According to recent survey announed by General Statistics Office (GSO),Vietnam has more than 6.2 million people with disabilities , in which 3 million have verified the degree of disability and received certification of disability. In 2021, there are more than 1.1 million people with severe disabilities and exceptionally serious disabilities that enjoy monthly social allowance in community (this figure doesn’t take into account disabled people taken care in social patronage establishments). Monthly social assistance is among many policies belong to the social welfare net of the State for people with severe disabilities or exceptionally serious disabilities, through which some support from the State budget is created for them, in order to alleviate some difficulties in life and also help them integrate into society. However, besides many advantages of this policy, many provisions regard to receiving monthly social assistance in some cases, also cause considerable struggles and problems to a proportion of disabled people. This article will mention some institutional shortcomings related to monthly social assistance for people with severe disabilities and exceptionally serious disabilities, particularly in the current; and proposes some recommendations to refine the above policy so as to ensure the rights and interests of people with disabilities
Related to the matter of receiving monthly social assistance of severe disabilities and exceptionally serious disabilities people, the Article 1 Clause 51 Law of Persons with Disabilites in 2010 clearly stated:
“People with disabilities who are enjoying preferential policy for Revolution contributors; receiving pension, social insurance support per month shall not receive the policies prescribed in the Article 1 Provision 44 of this Law; otherwise shall enjoy the policies prescribed in this Law if the Laws on Revolution contributors or social insurance law have not yet prescribed”.
Meanwhile, the Article 1 Clause 44, Law of Persons with Disabilities in 2010 prescribed in monthly social assistance for severe disabilities, exceptionally serious disabilities people who are taken care out of community. Thuswise, not all every disabilities, exceptionally serious disabilities people are receiving monthly social assistance for handicapped people; there will have cases where they can’t receive or ceased from receiving monthly social assistance, particularly below:
1. About the regulation: Severely disabled people, people with exceptional serious disabilities are not receiving monthly social programs for handicapped people
According to regulation in Article 1 Clause 51 Law of Persons with Disabilities in 2010, it is interpreted that, whether a person receiving pensions but considered as severe disabilities or exceptionally serious disabilities, especially are receiving monthly social assistance but start to obtain pensions will be ceased from receiving monthly social assistance
Following the spirit of the Law on Social Insurance, the social insurance is a guaranteed replacement or partial subsidize for income of workers when they reduce or lose the income owing to sickness, parental leave, beyond legal working age… on the basis of contributing to social insurance fund (Article 1, Clause 3, Law on Social Insurance in 2014). Inclusively, the retirement benefits (or pensions) are one of the contents of the social insurance policy, even compulsory or voluntary (Article 4, Law on Social Insurance, 2014). Hence can be interpreted, retirement benefits or pensions are amounts paid to retired workers (beyond age) according to the regulation. To get pensions, according to the Law on Social Insurance in 2014, basically, the workers must meet the minimum time of participatingsocial insurance and be of age-sufficient or contracted with HIV due to occupational risks while performing assigned duties. Aside that, every month, the workers must contribute to the retirement and death fund for compulsory social ínurance is 8% monthly wage, for voluntary social insurance is 22% of the monthly income decided by the workers. Thus, in essence, pensions can be understood as the money of workers have accumulated through their own labor efforts over many years (at least 15 years). Therefore, for a disabled worker who retires, receiving a pension is the legitimate right and interest of that person, as a worker under legal regulations.
Meanwhile, the monthly social allowance for people with disabilities under the 2010 Law on Persons with Disabilities is part of the social welfare policy, interpreted as support from the State to help severely and exceptionally serious disabled people to reduce some difficulties in life. Analyzing current provisions show that: the criterias to enjoy monthly social allowances currently for a person with disabilities according to the law is based on their degree of disability (severe, exceptionally serious), not based on their income condition. Hence, in the essence of the two retirement allowances and monthly social allowance for the handicapped are completely seperated.
According to the current regulations, monthly social assistance for handicapped people are introduced by the State to support people with severe disabilities, exceptionally serious disabilities to have the income serving for basic necessities in life, and about individuals whose had already received pensions can live by it and allocate the State’s budget for other target groups. However, as analyzed above, pensions and monthly social assistance for handicapped persons are different in basis; so the severe disabilities and exceptionally serious disabilities people whose have joined social insurance, fulfilled the requirements for pensions but not for monthly social assistance is not seemed reasonable. Those individuals have the right to work, they overcome their own obstacles by their labor power to receive the pensions. The Law which prevents them not to receive monthly social assistance will limit the rights of people with disabilities and failed to positively inspire them in education, employment and integration…
It can be seen that, with the current regulations regarding disability pension for disabled people remain unchanged, they will not be eligible for monthly social allowance specially designated for severely and exceptionally serious disabled people, which can lead to sense of unfairness among many people with disabilities receiving pensions. On the other hand, if the law stipulates that disabled people receiving pensions are also eligible for monthly social allowance for severe and exceptionally serious disabilites individuals, it may impose a burden on the budget or affect to the implementation of other policies concerning pensions and social welfares. To address mentioned issues, we have some proposals:
Firstly, changing the Article 1 of Clause 51 in 2010 in Law of Persons with Disabilities by adding provisions solely implemented of ceasing monthly social allowance for disabled individuals, whose are receiving pensions or eligible to receive pensions will be considered as severely and exceptionally serious disabled. At the same time, their pension amount they receive will be higher in theory than the current monthly social assistance. Fundamentally, they don’t share the same struggle starting point comparing to severely handicapped individuals, exceptionally serious disabled people since childhood or from a young age, they are individuals without disabilities when participating in employment and education,…
Secondly, about supplementing provisions in cases of monthly social allowance higher than pensions which severely and exceptionally serious handicapped people are receiving; the States will pay for the disrepancy to ensure equality for targeted groups in the guideline document of social assistance policies to social welfare subjects
2. About the provision: The severely handicapped, exceptionally serious handicapped are obtaining monthly survivorship allowance will not receive monthly social assistance for people with disabilities
According to the provision in Article 1, Clause 51, the Law of Persons with Disabilities in 2010, especially people with severely, exceptionally serious disabilities are enjoying the monthly social allowance will cease to receive the benefit when switch to receiving monthly survivorship allowance. Similarly, individuals who are identified as people with severely, exceptionally serious disabilities when receiving monthly survivorship allowance will not be eligible to receive monthly social allowance.
The practical implementation of this provision shows that the severely and exceptionally serious disabled individuals who are enjoying monthly social assistance have the right to switch to monthly survivorship allowance and will ceased the prior allowance. However, with mentioned individuals who are participating in monthly survivorship allowance will not capable of transfering to monthly social allowance.
According to the Law on Social Insurance in 2014, members of the deceased workers who are receiving benefits for handicapped people; in case the handicapped persons meet the conditions to obtain monthly survivorship allowance (includes the condition of having monthly income below the average), they can be proceed to receive monthly survivorship support. Nevertheless, the current law on social insurance doesn’t provide provisions of procedure, conditions to halt the monthly survivorship with people participating in the service but at the same time receiving monthly social allowance covers by the Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA)
In fact, the ambiguous on provisions of ceasing the monthly survivorship allowance and switching to monthly social allowance or not is vaguely prescribed “Do not move from monthly survivorship allowance to monthly social allowance for handicapped people” may arise misunderstandings Many people even meet enough requirements to participate in monthly survivorship allowance, carry out procedures without fully understan ding that their status to receive monthly social allowance will be revoked and cannot return to enjoy the service for handicapped individuals again. In many situations, the severely, exceptionally serious disabled people for many reasons, have enjoyed monthly survivorship support before acquired enough conditions to receive monthly social allowance for people with disabilities. Along with that, they obviously do not have the opportunity to receive monthly social allowance for severely and exceptionally serious disabled people. So, to solve the above problem, we propose some suggestions as follow:
Firstly, we propose a supplement of detailed provisions on procedure to revoke the monthly survivorship allowance to switch to monthly social alloeance for handicapped people in Law on Social Insurance or thoroughly stipulated the act of not switching from monthly survivorshup allowance to monthly social allowance for handicapped people in Law of People with Disabilities, so the people with disabilities can grasp the information and have suitable decision.
Secondly, supplementing to the guideline document some notable social allowance policies to socially protected subjects regarding cases where the amount of monthly survivorship allowance is lower than the monthly social allowance for handicapped people, the budget will accept payment for the difference with disabled people who are obtaining monthly survivorship support. This provision is to guarantee the benefits of people with disabilities as well as the mutual support from social insurance institutions to State’s budget
It can be seen that, provisions regard to the monthly social allowance for handicapped people still has some certain shortcomings, which affect their legitimate rights and benefits. It is hoped that in the future, legal provisions will become increasingly stringent and improved, providing a basis for people with disabilities to integrate into community, refine themselves, achieve independent economic sufficiency, and contribute to the nation’s development.
 Figures provided by the General Statistics Office about the Conclusion of National survey on persons with disabilities on 2016
 Report on the Implementation of Law on Persons with disabilities in 2010 (published in 2022)
 Clause 85 and Clause 87 of the Law on Social Insurance 2014
 Article 1 Clause 44 of the Laws of Persons with Disabilities in 2010 stipulates, Clause 6, Article 5 of Decree No.20/2021/ND-CP
 Clause 67 of the Law on Social Insurance 2014