62 Cases of Disability Benefit Forgery Uncovered

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KUWAIT CITY, April 21: Acting Director of the Legal Affairs Department and Deputy Director General for Educational and Rehabilitation Services at the Public Authority for Disabled Affairs (PADA) Mubarak Al-Badah has confirmed the discovery of 62 cases of forging medical reports to claim disability benefits and all of them were referred to the Public Prosecution, reports Al-Qabas daily. Al-Badah told the daily that the number of lawsuits filed by or against PADA since the beginning of this year totaled 9,612. He said 4,757 of these cases were filed against the authority and are still in the courts.

He added the total number of final rulings on cases against the authority reached 4,529 — 3,209 in favor of the authority and 1,320 against it. “This means the percentage of winning cases is more than 70 percent and the most prominent of which is the cancellation of an administrative decision issued by the authority, that is, by rejecting the decision of the medical committees to reduce the degree of disability or to exclude someone from the disability category,” he revealed. He went on to say that the number of lawsuits filed by the authority to recover unlawfully spent money reached 337 and the total amount involved is estimated at hundreds of thousands of Kuwaiti dinars. He affirmed the authority continues to attain success in recovering such money, stressing that public funds are inviolable. He pointed out that the Legal Affairs Department reviews the expenditures in coordination with its financial counterpart; and then they contact the concerned persons – the disabled or those taking care of them or the heirs if the beneficiary is deceased – to ask them to return the illegally obtained amounts, because these are public funds and are not subject to the statute of limitations.

On the measures taken if the person in charge of taking care of the disabled neglects his duties, Al-Badah said “the authority formed a team consisting of the friends of the disabled to monitor such violations or any move against people with disabilities, find ways to protect the disabled and educate the community about the rights of people with disabilities. The team members have the right to investigate violators of the law; thereby, enabling them to issue violation citations and to report crimes related to violating the rights of persons with disabilities, and refer perpetrators to the competent authorities to implement the deterrent penalties stipulated by the law.” He revealed the total number of people with disabilities registered in PADA reached 65,592 according to the latest statistics — 11,267 of them have physical disabilities; 5,106 have visual disabilities; 17,302 have mental conditions; 14,786 have motor disabilities; 7,384 have learning disabilities; 2,047 have developmental disabilities; 5,181 have hearing disabilities; 2,008 have psychological problems and 511 have other disabilities.

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