VITA

Latvia: the priorities of Ministry of Welfare in 2007

9 Marzo Mar 2007 0100 09 marzo 2007

The main task has been set to improve substantially the situation of people who are disabled from childhood

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The main task has been set to improve substantially the situation of people who are disabled from childhood

The main task of this year has been set to find the possibility how to improve substantially the situation of people who are disabled from childhood. At the present moment disabled people from childhood receive the social state security benefit in amount of 50 LVL that is not sufficient for people who are ill more severe and who are not able to work and are in need of special care. Ministry of Welfare plans that the amount of support should be at least duplicated. Likewise to improve the situation of disabled people it is planned to increase an access to vocational rehabilitation services by establishing support bases of Social Integration Centre in regions. In order to facilitate integration of people with mental disorders Ministry of Welfare plans to participate with co-financing for establishment of half-way homes and groups apartments in local governments. As of 2008 by means of state co-financing it will be possible to establish and equip 3 new group apartments (or homes) and 2 half-way homes annually. In nearest years it is foreseen to improve the disability determination system and introduce new support measures for people subjected to disability risk and disabled people by working out the disability "umbrella" law. Currently an active work and consultations are carried out with non-governmental organizations for shortly to give the law for public consultation. From 2008 it is planned to introduce a new social insurance benefit ? parenting benefit that would replace former child care state benefit and could allow to repeal the benefit "ceiling" for employed persons who take care of a child up to age one. This amount would be of net wage of a father or a mother without limit of "ceiling". At present for employed persons it makes from 56 to 392 lats. It is planned to increase an amount of paternity benefit from 80% to 100% from average insurance contribution wage of a father thereby providing additional support to fathers who wish to take a ten days leave after birth of a child. Likewise it is planned to provide a financial support to local governments so that they could provide additional remuneration for social workers who work with families with children. In order to help new parents to return in labour market rapidly, the State Employment Agency plans to implement a pilot project where during courses and studies parents could leave their children in special playrooms under charge of preceptors.