Social security exists to help people who have social problems or who are without the necessary means to meet their essential basic and personal needs. The aid can be limited to social support but also include financial aid. Its goal is to provide a worthy existence to needy people, to support their economic and personal independence and to ensure their social integration.
The guarantee of a basic minimum is an unwritten basic right. The assurance of a minimum standard of living translates as the provision to everyone of all that is absolutely necessary to survive.
Social security is governed by the Federal law on Competence in the matter of assistance to people in need (24th July 1977) and the 12th article of the Swiss Constitution; its application reverts to cantonal competence which, most often, it delegates to the communes to organise social security.
Such is the case in the canton of Neuchâtel, where each commune has a communal or inter-communal (grouping of several communes) social service.