Woman in front of a microphone.
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Minister for Children and the Elderly, Åsa Regnér. Credit: Claudio Bresciani/TT
Portrait of a woman, looking straight at the camera.
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Maria Persdotter, chairperson of RBU, an organisation for families with children with disabilities. Credit: Ulla Engberg&Sveriges Radio

Government to change law on personal assistance

5:00 min

The government will temporarily suspend a criticised scheme that may limit access to caregivers for people with disabilities.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the Minister for Children and the Elderly, Åsa Regnér admitted that a number of court rulings have meant unforeseen stress for individuals and families with disabilities.

Therefore, a couple of provisions in the law will be suspended until a wider review of the law regarding support for people with disabilities has been done. This regards the rule that a person's need for a carer paid for by the state will be reviewed every two years, as well as the stricter interpretation that the time a carer spends waiting and on stand-by, is not paid for.

The law on personal assistance was introduced in 1994, and says that for people who need help more than 20 hours per week, the state will pay for it. Over the years, the number of people with the right to a carer paid for by the state has been going steadily up, reaching 16,000 people a couple of years ago.

In the end of 2015, the government instructed the National Social Insurance Agency to find ways to stop the increased use of the scheme. This has lead to a stricter interpretation of the law, which has been supported by recent court rulings.

Maria Persdotter, chairperson of RBU an organisation for families with children with disabilities, welcomes the announcement from the government, but says many people are not affected by these changes.

"[The minister] has solved one problem, but we have many problems left, and children will still be without personal assistants after this," Persdotter told Radio Sweden.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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