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Features of the organization of social services during martial law

On December 24, 2022, Russia carried out a military attack on our state. In response to the beginning of the war, the Decree of the President of Ukraine of 24.12.2022 № 64/2022 imposed martial law in Ukraine. In connection with the hostilities, there was a question of citizens receiving social services from the local governments in emergencies.

According to the Law of Ukraine “On Social Services”, one of the factors that can cause difficult life circumstances is the damage caused by hostilities, armed conflict, or temporary occupation.

According to the law, in martial law, if it is impossible to apply the general order of organization and provision of social services, social services must be provided urgently (in crisis). This organization of work ensures prompt decision-making on the provision of social services during an emergency.

Various social services can be provided in crisis – case management, home care, inpatient care, asylum, counseling, social support for families in difficult life circumstances, and others.

To assist in the provision of services to citizens by social services of local governments, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine has developed guidelines for the organization of social services under martial law.

Let’s look at how this affected the receipt of social assistance and services.

According to Article 18 of the Law of Ukraine “On Social Services”, in the case of providing social services emergency (in crisis), case management is not applied.

That is, it does not require mandatory social services:

  • analysis of the application/request of a person for the provision of social services, notification of persons/families who are in difficult life circumstances or situations,
  • assessment of the needs of the individual/family in social services,
  • decision-making on the provision of social services taking into account the individual needs of the person/family,
  • development of an individual plan for the provision of social services;
  • concluding an agreement on the provision of social services;
  • execution of the agreement on the provision of social services and the individual plan for the provision of social services;
  • monitoring the provision of social services and assessing their quality.

The decision to provide or refuse to provide social services urgently (in crisis) must be made by social services immediately, not later than one day from the date of receipt of the relevant application, appeal, or notification.

In order to speed up the provision of social services to local governments, it is recommended to give the right to decide on the provision of services directly to providers of such services (social service centers, etc.) with further informing local governments about their provision.

Social services for the period of martial law should be provided by social assistance departments of local authorities:

  • home care (assistance in self-service, housekeeping (purchase and delivery of food, medicine, and other goods, cooking, cleaning, payment of utility bills), in the organization of interaction with other professionals and services (call a doctor, utility workers, transport services, etc.); psychological support; information and representation of interests);
  • counseling (assistance in analyzing the life situation, identifying the main problems, ways to solve them, drawing up a plan for overcoming a difficult life situation; psychological counseling);
  • in-kind assistance (provision of food, personal hygiene items, sanitary facilities and care, clothing, footwear, and other essentials);
  • social support for families/people in difficult life circumstances (counseling, regular meetings, or visits to the social service recipient to monitor the implementation of tasks aimed at solving the difficult life situation of the social service recipient; assistance in understanding the importance of actions and/or skills development manage them, training and development of social skills, skills of upbringing and care for children, household management, counseling, psychological support;)
  • representation of interests (negotiation on behalf of the recipient of social services on his behalf; assistance in registration or renewal of documents; assistance in providing access to resources and services at the place of residence/stay, establishing links with other professionals, services, organizations, enterprises, bodies, institutions, establishments, etc.)
  • informing (providing information on social protection).

Potential recipients of social services include the following vulnerable groups:

  • persons/children with disabilities;
  • lonely elderly people, low mobility persons;
  • internally displaced persons (IDPs);
  • families/individuals with low-income and single status;
  • foster families.

Payment of housing assistance to internally displaced persons According to the law, the status of an internally displaced person is established for every person, including a child.

According to the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 20.03.2022 № 332 internally displaced persons are provided with housing assistance in the amount of:

  • for people with disabilities and children – 3000 UAH per month;
  • for others – 2000 UAH per month.

From May 2022, residence assistance is provided to internally displaced persons:

  • who moved from the territory of territorial communities located in the area of military (combat) operations;
  • who moved from the territory of territorial communities under temporary occupation, encirclement (blockade);
  • whose housing was destroyed or unfit for habitation due to damage and who submitted an application for compensation for relevant losses by May 20, 2022, in particular through the Unified State Web Portal of Electronic Services or subject to documentary evidence from local governments of damage/destruction of real estate combat operations.

Internally displaced persons who have returned to their place of residence but have their homes destroyed will continue to receive housing benefits.

The list of territorial communities located in the area of the military (combat) operations or under temporary occupation, encirclement (blockade) approved by the order of the Ministry of Reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine № 75 of 25.04.2022 (as amended).

The list is not a fixed document – it is regularly updated. You can also view current information on the status of communities on the digital map at