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New bill on people with disabilities goes to public discussions

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New bill on people with disabilities goes to public discussions

Photo: BGNES

A final draft of a bill that solves the issues of people with disabilities has been published for public consideration on the website of the Labour and Social Policy Ministry.

The bill introduces an individual assessment of the needs of disabled persons, whose conclusions will be mandatory for all institutions. A new specialized agency with the Council of Ministers will oversee the individual assessments of the disabled from January 1 20121. Until then the assessments will be administered by the Social Assistance Agency and the Agency for People with Disabilities.

Under the bill, financial help will have two components: a monthly disability payment and targeted allowances. The new payment will be calculated based on the annual poverty threshold and will be adjusted every year. The rate of payment will vary between 10 per cent and 57 per cent of the poverty line which has been set at 348 leva for 2019. The rate for people with between 50 and 70.99 per cent disability will be 10 per cent of the poverty threshold, for people with between 70 and 90 per cent, 15 per cent, for people with over 90 per cent disability, 25 per cent, while people with over 90 per cent disability in need of attendance will receive a social pension equal to 57 per cent of the poverty threshold.

Under the transitional and final provisions, the monthly disability payment will be paid from January 1 2019.

The People with Disabilities bill guarantees equal access to education, professional training, employment and provision of adequate support for working people with disabilities and their employers. The bill introduces a work force quota intended to increase the employment of people with disabilities across all working environments.

The bill envisages the establishment of a special employment fund for people with disabilities under the Labour Minister which will be administered by the Employment Agency.

Another fund will be set up under the Regional Development Minister to promote mobility and accessible environment. A register of people with disabilities will also be set up. The bill sets forth representation criteria for the organizations of people with disabilities, easing the previous requirements.

Expert estimates show that if the number of people with at least 50 per cent disability is retained at 490,000 per year, this will require a budget allocation of 332 million leva in 2019, up by 133 million leva from for 2018, according to the impact assessment of the bill.

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