Three law proposals submitted to Parliament attempt to amend the Minimum Guaranteed Income and Social Benefits Law in general so that it protects the rights of the disabled. At the same time, the Ministry of Social Welfare is in the process of establishing a legislative framework in order to guarantee 100% the rights of people with disabilities regardless of the type of disability. At the same time, what is clarified by the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare, the legislation in question, which is undergoing reform, will not come to exclude existing legislation concerning the rights of the disabled. The reason for filing the law proposals was the documents where the competent state agencies had cut off the EEE allowance from people with disabilities.
To ensure the autonomy of the individual
The purpose of the law proposal submitted by the President of the Environmental Movement Charalambos Theopeptou, is the amendment, so that, in cases where the applicant for the minimum guaranteed income is a person with a disability, income, real estate and financial data are not taken into account of the members of his family unit. This amendment ensures the autonomy and independence of the disabled person. In addition, with the proposed arrangements, the applicant and/or beneficiary of the minimum guaranteed income can not accept the job offered to him, if it requires him to move, if accepting the job is economically unprofitable, due to the fact that the place of the job offered to him is outside his province of permanent residence, as well as in the event that the work requires a shift system and the applicant and/or beneficiary is the legal guardian of a minor child.
Finally, the proposed law aims at not cutting off the minimum guaranteed income in the case of voluntary resignation from the beneficiary’s job, until the competent minister checks the data and reasons for his resignation, and in the case that the minister decides that there were reasonable grounds for his resignation, in compliance with the provisions of this law, to continue the payment of the minimum guaranteed income.
The second sentence
The purpose of the second law proposal, which was submitted by the President Christos Christou and the MPs Linos Papagiannis and Sotiris Ioannou on behalf of the National People’s Front (E.LA.M.), is to amend the Minimum Guaranteed Income and Social Benefits in general Law, so that for the purposes of granting social benefits by the state, based on this law, a person’s disability is not distinguished as moderate, severe or total. In particular, the proposed amendment is considered necessary, in order to eliminate the distortion found in the existing regulation, on the basis of which a “person with a disability” is considered a person who has a severe or total disability or a moderate mental disability, which is certified by the law “Disability Assessment System”. In this regard, it is pointed out that the current discrimination is considered unacceptable, given that on the one hand, every person who is disabled is prevented from fully and effectively participating in society on an equal basis with other persons, and on the other hand, that the state has an obligation to protect the rights of each person without any discrimination and to ensure their exercise in such a way that no person is at risk or is on the margins of society.
Apostolos Law proposal
On the occasion of the cutoff of the minimum guaranteed allowance experienced by the basketball player, Sotiris Christoforou, the EDEK MP, Andreas Apostolou, has already submitted the relevant proposal for the legislation to be changed, considering that it is unfair for people who face this type of disability due to that they are married.
“At the moment there is a great deal of injustice in EEE legislation regarding people with disabilities. When a person with a certified disability from the Department of Social Integration receiving a disability allowance through the EEE marries, the allowance is cut off if the wife or husband is working. I have filed a related bill since June to correct this distortion and expect it to be debated soon. I hope for a positive response from the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and colleagues. I am sure that a solution can be found through dialogue and consensus. We should finally harmonize our legislation with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Cyprus has also ratified.”
The position of the Deputy Minister of Welfare
The goal of the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare is for the issues of people with disabilities to be handled by separate legislation. It is, as we have been informed, about a major social reform and for which social dialogue is underway in order to create a unified legislation for people with disabilities and which will not come to exclude existing legislation. According to information we have received, the legislation will attempt to correct distortions found today regarding people with disabilities. Among them, the issue of benefits, work and accessibility.
The Officer of the Benefits Management Service of the Ministry of Labor, Christos Diomidos, in his earlier statements on the Alpha News show, explained that the criteria are included in the relevant Law, which is not outdated but from 2014. In particular, for people with disabilities, the Certification Centers operate for the problem dealing with, which has replaced the medical board process. “People with disabilities have exceptions: The maximum amount of deposits is €25,000 while the first €512 is excluded from her or her spouse’s income. The differences exist and are pronounced, but if the salary is over €512, they are deducted.”