her ex partner's mental health issues. No fault of hers or her kids. She's on the way to standing back on her own two feet again. She would have just spiralled out of control had nobody been there.

Sometimes the state system just works. :dunno:

Brianzoeu 04.12.2018 09:48

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 3019662)
Iím weary. And disillusioned.

Whereas I used to believe that Switzerland had this great thing going, providing proper protection against the blows of fate, Iíve now come up against the bitter reality, over and over, in a range of cases.

As I recently posted in another thread:

It seems to me a shame when this rich, rich country leaves the weakest in the lurch Ė not because there is no cover, but because the route to obtaining what one needs has been made to terribly arduous, perhaps deliberately so.

Iíd be interested, please, in posts with names of any medical and psychological professionals, insurance experts and lawyers, in Zurich, Basel and Bern, who are known to be able to cope with tenaciously navigating the strained bridge between insurer and insured, between doctors and the law and the courts. Thank you.

I do not want to sound insensitive but I wholeheartedly disagree with your posts above. The state social net should be the last of the last resource you should depend on. Switzerland is a blessed country because it somewhat resisted failed ideologies popular in Euro countries such as socialism and Keynesian economics. Thanks to that the proportion of people living in poverty is very low if compared to the most rich EU countries.

The easiness in obtaining social security in the EU countries has led to a massive degeneration in salaries, employment, and the quality of healthcare and education. In many of these countries part of the young generation decided to not look for work or to continue to study because the so-called social safety net is sufficient for them.

I guess the vast majority of the "desperate" people you described have mostly made bad decisions in their life and have lived beyond their means. I bet that they are people who had nice jobs, good salaries, but chose to spend money with frivolities instead of saving money for emergency situations ("that is not going to happen to me", "let's live the life to the fullest today", etc.).

That being said, I believe that any people in need should be helped, everyone should be able to eat, sleep in a decent place, and access to health care. If someone made bad decisions in life and have no access to the state-funded social net , then charities, churches, and family are the places to look for help. I myself have worked in charity initiatives abroad and also feel everyone should donate a bit of money for such causes, whatever it is.

To conclude, the exact reason why Switzerland is a country that "works" is because it has tight rules to access the so called social security, avoiding abuses to the system, which in turn results in good quality of these services without burdening the citizens with excessive taxation.

Jim2007 04.12.2018 09:49

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slammer (Post 3019692)
But what if you are one of those who falls through the net like a pinball without ever touching the paddles?

Oh things like that donít bother Loz1983, have you not read some of his other posts... as long as heís OK.

Guest 04.12.2018 10:06

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Wouldnít Universal Basic Income (UBI) fix these problems? I think the referendum had at least 30% support, but I think this support will grow as AI, Robitics and Outsourcing gathers momentum in Switzerland and those who voted down the referendum will switch once it affects them.

baboon 04.12.2018 10:19

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Wouldnít Universal Basic Income (UBI) fix these problems? I think the referendum had at least 30% support, but I think this support will grow as AI, Robitics and Outsourcing gathers momentum in Switzerland and those who voted down the referendum will switch once it affects them.
UBI will come in maybe 20 to 50 years, by then there will be no alternative. Whether that helps or not is another question.

Troublawesome 04.12.2018 10:21

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sandgrounder (Post 3019715)
I know of one mum who was forced to flee her violent boyfriend, who ended up in prison for his violence, she was left with nothing. The state has stepped in to support her and even take the pressure off so she can work and study (she has young children).

Her situation is the product of her ex partner's mental health issues. No fault of hers or her kids. She's on the way to standing back on her own two feet again. She would have just spiralled out of control had nobody been there.

Sometimes the state system just works. :dunno:

One could argue personal responsibility applies here as well, especially who you choose to welcome in your home next to your kids. That said, there is this 1 time in a million where someone is a psycho and from one day to the next becomes a different person, but usually they picked a 'bad boy' macho man until it turned ugly for them. I know such a few cases personally and could see from day 1 they would turn out ugly.


In any case, Switzerland has one of the best social systems in Europe but it's built to he hard to access so that it won't get abused. Having lived in the UK for the better part of a decade, I was disgusted by the level of benefits abuse and parasites living off the system and getting free houses and salaries just for breeding, already 3 generations of will-never-work families.


If you are Swiss then your network will help you shield off the worse. If you are not Swiss, why the hell are you in this country for 40k a year? Germany (or Austria, Holland?) have much better and friendlier systems for lower incomes than CH. Not to mention they are fully EU.


Having come from a country that has seen some s**t, if you end your life because life in CH is hard then I am sorry but this is a first world problem of the finest. You don't even know what hardship is if you think being on low income in CH is worth ending you life for...

Sandgrounder 04.12.2018 10:26

Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Troublawesome (Post 3019732)
One could argue personal responsibility applies here as well, especially who you choose to welcome in your home next to your kids.

It was their father. :msnsarcastic:

Mental health issues weren't there at the beginning of the relationship.

It's a bit much to assume she is "personally responsible" for that.


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