Praxis Watch

Friday, 3 October 2014

Internally Displaced Persons from Bujanovac Deprived of the Right to Cash Social Assistance

The requests for cash social assistance were again rejected to internally displaced persons who live in the collective centre “Tehnicka skola” in Bujanovac.

Social Welfare Centre in Bujanovac (SWC) first rejected their requests by referring to non-existent instruction of the competent Ministry and by stressing that residents of collective centres cannot be the beneficiaries of cash social assistance because their existential minimum is provided with accommodation and meals given. Appeals were filed against decisions by which requests were rejected, which the Ministry for Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy adopted and returned the cases for reconsideration.

In repeated procedures, SWC reached decisions by which requests were rejected as ungrounded. Even though decisions reached in repeated procedures were not based on non-existent instruction of the Ministry, they contain many violations of the law and are contrary to the basic principles of administrative procedure, including the principle of truth. In one of the decisions, the request was rejected because SWC found that the submitter of the request had missed to achieve the income of 10,000 RSD on a monthly basis over the period of three months prior to the request. The amount of the missed income was determined totally arbitrarily without considering the possibility of working engagement of beneficiaries, the price of work and need for work force in the municipality in which the beneficiary lives, and the submitter of the request was not given the opportunity to comment the facts and circumstances on which the decision was based. Unrealistic assessment of possibility of missed income is recognized as one of reasons for which persons in the state of social vulnerability fail to exercise the right to cash social assistance.

Praxis notes that these requests for cash social assistance were submitted more than nine months ago and that impossibility of vulnerable individuals to timely receive the cash assistance may seriously threaten the fulfilment of basic needs of these persons.

See the announcement: SWC Bujanovac Rejected Cash Social Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons

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