A sign outside the office of the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (left), and a person in a wheelchair getting help from someone else. Photo: Anders Wiklund/Hasse Holmberg/Scanpix

More and more disabled people without help

More and more disabled people are denied public money to pay for personal assistants, whom they may rely on to help them eat, get dressed, and perform other basic tasks, according to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

During the last two years, over 3,100 applications for personal assistants have been rejected, and over 1,900 people have had their assistance reduced or terminated altogether.

People who have had their personal assistance either terminated or reduced most often suffer from multiple sclerosis, deformities, Parkinsons, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, or rheumatism, according to figures up until 2011.

In 2012, 59 percent of applications were rejected.

The Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate is now looking into the benefit.

The reason why fewer people are getting personal assistance has partly to do with a decision the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden made in 2009 regarding how to determine whether a person needs help. However, the social insurance inspectorate has not ruled out other reasons that may be the cause.

In 2012, the total cost of personal assistance lay over SEK 21 billion. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency estimates that cheating accounts for around seven percent of this sum.

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