Carer’s allowance for disabled children should equal minimum wage.
Change.org is running a petition in support of families with disabled children. The people behind it are drawing attention to the low level of the State disabled child allowance which currently stands at 5,500 roubles.
“When a disabled child is born into a family, one of the parents is often forced to leave work to look after it, usually the mother. Sadly, men sometimes cannot adjust to such difficult life situations and end up leaving home, with the mother left to care for her disabled child on her own with little financial support. The State disabled child allowance is therefore the only way the woman can get by”, the petition says.
According to the petition’s authors, parents with disabled children become “dependent” on their children and live off their pension which currently amounts to 12,082.06 roubles, which for two people comes to 17,582.06 per month. The living wage for able-bodied people in Moscow is 18,742 roubles and 14,252 for children.
According to the petition, which is being submitted to Vladimir Putin, the last increase in the disabled person’s allowance was in 2013 when the amount was raised from 1,250 to 5,500 roubles. Then it was on a par with the minimum wage which stood at 5,250 roubles.
“It is abundantly clear, therefore, that single non-working parents with a disabled child are living well below the poverty line and are only able to rely on charity to survive. Looking after these children involves a great deal of mental and physical effort 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no days off and no holidays. Although not a paid staff employee, a mother is, in effect, massage therapist, nurse, speech therapist, special-needs expert and most of all, the very best doctor” say the petition’s authors.
Earlier, it was announced by the Ministry of Health that not all disabled children would be entitled to free rehab treatment in sanatoria. According to Izvestia, in its response to fierce criticism from the Moscow Association of Disabled Children’s Parents about refusal of treatment for some patients in sanatoria, the Ministry said that they could not intervene if the diagnosis was not on a list that was approved in 2016. According to the Association, this means that around half of disabled children, including those with severe forms of cerebral palsy and mental problems, as well as partially-sighted children, will not receive treatment in sanatoria free of charge.