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Parliament OKs draft bill on rights of ‘disabled’ persons – MPs seek more financial, other privileges

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 17: The National Assembly on Tuesday approved a draft bill on amending some provisions of Law Number 8/2010 concerning the rights of persons with disabilities. The bill was approved in its first and second readings and then referred to the government for implementation. According to the report of the Handicapped Affairs Committee, there are five bills on financial benefits for people with disabilities and those taking care of them but the panel finalized talks only after the proposed amendments to three articles of the law.

Article 29 of the bill stipulates that monthly salary shall be paid to persons with disabilities until the age of 21. The amount will be specified by the Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs based on the report of the Technical Committee on the type and degree of disability. The salary payment continues if the beneficiaries pursue their studies until they reach 28 years old.

The articles also states that women who take care of persons with severe disabilities will receive monthly salary as per the conditions and regulations set by the authority. Payment of the monthly salary stops in case of recovery from the disability based on the testimony of the relevant committee. Article 41 of the bill states that notwithstanding the provisions of the Social Insurance and Military Pension laws, the insured or beneficiary found to have disabilities according to the decision of the Technical Committee will receive pension equal to 100 percent of full salary but not exceeding KD2,750 if the period of service is at least 15 years for males and 10 years for females; while there is no condition on reaching a certain age before getting the pension.

Article 42 states that notwithstanding the provisions of Social Security and Military Pension laws, the insured or beneficiary specified by the law as someone who cares for a person with moderate or severe disability deserves a pension equivalent to 100 percent of the full salary but not exceeding KD2,750 if the period of service is at least 20 years for males and 15 years for females. Also, there is no condition on reaching a certain age before getting the pension as per the regulations set by the authority in agreement with the Public Institution for Social Security.

During the discussion on the bill, the MPs called for a thorough review of the current law and passage of the proposed amendments aimed at giving people with special needs more financial and other privileges. MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji stressed the need to enact laws that serve the handicapped, support them by laying down a pension mechanism, and allow parents with handicapped children to retire early.

MP Adel Jarallah said he is fully aware of the State budget issue and the need to rationalize spending due to the current economic situation but people with special needs should be given full support to ensure they live comfortably. He pointed out many government facilities do not take into account the rights of the handicapped and other related issues.

MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah urged the Kuwaiti society to shoulder their most important responsibility – to ease the burdens of the handicapped. He added there have been many complaints from the handicapped that they cannot visit a number of State ministries nor meet officials while demanding for a plausible solution to the problems related to parking areas for the handicapped. He supports the proposal to allow parents who take care of their handicapped children to retire early.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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