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Social protection of representatives of key communities who received disability as a result of participation in hostilities

What kind of state help can be counted on?

After the start of Russia’s criminal aggression against our country, many citizens of Ukraine, who are the key communities’ representatives, took part personally in counteracting Russia’s military aggression as part of both joint military and voluntary formations of local territorial defense. Having stood up for the protection of our state, they, falling under enemy fire and bombardment, faced corresponding risks to their lives and received wounds and combat injuries. Unfortunately, for some of them, the loss of health from the war actions led as well to disability.

This raises the issue of what help from the state can they count on?

Here, we should define general and particular segments of issues ensuring the social security of persons who have received a disability regarding their health. The first segment is regulated by The Law of Ukraine, “On the Basics of Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Ukraine,” dated March 21, 1991, No. 875-XII.   According to it, a person with a disability has a persistent body function disorder, which can limit their life activities when interacting with the external environment. As a result, the state mustcreate conditions for them to exercise their rights equally with other citizens and ensure their social protection.

According to this Law, disability as a measure of health loss is determined by an expert examination in the medical and social examination institutions (MSEC) of the Ministry of Health. Social protection of persons with disabilities is a component of the state’s activities to ensure the rights and opportunities of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with other citizens. It consists of the provision of pensions, state assistance, compensatory and other payments, benefits, social services, rehabilitation implementation, guardianship (taking care), or third-party maintenance. At the same time, material, social, household, and medical support for persons with disabilities must be provided in the form of payments (pensions, benefits, one-time payments), provision of medicines, technical and other means, as well as through the provision of medical, social, labor and professional rehabilitation services, household and trade services.

The Law of Ukraine, “On the Status of War Veterans, Guarantees of Their Social Protection,” set the second segment of social protection segment in specified cases; it defines state guarantees for combatants and establishes benefits for persons with disabilities as a result of war and participation in the war actions.

Let`s look at them. These are the following actual guarantees:

  • free provision of medicines, medical products, immunobiological preparations, and medical goods by the doctors’ prescriptions;
  • non-scheduled free dental prosthesis (except prosthetics made of precious metals), free provision of other prostheses and orthopedic products;

  • free of charge, non-scheduled annual provision of sanatorium-resort treatment with compensation for the travel cost to the facility and back. At the request of persons with disabilities, instead of a ticket for sanatorium-resort treatment, they can receive monetarycompensation once every two years: persons with disabilities because of the war of the I-II groups – in the amount of the average price of the ticket, persons with disabilities because of the battle of the III group – in the amount of 75 % of the average ticket price. Money compensation is provided regardless of the presence of the medical opinion on the need for sanatorium-resort treatment or medical contraindications;

  • 100% discount on the housing payment (apartment payment) within the limits of the norms determined by the current legislation (21 square meters of the total living area for each person who permanently lives in the residential premises (house) and is entitled to a discount, and additionally 10,5 square meters per family);

  • 100% discount on bills for communal services (gas, electricity, and other services) and liquefied cylinder gas for household needs within the limits of the average consumption norms. The area of premises, which the discount is granted, calculating the heating payment, is 21 square meters. One meter of heating area for each person permanently living in the residential premises (house) is entitled to a payment discount and an additional 10.5 square meters per family.

  • 100% discount on the fuel cost, including liquid fuel, within the sale limits set for people living in houses without central heating;

  • free travel by all types of urban passenger transport, public road transport in rural areas, as well as rail and water transport, and buses of suburban and intercity routes, including intra-district, intra- and inter-regional, regardless of distance and place of residence in the presence of the set sample certificate; and in the case of the automated accounting traveling payment system introduction – in the company of an electronic ticket, which is issued free of charge. This right also applies to a person who accompanies a person with a disability of the I group;

  • non-scheduled free complete renovation of private houses and apartments and priority current renovations of residential buildings and apartments by the procedure determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

  • non-scheduled service in outpatient polyclinic institutions, as well as emergency hospitalization;

  • use after retirement (regardless of retirement time) or change of workplace of polyclinics and hospitals which they were attached to by the previous workplace;

  • right to an annual medical check and dispensarization involving the necessary specialists;

  • primary employment by specialization according to the preparation and conclusions of the medical and social examination;

  • preferential right to stay at work in the event of employee reduction connected to changes in the production and work organization and suitable to be employed in the event of the enterprise, institutions, and organizations liquidation;

  • temporary disability benefits payment to working persons with disabilities as a result of the war in the amount of 100 percent of the average salary, regardless of the length of work;

  • payment of benefits to working persons with disabilities of temporary incapacity to work up to 4 months in a row or up to 5 months during a calendar year, as well as state social insurance benefits for the entire period of stay in the sanatorium, taking into account a round trip, in case there are not enough annual and additional holidays;

  • use of regular yearly leave when it is convenient for them, as well as receiving additional leave with salary retention for 14 calendar days per year;

  • non-scheduled provision of housing for persons who need to improve their housing conditions, including at the expense of living space transferred by ministries, other central executive bodies, enterprises, and organizations to the disposal of local councils and state administrations;

  • obtaining a loan for the construction, reconstruction, or general renovation of residential buildings and yard buildings, connecting them to engineering networks communications, as well as loans for the construction or purchase of country houses and garden improvement with paying back within ten years starting from the fifth year after the end of the building;

  • persons with disabilities of groups I and II are granted the right to travel free of charge once a year (round trip) by rail, water, air, or intercity road transport, and people accompanying persons with disabilities of the I group (no more than one companion) are granted;
  • 50% discount on the cost of travel once a year (round trip) by the mentioned means of transport. Persons with disabilities of the III group are granted the right to travel free of charge once every two years (round trip) by rail, water, air, or intercity road transport regardless of the availability of rail connections or travel once a year (round trip) by the mentioned modes of transportation with 50 % fare discount.
  • non-scheduled free provision of a car (with medical indications for the car provision) for a period of up to ten years of operation (with a subsequent replacement for a new one), payment of compensation for fuel, repairs, maintenance of cars or transport services by the procedure determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

  • non-scheduled service by institutions and establishments that provide social care services. If providing such service is impossible, social protection institutions shall reimburse the expenses related to the care of a person with a disability in the manner and the amounts determined by the current legislation.

Benefits for housing payments, utilities, and fuel should be provided to persons with war-related disabilities and the family members living with them, regardless of the type of housing or the form of its ownership.