Financial assistance to people with disabilities compared across the world
Published: 17 April 2015
|In many cases, people with disabilities are not able to work because of their situation.
Therefore, they have the right to get extra help from their government.
However, there are many differences between countries.
In that way, it is possible to find out in which country life is easiest for people with disabilities,
To find out more about the results, click here.
How much support people with disabilities receive, depends greatly from the country they live in. On this topic, the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ has published a report explaining which governments are the most supportive towards people with disabilities, particularly focusing on the financial aspect.
Estonians above 18, with a disability or long-term sickness, are eligible for the so-called ‘incapacity benefits’, with sums ranging from 17 up to 54 Euros per month depending on the severity of the disability or illness. This budget is supposed to cover all sorts of medical costs, transport and other expenses that are not included under insurance. However, it is said that by January 2016, the government might reform the system and lessen the numbers of people qualified to receive these benefits.
The French government calculates disability benefits according to the person’s average salary over a period of ten years. If the concerned person is able to work, the budget is set on 30% of the average salary over a decade ranging from €282 to €951 per month.
For those not able keeping a job, a higher rate of 50% is used, up to a sum of €1,585 per month. Those in need of a carer receive the same scale of benefits as this second group, but also get €1,104 per month to pay for the extra assistance.
Additionally, adults with a disability who have never worked can claim a monthly allowance of between €403 (for a single person) and €666 (for a couple), as long as they do not have an income of more than €800 per month (for single person) and €1,600 (for couples). If the disabled person has worked for less than one year and has minimal resources, they can also claim benefits, as well as housing.
Disability benefits are also available for parents who take care of a disabled child under 20 who are living at home. This money should cover education and extra assistance of a carer.
Those with a disability, who are unable to work more than three hours a day, are eligible for a disability pension as long as they have contributed to the social security scheme for a minimum of five years. Those unable to work more than six hours a day are entitled to a limited pension, with an average of 8900 Euros. Disabled people have a right to health treatment through the nationwide health insurance scheme without having to pay extra for it. However, they must have been paying into the system prior to the disability. Seriously disabled people are entitled to further allowances and special employment protection.
Disabled children are automatically insured with their parents in the health insurance scheme without having to pay any additional costs.
Moreover, children and students with disabilities are entitled to several rights, such as wheelchair access and a sign language translator in certain circumstances.
Also employment opportunities for people with disabilities are stimulated, since companies receive benefits and tax breaks for employing people with disabilities.
When a home of a disabled person needs to be adapted to their specific needs, grants are available of up to €2,557 per individual project. They are also entitled to housing benefit of up to €1,500, depending on the severity of the disability; help towards taxi fares to increase their mobility and participation in normal life; and free public transport.
All in all, the German government performs well on stimulating the inclusion of people with disabilities through a range of financial measures.
The main criteria for having the right to a disability allowance is that individuals are residents of Ireland and have a disability that is expected to last for at least one year. Also, it should prevent them from keeping a job that would otherwise be suitable for them.
Applicants are required to have their doctor compose a medical report which is reviewed by one of the department’s medical assessors. The maximum payment for those aged 26 or over is €188 per week for individuals. Those with children receive extra.
When a person with a disability allowance goes back to work, he/she is allowed to earn a maximum of €350 a week in order to keep his/her benefits. However, that individual must first get permission from the department before taking up that job.
There are about 2.6 million disabled people living in Italy, which is 4.8% of the population. They describe themselves as unable to perform essential daily tasks independently. Disability allowances are recalculated every year based on the cost of living and on inflation. In 2015, disabled Italians between the ages of 18 and 65 are entitled to €279.75 a month. They also receive tax breaks to buy certain goods such as special vehicles and adjustments to the home.
When it comes to employment, generally people in Italy are not necessarily encouraged to work and according to the Academic Network of European Disability Experts, the funds they receive are not enough to support an autonomous life.
A startlingly high number of disabled adults are at risk of poverty compared to their able-bodied peers. Statistics show that the proportion of disabled adults who live at risk of poverty is 16.5%, compared with 6.6% for non-disabled people.
People with physical or learning disabilities, as well as those with mental health conditions, are eligible for government assistance. According to the Japanese cabinet office, 7.4 million people belong in these three categories. Adults with severe physical and mental disabilities with an income of less than ¥3.4 million yen (the equivalent of 20,000 pounds) are eligible for ¥26,800 yen (comparable to 153 pounds) a month. Disabled citizens are also eligible for discounts on public transport and telecom fees.
Disability is grouped into three categories in Russia. Group one consists of people who have lost all of their working capacity and require constant care; group two are also people who have lost all their working capacity but do not require constant care, and group three includes people who have more than a 50% reduction in working capacity. Payments range from 2,974 roubles a month in the first group to 3,170 roubles in the third group. For those with permanent disabilities, the sums are higher, up to 10,000 roubles per month, and higher if the person has dependents.
However, most disabled people struggle on the benefits they are given, especially as most Russian cities are extremely unfriendly and inaccessible to disabled people, with stairs, potholed pavements and several months of ice and snow a year. Of those people with disabilities who could supplement their allowances with work salaries, many say it it is very difficult to find a job due to workplace discrimination.