DECISION T-426/92. Right to a vital minimum



The citizen Hernando de Jesús Blanco Angarita interposed accion de tutela against the Director of the Caja Nacional de Previsión Social (National Fund of Social Prevision) for presumptively violating his fundamental right to subsistence. He alleged that his late wife was pensioned by the defendant as a teacher, who worked at the service of the Secretary of Education of Boyacá. He also argued that he requested the sustitución pensional to the respondent, who has been silent ever since, for this reason he was forced to live under the protection of his daughter, who couldn’t satisfy some of his essential needs. As a consequence, he solicits the constitutional judge to force the Caja Nacional de Previsión Social to immediately resolve his inquiry, and to pay the allowances caused since the decease of his wife, as well as a reparation for the delay on solving his situation.

The Plenary of the Court analyzed various topics to solve this problematic, such as the Social State based on the rule of law, the human dignity, the right to a vital minimum, and it concluded that even though the Constitution does not consecrates a right to subsistence, this could be deduced from the rights to life, health, work, assistance and social security, because the human person requires a minimum of material elements to subsist. In this vein, this Tribunal resolved to protect the fundamental rights of the plaintiff, and ordered the respondent to pay a compensation to Mr. Blanco.