In Belgium support and care for people with disability is a regional matter. As a consequence it makes a big difference if you live in Flanders, Brussels or Wallonia. If you want to learn more about the personal assistance schemes in Belgium you can find a lot of relevant publications on the website of the Expertise centre Independent Living. We especially recommend ‘De-institutionalization in Belgium’ by Independent Living expert Jos Huys. (Download it here)
In Flanders we have a personal assistance scheme, called PAB (Personal Assistance Budget) for many years. About 1800 people have this PAB, but over 5500 are on a waiting list. The big majority of the Flemish budget allocated for support and care of disabled people is still spent in an indirect way, by subsidizing institutions and services.
Recently the Flemish minister for welfare has launched a public debate on the transformation of the system and regulations concerning support for people with a disability. The general idea is that a question for support is no longer translated into a certain kind of existing support form (e.g. ‘ticket’ for a nursing home or day care center) but that an assessment of your needs is always leading to a personal budget (PGB). You can use this as a cash budget to employ personal assistants or direct the budget to service providers and contract them to support you, or a combination of both.
Of course it is a long way from a good idea to the actual regulations and the way they are implemented. Flemish disabled people organizations are worried that the original PGB concept as it was described in the personal budget decree will be weakened and limited. This is why the organization GRIP (Equal Rights for Every Person with a disability) has written the Manifesto Personal Budget. GRIP is a partner of the Expertise centre Independent Living. The Manifesto Personal Budget has wide support of about 30 Flemish disabled people organizations, including Onafhankelijk Leven (Independent Living, the Flemish CIL).
Also ENIL is fully supporting this Manifesto.If you want to support GRIP and the Manifesto with the logo of your CIL, you can contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org.