Rescuers' Benefits Could Lag Behind Military's ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

With veterans policy having become a priority, military and home guard members could enjoy benefits packages that are several times more generous than the ones that police and rescue officials would get, a daily reported.

Eesti Päevaleht said a new draft law increases the pension paid to military and home guard members who are unable to work, making it 150 percent of the average monthly wage in Estonia. While ordinary people qualify for the benefit at a level of 40 percent incapacity for work (as determined by a physician), Defense Forces and home guard members would be eligible starting from just 10 percent.

An exception is also being introduced for military personnel to allow workman's compensation to be paid out in a single installment.

The survivor's benefit payable to family members of those killed in action or service would also be increased.

The daily put forth a hypothetical scenario: if a rescuer and home guard member both were killed in a domestic disaster, the latter's family would get 1,330 euros, while the rescuer would get 268.30 euros under the legislation governing benefits for agencies in the Interior Ministry's jurisdiction.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mihkel Loide said operations personnel in their area of administration do not have an equivalent of the veterans policy introduced last year, but said the ministry was developing a package of measures to ensure more parity.