Special social services to become more accessible — Tamara Duisenova

From July 1, 2023 all issues of social support of citizens will be regulated by a single document which is the Social Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Tamara Duisenova, Deputy Prime Minister — Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population, informed about it at the meeting of the Government.

At the beginning of her speech, the head of the Labor Ministry pointed out that the Social Code was being enacted in the CIS for the first time. It covers the whole life cycle of a person, namely:

- social support from birth to adulthood;

- employment at working age;

- security at work;

- social insurance measures;

- social assistance in difficult life situations;

- support for the elderly.

"Some of the social support measures stipulated by the Code began to be provided from the beginning of the year. Implementation of the rest will begin on July 1," she said.

Duisenova added that in order to strengthen social protection of mothers and children a number of additional targeted measures are provided. First, the extension of payments for child care until the age of 1.5 years. To date, more than 450 thousand families have received such assistance. By the end of the year it is planned to cover more than 800 thousand families. Second, provision of a guaranteed social package in cash to children from 1 to 6 years of age who are recipients of targeted social assistance. By the end of the year it is planned to provide assistance to 212 thousand children. Third, an increase to 7.4 monthly indicators of the amount of allowance to mothers of large families, who were awarded the badge "Altyn alkya". July 1 of this year, 90 thousand mothers will receive the increased allowance.

The Head of the Ministry of Labor also noted that the Social Code pays much attention to persons with disabilities.

"The main goal is to increase benefits for persons with disabilities, as well as to make special social services more accessible," Tamara Duisenova said.

In order to realize this goal, starting from July 1, the size of allowance will be increased by 14.5% for people with disabilities, persons who care for them, families who have lost their breadwinners. In general, the amount of payments will increase by 23% compared to the level of the previous year.

The Social Code provides for the involvement of family members in the provision of services to persons with disabilities. Their relatives will be registered as individual assistants with appropriate pay and social contributions.

According to the Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population, thanks to suggestions received from persons with disabilities and public organizations the issue of providing 282 citizens diagnosed with spina bifida with quality catheters was completely solved. The necessary 328 million tenge will be allocated from the national budget. Also 5 billion tenge from local budgets are provided to increase the standard of hygienic means provided to citizens by 2 times. Necessary funds are allocated for sanatorium treatment of 1,126 children with mental illness, which will be carried out in a pilot project with the Ministry of Health.   To solve the problem of invataxi negotiations were held with representatives of Yandex.Taxi platform. Invataxi services will be available to people with disabilities in a number of regions.

"In addition, the Social Code provides for the introduction of per capita standards for special social services from 2025. Given that this is the first time such a change has been made, we decided to start piloting it. Starting from July this year we will implement a pilot project in 7 regions to provide special social services in small houses with a capacity of not more than 50 children," Tamara Duisenova added.

She noted that the issue of provision of quality technical rehabilitation equipment has been frequently raised recently. The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population has considered two ways of solving it. The first is the implementation of the project "Innovation factory of technical rehabilitation means" in cooperation with the "Kazakhstan Halkina" fund, which will allow children to have access to costly rehabilitation means. The second is a revision of the Classifier of technical means of rehabilitation, thanks to which these means will be provided depending on the individual needs of each citizen. 

"To increase the size of pensions and ensure the financial sustainability of the system, the parameters for calculating the size of basic and labor pensions were changed at the beginning of the year. As a result of the differentiation mechanism, the size of the minimum basic pension increased to 21%. This was social support for pensioners with low pensions. And for future pensioners, starting from January 1, 2024, additional pension contributions will be paid by employers," Deputy Prime Minister informed.

Also, one of the innovations of the Social Code was the possibility of enabling investors UNPF to transfer 50% of their pension assets to private management investment companies of their own choice.

At the end of her speech Tamara Duisenova reported that the Digital Family Card, introduced since the beginning of the year, is fully functioning as a tool of proactive service to the population. During the reporting period, more than 800 thousand citizens were referred by SMS to the state support measures. Of these, 650,000 citizens received payments proactively, and 95,000 citizens received payments through the Government for Citizens.

Vasily Shimanskiy, chairman of the public association "Center for Rehabilitation of Disabled People "Chance", told about the measures provided by the Social Code for the integration of persons with disabilities into society.

He noted that previously social support for persons with disabilities was provided on the basis of the Law "On Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Kazakhstan" and the Law "On Special Social Services. They envisaged the introduction of the institute of individual assistants to provide services to persons with disabilities, the appointment of an allowance for the care of persons with a group 1 disability, as well as the division of children with disabilities into groups with increasing amounts of allowances.

"I believe that the new approaches stipulated in the Social Code, together with the recommendations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will open up new opportunities for integrating us into society," Shimanskiy said. 

Today, persons with disabilities are given the opportunity to choose technical means and rehabilitation services directly from suppliers through the Portal of Social Services. Their admission to the Portal is provided by the Commission under the local executive bodies, which can also recognize the provider as dishonest if he does not provide quality rehabilitation equipment and remove him from the Portal.

For the first time within the Social Code, per capita financing is being introduced.  It will increase the availability of social services, especially for persons with disabilities living in rural areas.

"Today, together with the Ministry, we are working on revising the standards for providing technical means of rehabilitation and opening factories of technical means of rehabilitation in all regions. This is a big step in providing persons with disabilities with quality rehabilitation equipment," Vasily Shimanskiy emphasized.

Yermek Kenzhekhanuly, Deputy Akim of the region, told about the work being done to create Labor Mobility Centers in Turkestan Region.

Within the Social Code, Labor Mobility Centers will start operating in all regions of the country on July 1. Kenzhekhanuly noted that these centers will increase the effectiveness of regional employment policy.

"Regulation of the regional labor market will expand opportunities for organizing intra-oblast labor mobility and will be implemented throughout the oblast. We also believe that the expansion of employment measures will have a positive impact on reducing the unemployment rate," he said.

Despite the fact that Turkestan region is one of the regions with a surplus of labor, there are regions with a deficit of labor. Creating a Labour Mobility Centre will promote inter-district labour migration. The same measures will be applied not only within the oblast, but also inter-oblast. To date, at the oblast level 8 times fairs on resettlement to the northern regions have been held, which allowed to determine the need for labor resources in other oblasts, as well as the need for specialties.  In the future this work will be coordinated by the Center of labor mobility created in Turkestan region.

An urgent problem is illegal labor migrants. Due to the fact that Turkestan province is a labor surplus region, many of its residents work abroad illegally. The issues of regulating the activity of Kazakhstani labor migrants abroad, preliminary training of newly recruited labor migrants, as well as guaranteeing their rights will be one of the priority tasks of the Center of Labor Mobility.

"At the moment by the decision of the Akimat of Turkestan region the regional Center of Labor Mobility was created and registered in the Department of Justice. All organizational work has been done and the staff structure of the Regional Labor Mobility Center has been approved," Kenzhekhanuly noted.

#Government session #Ministry of Labor #Regions

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