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Man must reimburse welfare payments with inheritance, rules Bern tribunal

Summary:
In some parts of Switzerland, welfare payments are sometimes considered more like bridging loans to help someone through a financially difficult period rather than a one-way payment. A recent case in the canton of Bern shows this system in action. © Andrey Anisimov | Dreamstime.comAccording to 20 Minutes, a man who received welfare over 20 years was asked to repay the money he’d received after an inheritance windfall in 2020. During the summer of 2020, the man received CHF 261,000 in inheritance. Upon learning of the windfall, the local welfare administration demanded a reimbursement of CHF 200,000, a sum equivalent to the welfare the man had received from 2010 until 2019, when the man retired and started collecting a state pension. Since 2019, the man has been receiving welfare on

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In some parts of Switzerland, welfare payments are sometimes considered more like bridging loans to help someone through a financially difficult period rather than a one-way payment. A recent case in the canton of Bern shows this system in action.

© Andrey Anisimov | Dreamstime.com

According to 20 Minutes, a man who received welfare over 20 years was asked to repay the money he’d received after an inheritance windfall in 2020.

During the summer of 2020, the man received CHF 261,000 in inheritance. Upon learning of the windfall, the local welfare administration demanded a reimbursement of CHF 200,000, a sum equivalent to the welfare the man had received from 2010 until 2019, when the man retired and started collecting a state pension. Since 2019, the man has been receiving welfare on top of a state pension, according to the Berner Zeitung.

The man challenged the reimbursement request, first with the local welfare office, and then via the legal system. However, the Bern tribunal where he lodged his complaint rejected his challenge arguing that the reimbursement request was consistent with the law.

According to the Berner Zeitung, the tribunal decision is not definitive and so the case could continue.

More on this:
20 Minutes article (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now

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