Duma considers increase in child disability benefits
On 12 February a Bill was submitted to the Duma which would increase the amount of monthly benefits for non-working parents caring for disabled children and those Group I people who have been disabled since childhood (i.e. prior to reaching 18 years of age). The current payment levels are 5,500 roubles for parents (guardians) and 1,200 roubles for other relatives/carers and are set out in legislation which came into force on 1 January 2013. However, the law has no provision for index-linking these payments. At the time, the fixed payment amounts were comparable to the national minimum wage, according to the Bill’s Explanatory Note.
MPs are therefore proposing an increase in benefits to 12,000 roubles, which is line with the projected national minimum wage from the beginning of 2019 given the rate is being set at 11,193 roubles from 1 May this year. It is also suggested that the benefits be increased year on year.
Under the Bill’s financial and economic section it states that 36,570,700 roubles are being set aside in the 2019 budget for these monthly payments. If the Bill is adopted its implementation will involve an increase in funding to 43,219,900 roubles next year.
In the meantime, the Change.org site is collecting signatures in support of families caring for disabled children. Those behind this petition are drawing the public’s attention to the difficulties faced by parents who are looking after disabled children on such a low State allowance. 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. For two people, this comes to 17,582.06 per month. The minimum living wage for able-bodied people and children in Moscow is 18,742 and 14,252 roubles respectively.