BICA and CITUB support minister Sacheva for solving problems, relating to the personal assistance law

Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria support the efforts of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva to solve the problems arising from the implementation of the Personal Assistance Act, adopted at the end of 2018, under unprecedented pressure.

The current situation shows that hasty and thoughtless legislation not only does not work for the benefit of the people, but it also gives rise to completely new problems. Already in the course of the discussion of the bill, incl. In the National Assembly, its initiators – the then Ombudsman and individual representatives of people with disabilities – were warned about the damages that can come from the adoption of a normative act that does not address and sufficiently thoroughly and comprehensively address the problems of Bulgarian citizens in need from long-term social services. Unfortunately, the legislators at that time preferred to comply with the street pressure rather than the mind and arguments of the specialists and did not make the right assessment of the consequences of complying with all kinds of and maximalist demands.

The facts show that while last September the beneficiaries of the personal assistance mechanism were about 5,000 people, by the beginning of this month 287,000 applications for individual assessment had been submitted, 30,000 had indicated that they needed to be included in the personal assistance mechanism , and 28,708 were found to comply with the law.

It should be remembered that, in its current version, the Personal Assistance Act excludes, on the one hand, assistance to people with less disabilities and, on the other hand, it provides significant resources for the entitled, to the extent that in many cases it turns out that caring as a personal assistant is more lucrative than the assistant’s previous work experience (if he had one). It is not important to know that there are cases where assistants are referred to persons with permanent disabilities with a certain right to foreign assistance, persons under 18 years of age in full-time education, persons over 85 years of age, persons with various diseases, etc., which is inadmissible under regulation.

Obviously, the law contributes to the abuse, to the detriment of the people who really need a personal assistant. It is also evident that without change this serious human and social problem cannot be solved. It would at least be resolved by the resignation of a minister who was in no way committed to adopting a non-working law, requested by the exact same people who have the primary merit of enacting the law as they wish.

BICA and CITUB believe that, in the current situation, the provision of the necessary and adequate support for people with disabilities can be implemented through a National Home Care Program and the experts and leaderships of both organizations will strongly support the efforts of the Minister of Labor and social policy in this regard.