Brazil, Regional Uniformization Court of the Federal Special Courts of the 4th Region, 6 October 2021, No. 5053868-04.2020.4.04.7000
Deciding body (English)
Deciding body (Original)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Outcome of the decision
Link to the full text of the decision
To reduce the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government instituted emergency aid as a social protection measure (Act 13982/2020). Based on this premise, a 23-year-old woman, a resident of the municipality of São José dos Pinhais, Paraná, filed an action against the Federal Government. According to the Plaintiff's arguments, she claimed that she received in September 2020 the payment instituted by the government. However, she argued that since she was not formally employed and was a single mother, she would be entitled to receive the benefit in double form, provided for single-parent families.
The Court ruled that the request was inadmissible. It determined that the author is entitled to alimony on behalf of her minor daughter, which shows that the minor does not live exclusively on the Respondent's food, which rules out the situation of the sole provider, which would justify an eventual payment of two installments. In this sense, the Court declared the action inadmissible and determined that the mother of a minor child who receives alimony is not entitled to the double installment of the emergency assistance.
Facts of the case
A citizen of the municipality of São José dos Pinhais (PR) has a minor daughter. The citizen does not have a formal job, is a single mother, and, in addition, she receives a pension or food support for her daughter. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the citizen received emergency assistance. In the process, she stated that she received in September 2020 the payment of this benefit. However, she went to the local Court to claim the receipt of the double benefit provided for single-parent families. In the first instance, the Court considered the claim to be inadmissible. The fact that the citizen is entitled to alimony on behalf of her minor daughter demonstrates that the minor does not live exclusively at the Plaintiff’s expense, thus disqualifying the situation of the sole provider. For this reason, she would not be entitled to the benefit.
The citizen filed an appeal. In the second instance, the citizen reinforced that the requirements foreseen in the law for granting the benefit were fulfilled. The Court again rejected the appeal. Given the refusal, a "request for regional standardization" was filed, indicating that the decision would diverge from the jurisprudence of the Court of Appeals of Santa Catarina, another state. In this case, the Court would have ruled similarly. It is on this appeal that the Court decided.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
The Court verified the content of the apparent contradiction and found that the argument of the previous instances was appropriate and that no right was alleged or claimed by the citizen. The Court determined that article 2 of Act nº 13.982/20 says that 'the citizen who provides the support for a single-parent family will receive two quotas of the emergency aid, regardless of sex', thus it is not enough, therefore, to be the head of a single-parent family; the person must be responsible for the support of this family.
Conclusions of the deciding body
For the Court, when there are alimony payment being made for a minor child, the condition of a single-parent family provider is mischaracterized to receive double-dip emergency aid. Under this understanding, the Court standardized the idea that the emergency aid will not be due in two installments, as provided in paragraph 3 of article 2 of Law 13.982/20 when there is a stipulation of alimony payment for children, who are under 18 years of age.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
- Right to health (inc. right to vaccination, right to access to reproductive health)
- Right to basic conditions of life
Fundamental Right(s) instruments (constitutional provisions, international conventions and treaties)
- Right to health, Art. 6, Brazilian Federal Constitution
- Right to basic conditions of life, define by judges and Art. 6, Brazilian Federal Constitution
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
On "type of measure challenged": Government Act 13982/2020 through which emergency aid was created for the poorest population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On "type of procedure": "Pedido de uniformização" (Act. 10259/2001). A Request for Uniformity of Interpretation of Law (PUIL) may be filed when the orientation accepted by the National Uniformization Panel of the Federal Special Courts, on a question of law, contradicts a precedent or dominant jurisprudence of the Court.