Parliament Passes Conclusively Personal Care Act

December 6 (BTA) - Parliament Thursday passed
conclusively the Personal Care Act, which is part of the new
regulatory framework concerning people with disabilities. The
passage of the bill, along with the passage on Thursday of a new
 People with Disabilities Act, came after months-long protests
of mothers of disabled children under the motto "The System
Kills Us", and of people with disabilities.

The Personal Care Act enters into force on January 1, 2019. The
personal care under it will start to be provided as of September
 1, 2019. Until then, personal care will be provided according
to the current terms. In 2020 the Labour and Social Policy
Ministry will have 437 million leva for policies concerning
people with disabilities.

Under the new law, personal care will be provided on the basis
of an individual needs assessment performed according to a
procedure laid down in the People with Disabilities Act. The
number of hours a disabled person will be entitled to personal
care will be determined based to their degree of disability.

The salary of a personal assistant to a disabled person in 2019
will be equal to the minimum working wage, and will increase in
the years. For 2020 the rate of increase will be 1.2.

Speaking in Parliament after the passage of the act, Labour and
Social Policy Minister Bisser Petkov said that the law meets the
 main demand of the protesting mothers of disabled children. In
Petkov's words, the passage of the act places Bulgaria among the
 few European countries having a dedicated law for personal care
 for people with disabilities. Petkov thanked all people who
contributed in the drafting of the new laws for disabled people.

Speaking at a briefing in Parliament, Vera Ivanova, one of the
protesting mothers, said that the Personal Care Act is a law for
 the future of the children. Maya Stoitseva, another participant
 in the protests, said that the reform of the system has begun
and that there is a civil society in Bulgaria. Ivanova said that
 December 6 is the last day of the tent camp built next to the
National Assembly. "The protest will be resumed in January in
front of the Health Ministry as there is still work to be done
until the reform happens," she said. The mothers of disabled
children thanked everyone who supported them.

The mothers offered special thanks to National Ombudsman Maya
Manolova who stood by them and aided them, to the mass media
which covered their protests and the police who guarded the

After the briefing, the mothers invited everyone for a cup of
tea in the tent camp. The invitation was accepted by National
Chairperson Tsveta Karayancheva, Manolova, and MPs. LY/ZH


Source: Sofia