The psychologist bonus is a contribution made available by the State to cover the costs of psychotherapy sessions to be carried out with private specialists registered in the register of psychologists – psychotherapists adhering to the initiative. It was initially introduced on an experimental basis in 2022 by the Milleproroghe Decree converted into law in light of the increase in conditions of depression, anxiety, stress and psychological fragility caused by the pandemic and the socio-economic crisis and is aimed only at those with an ISEE not higher to 50,000 euros.
With the 2023 Budget Law, then, the measure was made permanent with an increase in the payable sum which rises from a maximum of 600 euros to 1,500 euros. However, the audience of recipients compared to last year is destined to decrease since the resources available are much less: 5 million euros for 2023 – from 25 million in 2022 – and 8 million euros starting from 2024 Certainly a restriction of the operation of the measure given that, despite five times more funds, already in 2022 it was possible to accept only 10% of the applications received.
From an operational point of view, the psychologist bonus is managed by INPS which has launched, for the 2022 edition, an online procedure accessible from its website, as established by the Ministerial Decree of 31 May 2022 which governed its operation and by the circular INPS no. 83 of 19 July 2022 with all the instructions. The mechanism, despite the changes made by the 2023 Budget Law, is the same.
WHO GET THE PSYCHOLOGIST BONUS
The psychologist bonus is due to anyone suffering from mental health discomfort not only caused by the pandemic and the long periods of lockdown, but for any reason of stress, who has an ordinary or current ISEE not exceeding 50,000 euros. There are, therefore, no requirements related to age or residence to access the service.
HOW MUCH IS THE PSYCHOLOGIST BONUS
The psychologist bonus is a contribution of a variable amount that varies according to income, in 2023 up to a maximum of 1,500 euros per year per person (in 2022 the ceiling was 600 euros). The exact measure, like last year, will be parameterized on the basis of the different ISEE brackets: those with a lower ISEE will be able to ask for the maximum, those who vice versa have a higher one – but always under 50,000 euros – will be able to obtain the minimum amount .
HOW THE PSYCHOLOGIST BONUS WORKS
As mentioned, the psychologist bonus can be used to cover the expenses relating to psychotherapy sessions with private specialists regularly registered in the list of psychotherapists, in the register of psychologists, who have communicated their adhesion to the initiative to the National Council of Orders of Psychologists (CNOP).
The CNOP transmits to INPS the list of names of the participants in the initiative, which can be consulted by the beneficiaries through a reserved section of the INPS platform accessible at this address. The list of adhering professionals registered on the platform can be viewed by citizens during the application phase.
As for 2022, after having received all the applications – we reiterate that the procedure for 2023 has yet to start – the INPS will draw up a ranking of beneficiaries giving priority to those with the lowest ISEE. More precisely:
in the event of a positive outcome, INPS informs the beneficiaries of the acceptance of the application both by updating the personal page in the section relating to the bonus and with an SMS;
the Institute simultaneously associates and communicates to each beneficiary a unique code of the value assigned to scale according to the limit of available funds and the ISEE of the interested party;
the beneficiary will then be able to choose the professional to turn to, and start the therapies by communicating his unique code.
Once the service has been provided, the professional issues an invoice in the name of the beneficiary of the service, indicating the unique code assigned, associated with the beneficiary, and enters the same unique code, the date, the number of the invoice issued and the corresponding amount on the INPS platform. It will be paid after the reference Region has disbursed the funds to INPS;
INPS then informs the beneficiary of the amount used and the residual amount.
HOW TO REQUEST THE PSYCHOLOGIST BONUS
As anticipated, the psychologist bonus is obtained against an electronic application to be sent to INPS via the appropriate section. The service is called “contribution to psychotherapy sections” and can be accessed in the following ways:
web portal, using the appropriate online service reachable at this address on the Institute’s website www.inps.it directly by the citizen via SPID level 2 or higher, or via Electronic Identity Card (CIE) 3.0 or via National Card services (CNS);
Integrated Contact Center, by contacting the toll-free number 803.164 (free from a fixed network) or the number 06 164.164 (from a paid mobile network, based on the tariff applied by the various operators).
DOCUMENTS TO BE ENCLOSED WITH THE APPLICATION
Upon submission of the application, the system, based on the applicant’s tax code, acquires the Region or Autonomous Province of residence and, where requested by the interested party, the contact details present in the INPS institutional archives. The applicant then:
provides the necessary self-certification declarations, according to the model that will be available on the platform, in which they certify and communicate the requirements;
when submitting the application, INPS makes available the data necessary to verify the existence of the requisites and informs the applicant of the presence or absence of a valid Single Substitute Declaration (DSU). In the absence of a valid DSU, the applicant must enter it or it will proceed automatically.
PSYCHOLOGIST BONUS DEADLINE
It should also be noted that the benefit must be used within 180 days of the date of acceptance of the application. Once this deadline has elapsed, the univocal code is automatically canceled and the unused resources are reassigned in compliance with the order of the regional or provincial ranking, identifying new beneficiaries.