The Protector of Citizens identified omissions in the work of the competent authorities in the field of social welfare to the detriment of a child with disabilities from the village near Velika Plana who due to administrative and procedural omissions could not exercise the right to financial support for disability-related costs and increased allowance on the same grounds for a year and a half.
Upon the child’s mother complaint, the Protector of Citizens launched an investigation to control work regularity and legality of Velika Plana Social Welfare Center, the Republic Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, Smederevo branch and the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, providing every authority under scrutiny with a 30 day deadline to notify the Protector of Citizens about acting upon the Recommendations.
As the Protector of Citizens determined, since September 2019, Velika Plana SWC has sent two requests for conducting a control examination to the RHIF Smederevo branch, citing the wrong address of the child, while on all documents sent to the medical commission and the Smederevo RHIF branch, the correct address of the child was written, as well as the correct contact phone of the mother.
The Protector of Citizens determined that the branch of the RHIF in Smederevo made an omission in its work because, contrary to the principle of good administration and efficiency of work of the administrative authority, it did not contact the child's mother or Velika Plana SWC by phone, and returned the request for expert evaluation to the Center due to two undelivered orders for scheduled examination.
Even when the control examination of the child was performed in late August 2020, after ten months of waiting and after the engagement of the mother, and when Velika Plana SWC received in November the same year a finding from the expert of the RHIF - Belgrade Directorate that there was still a need for assistance and care of another person and 80 percent bodily injury and that it had existed in October 2019, the beneficiary could not exercise his rights.
Namely, in Velika Plana SWC in November 2020, there was no legal degree employee because the only employee performing the job retired, so it was not possible to draft a decision on recognizing the child's right to financial support for disability-related costs and increased allowance. After several interventions by the Center and local self-government, the line ministry consented to hiring a law graduate at the end of March 2021.
In the Recommendations for rectifying the shortcomings, the Protector of Citizens has requested the RHIF Smederevo branch and Velika Plana SWC to take all measures in accordance with the principles of good governance in order to achieve appropriate cooperation and timely exchange of information with beneficiaries so that due to administrative errors, omissions in the work would not be repeated in the future to the detriment of the exercise of the rights of the child with disabilities and all other people with disabilities.
The Protector of Citizens is again asking the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy to ensure an adequate number of expert workers in the social welfare centers in a timely manner.