They cut disability allowance and EEE for an elderly disabled person

What the Commissioner of Administration Maria Stylianou Lottidi reports

anapiria Disability, allowance

The Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights, Maria Stylianou Lottidi, calls on the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Marilena Evangelou, to take seriously her findings and to take the appropriate actions and legislative amendments, with a view to socio-economic support and safeguarding, in any case , of a decent standard of living for pensioners with disabilities.

The Commissioner proceeded with an investigation following a complaint by a woman, on behalf of her son, regarding both the interruption in the granting of the Minimum Guaranteed Income (EEI) and the interruption in the provision of the disability allowance, of which the woman was a recipient.

According to a statement by the Commissioner, the termination of the benefits in question occurred after an increase in the amount of the widow's pension received by the complainant, as the revised amount of the widow's pension exceeds the minimum living basket of the beneficiary.

The Commissioner reports that as it emerges from the investigation, and based on the legislation, a person with a disability cannot receive a disability allowance, unless they are a beneficiary of EEE.

"The experience of my Office through the examination of related complaints has shown that this fact often creates serious social injustices and distortions in relation to the state's obligation to provide all persons with disabilities with compensation for the obstacles they experience and which are related to their disability", he says.

The Commissioner further notes that the aim of her placement is to focus on a particular vulnerable group of EE and Disability Allowance recipients who also happen to receive pension income, the change in the amount of which may, however, affect entitlements ultimately of these persons in granting benefits.

For the complainant, she states that it is a case of an elderly person with a disability, who also faces serious financial problems and who, during the material time, relied on the benefits in question to ensure a minimum level of decent living and to remain marginally, it seems, above the poverty line.

"Therefore, the financial hardship that the termination or reduction of these benefits can bring to an already vulnerable person is undeniable and, by extension, the continued provision of adequate socio-economic support, on the part of government services, is of the utmost importance" , he notes.

The Commissioner states, further, that from all the evidence brought before her it is clear that the complainant, before the increase in her widow's pension, received the monthly amount of €848,98 and the increase in her widow's pension and the chain effects that she had, in relation to the calculation of her incomes, they ended up reducing her income to €791,57 per month.

The Commissioner emphasizes that she considers the development extremely worrying both in this particular case and in any other similar one, when elderly people with mobility or other forms of disability who receive financial support and assistance from the state, instead of seeing an evolutionary improvement in their living conditions , are pushed, due to a legislative loophole, below the poverty line, as it states.

The Commissioner recommends a more comprehensive re-evaluation of functionality, of the relevant legislation, and the disconnection of disability from the minimum guaranteed income, noting that in the case of beneficiaries of EEE and disability allowance, who also receive a widow's pension, any increase in the widow's pension , which may lead to a cut-off of the 3E and the disability allowance, should be calculated in advance, and in case the sum with the pension increase is less than what he received when the 3E and the disability allowance were taken into account together, cut-off of allowance should be avoided.

It is also recommended that measures be taken so that, if by increasing any amount (for example a pension), the cut-off of EEE and the disability allowance it entails, puts the beneficiary in a worse position than the one he was in at the material time of the increase, they are not carried out automatic deductions, but to be examined individually, and only where there is a substantial increase or even an increase in the total income with the increase in the pension, a deduction of the 3E can be made.

Source: KYPE