PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ACT (PDA)

On 05.12.2018 the Parliament of Republic of Bulgaria adopted whole new Act for people with disabilities. The acting Integration of the people with disabilities (IPDA) has been revoked with § 2 of the People with disabilities act (PDA). The new legal act has been promulgated in State Gazette (SG) 105 from 18.12.2018 and enters into force from 01.01.2019.

1. The new legal act aims to:
a. promote, protect and guarantee the complete and equal rights and freedom of the people with disabilities;

b. create conditions for social inclusion for the people with disabilities;

c. improve the respect of the immanent human dignity of the people with disabilities;

d. grant support of the people with disabilities and their families.

2. The main new principle moments of the People with disabilities Act is individual approach and individual evaluation of the needs of the people with disabilities. The individual evaluation shall be complex and drawn-up by specialized department in the “Social support” directorate with the “Social support” Agency offices, based on information about: self-assessment of the person with disabilities regarding difficulties; the disabilities/health condition; the type and volume of the difficulties; the level of social integration; the mobility of the person with disabilities.

3. The specialized departments in the “Social support” directorates which shall draw-up the individual evaluation has to be formed-up by the executive director of the agency until 31 of march 2019.

4. People with disabilities Agency is now being introduced. It is executive agency with the Minister of Labour and Social Policy. The main function of the Agency is to organize the activity related to the individual evaluations of the needs of the people with disabilities and to coordinate the execution of the policy regarding the people with disabilities.

5. A new body – Monitoring Council – shall be set up to perform the functions of promoting, protecting and monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Monitoring Council shall have a 4-year mandate and shall be composed of 9 members. The Monitoring Council shall prepare opinions, recommendations and proposals to the institutions responsible for the prevention and cessation of violations regarding the rights of persons with disabilities and shall draw up annual reports on actions taken to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Every year the Monitoring Council shall submit a report on its activities to the National Assembly.

6. A consultative body – National Council for People with Disabilities which shall be functioning at the Council of Ministers, is also being established. The main function of the National Council is to give opinions on the drafts of legal acts, strategies, programs, plans and other acts that affect the rights of people with disabilities.

7. In relation to the provision of employment for people with disabilities, quotas for people with disabilities are introduced in the law. Employers with 50 to 99 workers must appoint at least one person with permanent disability. Employers with 100 and over 100 workers – two percent of their average staff.

8. Effective as of 1 January 2019, people with disabilities over the age of 18 shall receive monthly financial support that is intended to compensate for the costs incurred by the disability and that shall depend on the degree of disability. The amount of the financial support shall depend on the poverty line. In 2019, people with more than 90% of the degree of disability who are entitled to a social disability pension shall receive 57% of the poverty line or BGN 198 per month.

9. As of 1 January 2021 State Agency for People with Disabilities shall be established as a new structure at the Council of Ministers. It shall conduct an individual assessment of the needs of people with disabilities and shall have a leading role in coordinating the overall state policy on their rights. The new structure shall be the successor to the current Agency for people with disabilities.

10. By 31 March 2019, the Council of Ministers shall adopt Regulations for the implementation of the new People with disabilities Act.