Shortcomings in the system of rehabilitation allowance payment

7/1/2003 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 1 July 2003 - The audit by the SAO examined whether rehabilitation allowance is paid pursuant to law, and whether it increases the operational capacity of disabled persons. The audit showed that the state has not complied with the law in the allocation of allowances, and the purpose of the allowance has been discarded.

Rehabilitation allowance compensates for services provided in rehabilitation institutions, helping to increase the ability of disabled persons to cope independently, e.g., services like social counselling and vocational training.

According to the law, allowance is paid for active rehabilitation, which covers the process from determining the need for rehabilitation until the assessment of results. In actual fact, allowance was paid for individual stages of the process, regardless of the previously completed stages. The necessity of rehabilitation was not determined for most allowance recipients anyway, thus, the SAO cannot be certain that allowance was paid for services that must be given priority in increasing the operational capacity of disabled persons. After specialists had written down a person’s needs in the rehabilitation plan, the payment of allowance was not dependant on whether the plan was followed.

The SAO considers it a serious shortcoming that the system allows for allocation of allowances without taking into account the different needs of persons. As a result, a person whose rehabilitation costs are lower than the maximum limit of the allowance, may receive allowance that is of equal value with allowance to a person whose rehabilitation costs considerably exceed the maximum limit of the allowance.

In several cases rehabilitation costs were fully paid, although the costs can be compensated for only in part. Unequal treatment of persons was caused by the implementation of different cost-sharing rates by different Pension Boards. Allowance was paid also for medical rehabilitation, which should be compensated for by the Health Insurance Fund. Although the SAO did not discover any double compensation, the law does not permit to pay allowance for services that are financed from the funds of health insurance.

The Ministry of Social Affairs promised to review the whole rehabilitation system within this year.

The allowance has been paid since 2001, the total amount was about 900,000 kroons last year, i.e., almost twelve times more than in the first year. The number of allowance recipients was 115 in 2001, and 1381 in 2002.

Sven Soiver
Press Representative of State Audit Office
Telephone: (372) 640 0787
GSM: (372) 53 414464
E-mail: [email protected]

  • Posted: 7/1/2003 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 10/2/2015 5:30 PM
  • Last Review: 10/2/2015 5:30 PM

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