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Czech Senate approves increase to contributions for the care of people with disabilities, to be paid for by reductions to other social services

31.8.2021 5:55
The 14th session of the Committee on Social Policy of the Czech Senate was held on 10 August 2021. (PHOTO: Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic)
The 14th session of the Committee on Social Policy of the Czech Senate was held on 10 August 2021. (PHOTO: Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic)

The Czech Senate has approved an increase to the amounts of the care allowances disbursed by the state for people living with disabilities who use residential social services, making them equivalent to the allowances paid to such persons who live at home. According to estimates submitted by the lawmakers proposing the change, the state will now spend an additional CZK 3.4 billion [EUR 132,936,190] a year on these subsidies. 

Supporters of the bill say they believe subsidies for other social services could be reduced in order to cover the cost. Czech President Miloš Zeman will now receive the law for signature. 

The change will affect people living with disabilities who are categorized in the two highest levels of dependency on the help of others. In contrast to the population of persons living with mild disabilities, the amount of this care allowance previously depended on whether the person lived in a social services facility or at home. 

According to the co-sponsors of the legislation from ANO, the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement (SPD), the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) and the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), the aim of the proposal is to eliminate elements of discrimination in the current arrangements. By allowing the bill to pass, the upper house avoided voting on a proposed amendment from its own Committee on Social Affairs that would have legislated guarantees for the availability of other social services and for the rights and protection of such clients. 

The Senate committee had also proposed enshrining informal caregivers in the law. On 19 August, 43 of the 69 senators present voted in favor of a proposal to approve the amendment as submitted, without changes. 

Minors categorized in the third level of dependency who use residential facilities will now receive CZK 13 900 per month [EUR 544], which is CZK 4 000 [EUR 156] more than they currently receive. People who are in a state of complete dependency on the care of others, i.e., the fourth level, will see the care contribution increase by CZK 6 000 [EUR 235] to EUR 19 200 [EUR 750] per month. 

The care allowances for adults living with disabilities of the third and fourth level who reside in social facilities will increase by the same amounts, to CZK 12 800 [EUR 500] and CZK 19 200 [EUR 750] per month. According to the bill's explanatory memorandum, around 360 000 people in the Czech Republic currently receive such care allowances. 

The document says that around 40 000 people in the two highest levels of dependency on the help of others are currently living in residential social facilities. Those proposing the bill said state subsidies to other social service providers should be decreased by the amount of the increase to the care allowance so the whole change could eventually be budget-neutral.
 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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law, Senát, sociální služby, Sociální systém



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