Skip to main content
The ANED logo

The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED)

DOTCOM: the Disability Online Tool of the Commission

Skip to search options

Latvia

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

Article 97 of the Constitution (Satversme) states that every person, residing lawfully in the territory of Latvia has the right to move freely and to choose his or her place of residence. Disabled persons can use these rights in close connection with rights to receive necessary social services. According to the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance (2003), social services shall be provided only based on an assessment of the individual needs and resources of a person, conducted by a social work specialist, in the place of residence of the client or as near to it as possible. Only when the scope of such services is not sufficient, social care and social rehabilitation shall be provided in a long-term care and social rehabilitation institution. When providing social services, the institutions shall ensure interdisciplinary and inter-institutional cooperation, in accordance with the basic principles of social services provision: provision of services in the place of residence of the client or as near to it as possible; provision of social care and social rehabilitation in long-term social care rehabilitation institutions only when the amount of social services is not sufficient for the client; evaluation of individual needs and resources; participation of the person in the decision making process; and child care in the family-like environment. In general, the local government of the territory, where a person with disability is registered as the main place of residence, has a duty to provide this person with necessary social services and social assistance corresponding to his or her needs. The same law states that a client (referring also to people with disabilities) has the right to participate in the decision-making process related to the receipt of social services. Social work specialists involve people with disabilities as much as possible in decision-making about their personal care plans, which include provision of necessary social services.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

D2. De-institutionalisation

In 2013, the Cabinet of Ministers accepted The Guidelines for the Development of Social Services 2014-2020 (Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of 4 December 2013 No 589). In these Guidelines de-institutionalisation is stated as one of the directions for action. The specific policy objectives are to decrease the number of persons with mental disabilities in social care institutions, to promote social care and social rehabilitation services and support to children and persons with disabilities in local government and to improve the customer's individual needs-based services in social care institutions. It is planned that during 2014-2020, 1,000 places in state social care institutions will be cut down, and 700 persons will live independently receiving necessary support.

Cabinet Regulations No 313 on the 'Implementation of European Social Fund operational programme ‘Growth and employment’ 9.2.2. specific objective ‘Increase the availability of high-quality services at home and close to family environment alternative to institutional care for persons with disabilities and children’ measure 9.2.2.1. ‘De-institutionalisation’ (2015) set out the objective of the measure, the available funding, the requirements for the project applicant and the cooperation partner, the actions to be supported, the eligibility of costs and other conditions. On 15 July 2015, the Minister of Welfare approved the 'Action Plan for the Implementation of De-institutionalisation for 2015-2020' which includes the definition of de-institutionalisation, the objective, assessment of the situation regarding target groups, results to be achieved, directions of action, monitoring and evaluation. To implement the Action Plan, the Ministry of Welfare, in cooperation with planning regions and municipalities, had initiated the project throughout Latvia, which aims to replace large institutional care centres with community-based social services and services close to the family environment.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

D3. Quality of social services

According to the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance (2003) the Cabinet of Ministers adopted Regulation No 338 ‘Requirements to social service providers’ in 2017. The Regulation defines general requirements (available information, client registration, client evaluation, planning of necessary services, documentation, etc.) and special requirements for service providers to people with disabilities, such as, social service providers (local government social services), home care providers, providers of long-term childcare and social rehabilitation services for children (including those with disabilities), providers of services in long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions, half-way home service providers, boarding house service providers, respite service providers, group home (apartment) service providers, social service providers providing social rehabilitation services for hearing impaired persons, social service providers providing social rehabilitation services for people with visual impairment, service providers in day care centres, social rehabilitation services for restoration of social functioning service providers, specialised workshop service providers. The law states that municipalities have the right to develop necessary services, therefore the situation may differ from municipality to municipality. Some of local municipalities use (or buy) social services developed by NGOs or from the private sector, such as social care services in institutions.
Section 17¹ of the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance defines a complaints procedure. According to the Law, the administrative statements that are issued or actual actions of service providers may be contested in the Ministry of Welfare, but the decisions thereof may be appealed in a court if it is not otherwise specified by the law or Cabinet regulations. The administrative statements issued or actual actions of the local governments and institutions as providers of social services or social assistance may be contested in accordance with the Law on Local Governments. Part 4 of Section 17¹ states that the contesting or appeal of a decision of the Ministry of Welfare regarding the removal of a social service provider from the Register of social service providers, a decision of the Ministry of Welfare or a social service provider regarding the suspension or termination of the provision of social services, as well as a decision of the local government regarding the suspension or termination of the provision of social services shall not suspend the operation of the relevant decision, except the case where this operation is suspended by a decision of the institution in which the decision is being contested.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

Section 25 'Provision of Technical Aids' in the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance states that disabled persons, disabled children under the age of 18, children and adults for whom the technical aids are necessary to reduce or eliminate functional inability, and persons with 'anatomical defects' have the right to receive technical aids if they have received an opinion of a medical practitioner regarding the need for these technical aids. The Cabinet of Ministers, in Regulations No 1474 ’On Technical Aids’ (2009) and Regulations No 1472 ’Order in which Latvian Blind Society and Latvian Deaf Association Provide Social Rehabilitation Services and Technical Aids’ (2009) with amendments in 2012, regulates procedures according to which persons receive technical aids and the distribution of technical aids, and approves the list of technical aids (the so-called 'positive list') to be financed from the state budget. People with disabilities can receive technical aids from the National Rehabilitation Centre 'Vaivari' and its regional units free of charge; they need pay only a participation fee. In accordance with amendments in Regulations No 1474 (2012), people with disabilities can choose the provider of technical aid. If the price is higher than the state’s defined price, the person should pay the difference. Additionally, technical aids can be purchased in special shops or from specialised NGOs.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

According to the Disability Law (2010), disabled persons with severe functional, intellectual or hearing impairments from 1 January 2013 have the right to a home service of personal assistants up to 40 hours per week financed from the state budget. From 1 September 2012 children with disabilities in general basic education, basic vocational education, general secondary education and secondary vocational education institutions have rights to receive the service of an assistant for mobility and self-care paid for from the state budget.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

D6. Income maintenance

Articles 14-17 of the Law on State Pensions (1995) define the right to a disability pension, which is calculated in accordance with the severity of disability and the suspension of disability pension's payment. According to the law, a person insured for not less than three years, has the right to a disability pension before reaching the age for receiving an old-age pension, if this person has been recognised disabled. In case of a work-related disability or occupational disease, a disability pension shall be granted in accordance with the Law on Compulsory Social Insurance in respect of Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases. The minimum amounts of the disability pension are based on the State Social Security Benefit:

  • for persons with disability of Group I the amount is 1.6 times of the State Social Security Benefit;
  • for persons with disability of Group II it is 1.4 times of the State Social Security Benefit;
  • the disability pension for Group III is fixed at the amount of the State Social Security Benefit.

In accordance to Article 17, disabled persons, who have attained the age for receiving old-age pension, continue to receive the old-age pension in place of the disability pension. According to Article 13 of the Law on State Social Allowances (2003) a disabled person, who does not have the right to receive a state pension, is not employed and is over 18 years of age, has the right to receive a State social security benefit for the duration of specified disablement. From 1 July 2014 the amount of the State Social Security Benefit has increased by applying a coefficient: for Group I disability – 1.3; and for Group II disability – 1.2. Article 6 ‘State Family Allowance’ defines the rights of the parents of a disabled child younger than 18 years of age to receive a supplement to the State Family Allowance. The right to this supplement is in force from the first day of assigning the status of disability, regardless of the payment of the State Family Allowance, and it is paid until the child reaches 18 years of age.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

D7. Additional costs

Article 7.1 ‘Care of Disabled Child Benefit’ of the Law on State Social Allowances (2003) defines the right of a person who cares for a disabled child to receive the disabled child care benefit, following the decision of the State Medical Commission for the Assessment of Health Condition and Working Ability regarding the child's necessity for special care, due to serious impairments. The payment of this benefit shall terminate at the end of the period of time for which the impairment and the necessity for special care have been specified, or when the child reaches the age of 18. Article 12 ‘Allowance for Compensation of Transport Expenses for Disabled Persons who have Difficulties in Movement’ defines the rights of disabled persons who have mobility impairments to receive an allowance for compensating their transport expenses. The allowance is disbursed twice a year for a full six-month period. This allowance is terminated when the period of time for which the impairment has been specified has expired. Article 12.1 ‘Allowance for a Disabled Person for Whom Care is Necessary’ defines the rights of disabled persons of 18 years of age and over, who due to serious impairments need special care, to receive a Care Allowance. To be eligible to this allowance, disabled persons must have an assessment that determines the necessity of special care, issued by the State Medical Commission for the Assessment of Health Condition and Working Ability, in compliance with the criteria determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

D8. Retirement income

In accordance to Article 17 of the Law on State Pensions disabled persons who reach the age for receiving old-age pension shall receive the old-age pension in place of the disability pension.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2019-05-13

Search the database

Countries
( | )
Themes
(|)
Result view type