Disability watchdog: Update on current events in Hungary

“We would like to make you aware of current concerns that disabled people in Hungary are faced with. Recently the Hungarian Government changed the whole disability pension system, which will be a lot worse than the previous system especially for disabled people. The biggest changes are connected to the rights that arise from the pension system. According to the new system the 1st and 2nd disability groups will remain unchanged, but persons belonging to the 3rd group will be reviewed and according to the decision of the reviewing committee some of them will no longer receive the pension as they did according to the old system. Those who fall out of the 3rd disability group under this new system will be obliged to take part in a rehabilitation programme at the end of which it is intended that they find employment in the labour market. However considering the current situation even non-disabled well-trained persons with university degrees can’t find employment as at the present time in Hungary it is almost impossible to find employment, similar to what is happening in the rest of Europe.

 

In addition to that there has also been the introduction of new regulations for people with serious physical disabilities obtaining a new car. These regulations effectively mean that the individuals who the car is for will not be able to use it themselves because it will only be possible to get small cars that are not big enough to take wheelchairs. Furthermore the cars will not be adapted or automatic and the monthly rate to obtain a car is very high.

 

In the case of obtaining a used car (second hand car), the amount of co-financing was raised to 2000 EUR, however this amount must represent at least 60% of the full price with the other 40% paid by the applicant.

 

Changes in repairing (servicing) of technical devices have also been introduced together with the new disability pension system. According to this new system for example:

For repairing a wheelchair, the travel costs for the mechanic to get to the person and the wheelchair that needs to be repaired, will have to be paid by the user as the Health Insurance system will no longer cover such expenses. In practice this new system will mean that if someone has a scooter financed by the Health Insurance Company, that person will not be able to claim for a wheelchair from the Health Insurance Company; although for many of us this is necessary in addition to a scooter to maintain our independent living.”

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