The Estonian government has decided to exempt cars driven by people with disabilities, or which have been specially adapted for use by people with disabilities, from both the annual car tax and registration duty. The government also agreed to increase a number of state-provided benefits for people with disabilities.
Along with the draft car tax bill, the government has also instructed the Ministry of Social Affairs to submit for approval increases in allowances for people with disabilities, as well as certain changes related to the purchase of assistive devices. According to the ministry, the proposed changes have been discussed with the Estonian Chamber of People with Disabilities (EPIK).
According to the draft, the monthly allowance provided to support children with a profound disability will rise from €242 to €270; the allowance to support children with a severe disability will rise from €161 to €180 a month; and the allowance for people of working-age with a profound disability will rise from between €43 and €53 to €100 a month.
The allowance for working-age people with severe disabilities will also be harmonized, meaning the type of disability no longer has an impact on the amount received. Up to now, allowances haves ranged from €34 to €49 per month. Going forward that would change to €49 per month for everyone who is eligible.
The state's contribution to the purchase of assistive equipment for all children, including those without disabilities, will also be harmonized from 50 percent to 90 percent.
For working-age people, the state will provide reductions on the prices of assistive equipment, including for individuals who have not been assessed as disabled or as having reduced working capacity.
In addition, the state's contribution to the purchase of a number of other assistive devices will also increase. This includes for mobility aids, certain incontinence-related products and specialized footwear.
Approximately €8.1 million will be needed each year from the state budget in order to establish additional support measures for people with disabilities. The cost of IT-related developments may also be added on top of this.
Editor: Michael Cole