Over 700 thousand Brazilians have lost their Bolsa Família (Family Allowance), a monthly voucher given by the government to the poorest in the country, because they did not update their registrations.
Brazil’s Ministry of Social Development and Hunger Combat (MDS) informed that it has canceled the payment of 709,904 Bolsa Família beneficiaries.
The deadline for the mandatory update, which takes place every two years, was October 31. In 2009, the Bolsa Família program reached 12.4 million families, paying out benefits totaling 12.4 billion reais (US$ 6.7 billion).
The government has also canceled benefits to 23,500 families who were enrolled in the Bolsa Família program due to the fact that their children were missing too many classes in school.
One of the rules of Bolsa Família is that children must attend school regularly. Youths between the ages of 15 and 18 have to attend 75% of classes, younger children, up to 15, have to have attendance of 85%.
Besides the cancellations, another 94,000 beneficiaries have been suspended for 60 days, and another 100,000 have had their benefits blocked this month. All because of school attendance.
According to the ministry, when it is noted that a child is not attending class, first, the parents receive a warning. Then the benefit is blocked.
If the problem continues, the benefit is suspended for 60 days. It can be suspended five times. After that, the benefit is canceled.