Occupational Disabilities Bill Receives Cabinet Approval ({{commentsTotal}})

A bill concerning work disability benefits has been approved by the government as part of a wider reform aimed at decreasing the number of people of disability benefits.

According to the government the nation has 95,000 people receiving work disability benefits, and only a third of those are working. Two-thirds of those out of work are willing to return to work.

“Reforming [the system for evaluating capacity to work] will change the attitude as people will be judged on their ability to work, not their disability,” Urmas Kruuse, the Health and Labor Minister said, adding that help will become more personalized.

The evaluation will be done by the Unemployment Insurance Fund, instead of the current Social Insurance Board.

The state will also support companies hiring people with work disabilities.

The government has earmarked 180 million euros in EU funding for the reform between 2015 and 2020, with the first bill kicking in in mid-2015, if approved.

The reform aims to employ at least 10 to 15 percent of those currently jobless people with disabilities, and take away benefits from those who are already earning the average wage.