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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre) with amending laws of:

19 December 2002 [shall come into force on 1 January 2003];
17 June 2004 [shall come into force on 13 July 2004];
25 November 2004 [shall come into force on 29 December 2004];
25 May 2006 [shall come into force on 28 June 2006];
3 May 2007 [shall come into force on 7 June 2007];
21 June 2007 [shall come into force on 19 July 2007];
20 December 2007 [shall come into force on 30 December 2007];
18 September 2008 [shall come into force on 1 October 2008];
18 December 2008 [shall come into force on 1 January 2009];
7 May 2009 [shall come into force on 1 July 2009];
29 October 2009 [shall come into force on 1 December 2009];
21 January 2010 [shall come into force on 4 February 2010];
7 October 2010 [shall come into force on 10 November 2010];
8 July 2011 [shall come into force on 1 January 2012];
15 December 2011 [shall come into force on 30 December 2011];
6 December 2012 [shall come into force on 22 December 2012];
14 November 2013 [shall come into force on 18 December 2013];
17 December 2014 [shall come into force on 1 January 2015];
26 November 2015 [shall come into force on 2 December 2015];
10 November 2016 [shall come into force on 9 December 2016];
12 January 2017 [shall come into force on 9 February 2017];
21 November 2019 [shall come into force on 24 December 2019];
19 December 2019 [shall come into force on 13 January 2020];
20 March 2020 [shall come into force on 22 March 2020];
16 April 2020 [shall come into force on 18 April 2020];
7 May 2020 [shall come into force on 9 May 2020];
24 November 2020 [shall come into force on 1 January 2021];
18 February 2021 [shall come into force on 25 February 2021];
11 March 2021 [shall come into force on 1 April 2021].

If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending law appears in square brackets at the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph or clause.

The Saeima1 has adopted and
the President has proclaimed the following Law:

Law on Social Services and Social Assistance

Chapter I
General Provisions

Section 1. Terms Used in this Law

The following terms are used in this Law:

1) home care - services at home for the satisfaction of the basic needs of persons who are not able to take care of themselves due to objective circumstances;

2) day care centre - an institution which during the day provides social care and social rehabilitation services, development of social skills, education and opportunities for spending free time for persons with mental impairments, disabled persons, children from needy families, and families with circumstances unfavourable to the development of the child, and also persons who have attained the age that entitles one to receive the State old-age pension (hereinafter - the persons of retirement age);

3) quality of life - a welfare indicator of a person, family, group of persons, or society which includes physical and mental health, free time and spending thereof, work, education, a link with society, the right to independently take decisions and fulfil them, and also material security;

4) functional disorder - a disorder of a physical or mental nature caused by a disease, trauma or congenital defect which restricts the ability of a person to work, take care of himself or herself and makes it difficult for the person to integrate into society;

5) group house (apartment) - a house or a separate apartment where a person with mental impairments is ensured with a housing, individual support for resolving social problems and, if necessary, social care;

6) long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution - a social institution which provides a person who cannot take care of himself or herself due to old age or state of health, and also orphans and children left without parental care with housing, full care and rehabilitation;

7) client - a person who receives social services or social assistance;

8) crisis centre - a social institution where short-term psychological and other types of assistance is provided to persons in a crisis situation;

9) night shelter - a social institution providing lodging, dinner and personal hygiene opportunities for persons without a defined place of residence or persons in a crisis situation;

10) [24 November 2020];

11) basic needs - food, clothing, housing, health care, compulsory education;

12) shelter - a social institution that provides persons without a defined place of residence or persons in a crisis situation with the possibility of short-term residence, food, opportunities for personal hygiene and the services of social work specialists;

13) vocational rehabilitation - a set of measures that following an individualised assessment of functional disorders and determination of vocational suitability ensures the acquisition of a new occupation, vocational knowledge or skills or renewal thereof, including the acquisition of a vocational education programme at basic and secondary education level and multidisciplinary services for integration into the labour market for persons of working age;

14) psychosocial assistance - a social work area the purpose of which is to help solving of an individual or family interpersonal and social environment problems by providing psychological and social support;

15) service apartment - an apartment that is let out and adjusted for a person with severe functional disorders in order to increase the possibilities for the person to live independently and to take care of himself or herself;

16) social work specialist - a person who has the education specified in this Law and who performs the professional duties of a social worker, caritative social worker, social carer, social rehabilitator or social assistance organiser;

17) [24 November 2020];

18) social service office - an institution established by a local government which provides social assistance, organises and provides social services to inhabitants of the local government;

19) social work - professional activity that helps persons, families, groups of persons, and society as a whole promote or renew the ability thereof to function socially, and also to create favourable circumstances for such functioning;

20) social care service - a set of measures aimed at the satisfaction of the basic needs of those persons who have objective difficulties taking care of themselves due to old age or functional disorders, and includes services at the place of residence of the person and in long-term social care institutions;

21) social care services at the place of residence of a person - services which are approximated to the family environment [home care, services at a day care centre, service apartment, group house (apartment), and others];

22) social rehabilitation services at the place of residence of a person - services available at the place of residence (individual social work with a client, services of specialised workshops, services of crisis centres, day care centres, and others);

23) social rehabilitation service - a set of measures aimed at the renewal or improvement of the social functioning abilities in order to ensure the recovery of social status and integration into society and includes services at the place of residence of the person and at a social care and social rehabilitation institution, or at the place of residence or at a social care and social rehabilitation institution;

24) social service provider - a person providing social care, social rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation and social work services;

25) specialised workshops - a social rehabilitation service that ensures activities promoting skills and support of specialists to persons with functional disorders;

26) technical aids - equipment or technical system that rectifies, compensates, relieves, or neutralises the reduction of a function or disability;

27) half-way house - a social rehabilitation institution or a structural unit of a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution in which social rehabilitation, the acquisition or strengthening of self-care skills and life competences necessary for an independent life is ensured for persons with functional disorders;

28) supervision - a purposefully organised advisory and educational support to social work specialists for the purpose of improving their professional competences and quality of professional activities;

29) victim of trafficking of human beings - a person who has been recognised as a victim in the criminal offence of trafficking of human beings or who the State Police has issued a statement that he or she is a victim of trafficking of human beings in a foreign state, and also a person who has been recognised as conforming to victim of trafficking of human beings criteria by a social service provider;

30) mental impairment - a mental illness or mental disorder restricting the ability of a person to work and to take care of himself or herself, and also makes it difficult for him or her to integrate into society and that is determined in conformity with the current revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD);

31) working age - the phase of a person's life from the age of 15 years up to the age required for granting the State old-age pension;

32) caritative social work - work analogous to social work the purpose of which is to help persons, families, groups, or the society as a whole to regain the ability to function socially and mentally;

33) technical aids service - a set of measures that ensures functional assessment of a person, manufacture, adjusting, training for use, repair and ensuring of circulation of technical aids, and also delivery thereof at the place of residence of a person;

34) care level of the client - a quantified value characterising the level of a lack of self-care capacities of a person that is determined by a multidisciplinary team of specialists recruited by a social work specialist on the basis of the assessment of the degree of severity of functional disorders and the need thereof, and also the activity to be performed to ensure a social care service and the amount of resources to be attached;

35) psychosocial rehabilitation - a social rehabilitation area which applies to a person and the family thereof and the objective of which is to ensure support for resolving psychosocial problems;

36) determination of vocational suitability - a measure during which the interest of a person in different areas of professional activity and specific occupations, the desire and motivation to learn, previous knowledge and experience, and also the compliance of the state of health, intellectual capacities, and individual characteristics of a person with the selected occupation are assessed;

37) provider - a person who in accordance with the law or a court ruling has an obligation to take care of his or her spouse, children, or parents;

38) social rehabilitation centre - a social rehabilitation institution where social rehabilitation necessary for restoring social functioning abilities is provided to persons with functional disorders, persons addicted to psychoactive substances, persons after serving a sentence of deprivation of liberty, and other persons with social functioning problems;

39) crisis situation - a situation when a person has no possibilities to use the usual ways to solve problems due to a catastrophe or other external occurrences, he or she is not capable to overcome the consequences caused by such occurrences by himself or herself and he or she requires a psychosocial or material assistance;

40) household - several persons who are living in one housing and are jointly covering expenses, or one person who is managing a household individually;

41) social functioning - ability of a person to act in different fields of life and perform corresponding social roles which are constantly exposed to environmental impact and include expectations and objective requirements of the society.

[17 June 2004; 25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 21 June 2007; 20 December 2007; 18 September 2008; 7 May 2009; 7 October 2010; 12 January 2017; 24 November 2020]

Section 2. Purpose of the Law

The purpose of this Law is to establish principles for the provision and receipt of social work, caritative social work, social care, social rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation services (hereinafter - the social services) and social assistance, the range of persons who have the right to receive these services and assistance, and also the principles for payment and financing of social care, social rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation services.

[20 December 2007; 7 May 2009]

Section 3. Right to Social Services and Social Assistance

(1) The right to receive social services and social assistance specified in this Law shall be enjoyed by the following persons residing in the Republic of Latvia:

1) citizens and non-citizens of Latvia;

2) third-country nationals who have received a permanent residence permit or who have been granted the status of a permanent resident of the European Union in the Republic of Latvia;

3) citizens of the European Union Member States, European Economic Area states and the Swiss Confederation who:

a) have obtained the right of permanent residence;

b) are entitled to reside in the Republic of Latvia and who have stayed in the Republic of Latvia for at least three months;

c) who have stayed in the Republic of Latvia for at least six months if entering into employment relationships in the Republic of Latvia has been the purpose of their stay, and their attempt to find a job is attested by registration thereof in the State Employment Agency;

4) family members of the persons referred to in Clauses 1, 2, and 3 of this Paragraph.

(11) Persons who reside in the Republic of Latvia and to whom an alternative status has been granted, and also family members of these persons who reside in the Republic of Latvia shall have the right to receive the basic social assistance benefits, shelter and night shelter services referred to in this Law, and also information and consultations from the social service office.

(12) Children who have acquired alternative status have the right to receive social care services and the social rehabilitation services specified in Section 13, Paragraph one of this Law.

(2) The Cabinet and local government shall determine the procedures for the receipt of social services and social assistance.

(3) The procedures by which social services provided by local government are received shall be determined by local government binding regulations.

(4) A victim of trafficking in human beings has the right to receive social rehabilitation. If necessary, a minor accompanied by a victim of trafficking in human beings has also the right to stay in the social rehabilitation institution together with this person.

(5) If shelter and night shelter services specified in Paragraph 1.1 of this Section cannot be applied to a person who has been granted alternative status due to his or her functional disorders or the lack of social skills, the local government social service office is entitled to apply other types of social services suitable for the encountered problem.

(6) The right to receive social services determined in this Law shall be also enjoyed by persons who have not been specified in Paragraph one of this Section and who have the right to enter and reside in the Republic of Latvia if the relevant persons demand the abovementioned services specifically from the relevant service provider and they settle the payment thereof in full amount.

(7) Children who have been recognised as asylum seekers with special reception needs by institutions involved in the asylum procedure have the right to receive social rehabilitation of children who have suffered from violence. Children who do not belong to the groups listed in this Section also have the right to receive the abovementioned service if the responsible institutions have provided an opinion on the necessity of a social rehabilitation service.

[25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 21 June 2007; 18 December 2008; 29 October 2009; 26 November 2015; 24 November 2020 / The new wording of Paragraph 1.1 shall come into force on 1 April 2021. See Paragraph 43 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 4. Basic Principles for the Provision of Social Services

(1) Social services shall be provided only on the basis of an evaluation of the individual needs and resources of a person carried out by a social work specialist.

(2) Social services shall be provided at the place of residence of a client or as close thereto as possible, and only if the scope of such services is not sufficient, social care and social rehabilitation at a long-term care and social rehabilitation institution is provided.

(3) In providing social services, the institutions shall ensure inter-professional and inter-institutional co-operation.

(4) Orphans and children left without parental care shall be provided with care in a family-like environment - foster family, with a guardian, and only if this is not possible care is provided at a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution.

(5) During the stay of an orphan or a child left without parental care at a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution, the local government social service office and the Orphan's and Custody Court, in co-operation with the employees of the institution, shall take measures to promote the return of the child to the family, to maintain contact between the child and parents or, if this is not possible, to seek a possibility to ensure care for the child in another family.

(6) The work of a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution shall be organised so as to approximate the environment of the institution towards a familial environment and to ensure the acquisition of independent life skills for orphans and children left without parental care.

(7) A person with predictable disability has the right to receive the social services specified in the Disability Law.

(8) The social services specified in this Law that are fully or partially financed by the State or local governments shall be ensured to victims of a disaster and persons involved in the elimination of the consequences of a disaster on a priority basis and according to the causes, type, and scale of the disaster.

[18 December 2008; 7 October 2010; 19 December 2019]

Section 5. Basic Principles for the Provision of Social Assistance

(1) Social assistance shall be provided for a client on the basis of an evaluation of his or her material resources - income and property - individually providing for the participation of each client, except for a crisis situation.

(2) When evaluating the material resources of a household, income forming after payment of taxes shall be taken into account.

(3) Recovery may not be brought against social assistance benefits.

(4) A local government shall disburse the social assistance benefits laid down in Section 35, Paragraphs one and two of this Law from the funds of the local government budget.

[24 November 2020]

Section 6. Rights of a Client

A client has the right:

1) to obtain information free of charge from a social service and social assistance provider regarding the possibilities of receiving social services and social assistance and the conditions and procedures for the receipt thereof;

2) to receive a consultation free of charge from a social work specialist regarding the resolution of social problems;

3) to request and receive the social services or social assistance referred to in this Law;

4) to receive a substantiated written refusal in case a decision has been taken not to provide a social service or social assistance to the client;

5) to participate in the decision-taking process related to the receipt of a social service;

6) in accordance with the procedures laid down in law, to appeal against a decision on the provision of social services or social assistance;

7) to submit a complaint regarding the unsatisfactory quality of the social services provided and the infringement of the rights of the client.

[17 June 2004; 7 May 2009]

Section 7. Obligations of a Client

A client has an obligation to:

1) take active participation in the solution of his or her problem by carrying out the obligations of participation, including participating in the social rehabilitation measures for retaining, renewal, and acquisition of work and social skills;

2) provide information regarding himself or herself, co-operate with the social service office in the assessment of his or her social situation and fulfil the recommendations of the social service office in order to improve this situation;

3) make active effort to increase his or her earning ability and income;

4) use the opportunities to receive social rehabilitation services if the client or any of his or her family members has addiction problems (addition to alcohol, drugs, gambling);

5) use the received social assistance for the intended purposes;

6) allow a social work specialist to survey a place of residence if the receipt of social services or social assistance is connected with the assessment of the material resources of the client or the survey at the place of residence is necessary, in performing social work with the client.

[7 May 2009; 7 October 2010; 12 January 2017]

Section 8. General Principles of Payment for Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Services

(1) A client or his or her provider has an obligation to pay for the received social care and social rehabilitation services if it is not specified otherwise in this Law.

(2) [3 May 2007]

(3) [3 May 2007]

(4) If a client or his or her provider is unable to pay for a social care or social rehabilitation service, the costs of the service shall be covered from the local government budget in accordance with the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet.

(5) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures of the payment for social care and social rehabilitation services.

(6) If a person requests long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution services that are fully or partially covered by the local government, the local government social service office shall, in conformity with that laid down in Section 5, Paragraph three, Clause 1 of this Law, assess the solvency of the person on the basis of the information provided by the person regarding income and concluded maintenance contracts. If also the providers of the person have an obligation to pay for the service, they shall provide information regarding income to the local government social service office that decides on granting the service.

(7) A person who receives long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution services that are fully or partially covered by the local government and who has income shall, in the case of changes therein, be obliged to submit to the institution which takes the decision to grant the service information regarding his or her income at least once a year in conformity with that laid down in Section 5, Paragraph three, Clause 1 of this Law.

(8) The providers of a person who have an obligation to pay for the service shall, not less than once year, submit to the institution which takes the decision on payments to be made by the providers of the person information regarding their income in conformity with that laid down in Section 5, Paragraph three, Clause 1 of this Law.

[25 November 2004; 25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 12 January 2017; 19 December 2019]

Chapter II
Organisation of Social Services and Social Assistance

Section 9. Obligations of Local Governments in the Provision of Social Services and Social Assistance

(1) The local government in the territory of which a person has his or her declared place of residence has an obligation to provide the person with a possibility to receive social services and social assistance corresponding to his or her needs.

(2) If a local government has received information from natural persons or institutions regarding a person who might require a social care or social rehabilitation service or social assistance, the local government has an obligation, in accordance with the procedures specified in the law On Social Security, to verify the received information, to evaluate the needs of the person for social services and social assistance, and to inform this person or his or her lawful representative of the rights and possibilities of receiving social services and social assistance, and also the procedures by which social services or social assistance may be received.

(3) If a person requires social services in a night shelter or a crisis centre, he or she shall turn directly to the service provider who takes a decision on the provision of a service. If necessary, the local government, in the territory in which a person without a home is located, shall ensure the person with night shelter or shelter, information and consultations, and also single material assistance.

(31) If due to objective circumstances a person does not have a declared place of residence, the local government in the administrative territory of which the person has selected a place of residence shall evaluate the material situation of the person and, where necessary, grant a single material assistance, and also inform the local government in which the person had the last declared place of residence thereof. The local government in the administrative territory of which the person had the last declared place of residence or the local government in the administrative territory of which the person has selected a place of residence, where it is not possible to detect the last declared place of residence of the person, shall evaluate the possibility to provide psychosocial assistance or grant corresponding social assistance benefits to the person.

(4) Local governments which have not established the necessary social service providers shall enter into agreements with other social service providers in their territory or with other local governments regarding provision of the abovementioned social services and payment. These social services shall be fully or partially financed from the local government budget.

(5) If a person wishes to receive a social service which is financed from the State budget, the local government has an obligation to ensure a survey of the living conditions and an evaluation of the needs of the person to be carried out by a social work specialist. If a person wishes to receive State financed technical aids, a survey of living conditions shall not be performed.

(6) A local government has an obligation to ensure the improvement of vocational competence - training and supervision - for the social work specialists of the local government social service office and other social service providers established by the local government.

(7) A local government shall ensure the necessary social care services at the place of residence for persons with mental impairments for whom after the acquisition of independent life skills within the scope of a social rehabilitation programme the provision of services in long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions is not necessary and for whom the provision of services has been discontinued in accordance with the procedures laid down in Section 28, Paragraphs three and 3.1 of this Law.

[25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 20 December 2007; 7 May 2009; 12 January 2017; 24 November 2020]

Section 9.1 Services of Long-term Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Institutions, which are Financed by the State

(1) Taking into account the provisions of Section 13.1 of this Law, the services of long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions shall be financed from the State budget to:

1) adults with mental impairments who have been placed in such institutions until 1 January 2003;

2) blind adults and persons with severe and extremely severe mental impairments for whom it is necessary to receive a service in a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution due to the level of severity of functional disorders and the care level;

3) children with severe and extremely severe mental impairments or children with severe and extremely severe physical impairments, and also children with combined severe and extremely severe mental and physical impairments in the age of up to four years to whom care in the family, by a guardian or in a foster family cannot be provided due to the functional disorders;

4) children with severe and extremely severe mental impairments at the age from four years up to 18 years to whom it is not possible to ensure care in the family, by a guardian or in a foster family due to the level of severity of functional disorders;

5) orphans at the age up to two years - for a time period until care by a guardian or in a foster family is commenced, but overall not more than six months, excluding the adoption process of the child from this period, if it has been commenced within the first six months since the placement of the child in the long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution;

6) children left without parental care at the age up to two years - for a time period until a child returns in the family or until his or her care is commenced by a guardian or in a foster family, but overall not more than six months, excluding the adoption process of the child from this period, if it has been commenced within the first six months since the placement of the child in the long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the following:

1) the number and qualification of the personnel involved in the provision of a service of the long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution;

2) the procedures for financing the services appropriate to the level of care of a client.

[12 January 2017; 19 December 2019]

Section 10. Local Government Social Service Office

(1) In order to ensure the professional assessment of the needs of inhabitants and the qualitative provision of social services and social assistance, each local government shall have at least one social work specialist per every thousand inhabitants.

(2) In order to ensure the provision of social services and social assistance and the administration of services, each local government shall establish a local government institution - a social service office.

(3) [18 December 2008]

(4) [17 June 2004]

[17 June 2004; 25 May 2006; 18 December 2008; 29 October 2009]

Section 11. Tasks of Local Government Social Service Offices

A local government social service office shall have the following tasks:

1) to perform social work with persons, families, and groups of persons;

2) to provide social services or to organise the provision thereof to families with children in which there are circumstances unfavourable to the development of the child, foster families, guardians, persons who are taking care of a family member, disabled persons, persons of retirement age, persons with mental impairments, and other groups of persons for whom it is necessary;

3) to assess the needs, material and personal (motivation, necessary knowledge and skills, education, occupation, etc.) resources of clients and the social assistance system;

4) to determine the participation obligations of a client upon reaching an agreement with him or her regarding the measures to be performed;

5) to provide social assistance;

6) to administer local government budget resources which have been earmarked for the provision of social services and social assistance;

7) to assess the quality of the social services and social assistance administered by the social service office and financed by the local government;

8) to perform the research of the social environment, to determine problems and also to participate in the elaboration of development planning documents of the local government, local government planning documents and management documents of the institution in the field of competence of the social service office;

9) to inform inhabitants of social services and social assistance.

[7 May 2009; 29 October 2009; 12 January 2017]

Section 12. Obligations and Rights of Local Government Social Service Offices

(1) A local government social service office has the following obligations:

1) to provide persons with the information regarding the right to receive social services and social assistance and the procedures for the provision thereof;

2) to inform in writing the person who has requested a social service or social assistance of the decision taken and, in case of refusal, to specify the reasons for refusal, and also the deadline and procedures for appealing the decision;

3) to provide a person with psychosocial or material or psychosocial and material assistance in order to enable the overcoming of a crisis situation and promote the integration of the person into society.

(2) The local government social service office has an obligation to provide information and consultations in a manner comprehensible to the person.

(21) If the local government social service office has a reason to believe that a child has suffered as a result of violence, abuse of rights of a parent, guardian or foster family, the lack of proper care and the lack of supervision or another infringement of children's rights, it shall, immediately but not later than on the following working day, notify the Orphan's and Custody Court and State Police thereof.

(22) If the local government social service office has a reason to believe that sufficient health care is not ensured due to improper care, it shall, immediately but not later than within three working days, notify the family physician of the child or another health care practitioner respectively.

(23) While a child left without parental care is in a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution, the social service office shall provide the information to the Orphan's and Custody Court and the long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution regarding the performed social work in order to promote the return of the child in the family not less than once every three months regarding a child younger than three years of age and not less than once every six months regarding a child older than three years of age, but is younger than 18 years of age. The Information System for the Support of Minors shall be used for the provision and receipt of information.

(24) If custody rights have been revoked for a parent, the social service office shall provide an opinion on the possibilities of a child to return in custody of the parent if it is requested by the Orphan's and Custody Court.

(3) A local government social service office has the right to request and receive free of charge from State and local government institutions and other State administrative institutions, private individuals, including medical treatment institutions, information that is necessary for the provision of social services and social assistance and for resolving other matters within the competence of the social service office, including information regarding the nature and level of functional disorders of a person, income thereof and property owned by the person, guardianship and custody matters, exercising the rights of custody over a child, legal and financial state.

(4) The local government social service office has the right to involve those clients with capacity for work who receive social assistance for at least three months in the period of the last 12 months, except for the persons referred to in Section 36, Paragraph two, Clauses 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this Law:

1) in measures for the retaining, renewal, and acquisition of labour and social skills (up to 15 hours per week by dividing them for several days of week) which provide benefit to the society and do not substitute performers of local government functions. The abovementioned measures shall be implemented at local governments, associations, or foundations without a purpose to gain profit. The local government social service office shall enter into an agreement with a client with capacity for work, providing for the place and time of measures, the rights, obligations, and liabilities of both parties in the agreement;

2) in works in the territory of a local government, entering into an agreement for an indefinite period of time with a client with capacity for work.

(5) The local government social service office has the right to involve a client in such measures that do not exclude the possibility of caring for a disabled child or pre-school age child, or other dependant, if there are no other possibilities to ensure care, to participate in rehabilitation measures or measures organised by the State Employment Agency, to enter into employment relationships or to gain income from work.

(6) The local government social service office, following the receipt of information regarding the attainment of legal age by an orphan or a child left without parental care and the termination of out-of-family care, has an obligation to assess the needs and resources of the abovementioned person and, after commencement of an independent life, to provide to him or her all necessary support measures, and also to assess changes in the social situation of the person at least for two years after commencement of an independent life.

[17 June 2004; 7 May 2009; 15 December 2011; 14 November 2013; 12 January 2017; 19 December 2019; 24 November 2020]

Section 13. Obligations of the State in the Provision of Social Services

(1) The State shall ensure the following according to the funds granted in the annual State Budget Law:

1) the determination of vocational suitability of a person with disability and person with a predictable disability and vocational rehabilitation;

2) the social rehabilitation of persons with impaired vision and hearing;

3) [14 November 2013];

31) social rehabilitation services for adult persons who have suffered from violence. The type, amount, and content of social rehabilitation services, the conditions for the receipt and granting of services shall be determined by the Cabinet;

4) the social rehabilitation for adult persons and children who have become addicted to narcotic, toxic or other intoxicating substances or to processes causing addiction. The Cabinet shall determine the types, amount, and content of social rehabilitation services, and also the conditions and procedures for the receipt, granting, discontinuation, and termination of such services;

5) technical aids services for the persons referred to in Section 25, Paragraph one of this Law;

6) for persons with functional disorders of a working age, and also for persons with functional disorders who are employed (are to be considered as employees or self-employed persons in accordance with the law On State Social Insurance), social rehabilitation services for restoration of capacity for work at social rehabilitation institutions. The Cabinet shall approve the list of functional disorders;

7) the social rehabilitation of victims of the trafficking in human beings. The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for the receipt of social rehabilitation and the criteria for the recognition of a person as a victim of the trafficking in human beings;

8) support programme for children with coeliac disease, continuing the provision of support to these persons after attaining legal age if these persons study at general secondary or vocational secondary education institution and who are not older than 20 years or who study at a of higher education institution (full-time studies) and are not older than 24 years. The amount of support and the conditions for the receipt thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet;

9) support for the implementation and development of professional social work in local governments. The type and amount of support and the conditions for the receipt thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet;

10) [18 December 2008];

11) social rehabilitation services for persons who have committed violence. The type, amount, and content of social rehabilitation services, the conditions for the receipt and granting of services shall be determined by the Cabinet;

12) psychosocial rehabilitation for persons with an oncological disease and their relatives, and also for children in palliative care and their family members. The type, amount, and content of the service, the conditions and procedures for the receipt, granting, financing, discontinuation, and termination thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet;

13) the aid to local governments that ensure social services at a place of residence to persons referred to in Section 9.1, Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this Law who do not receive long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution services financed by the State or local government. The Cabinet shall determine the amount of the State aid, the criteria for the determination thereof, and the procedures for granting the State aid.

(11) [24 November 2020]

(12) The State ensures social rehabilitation of children who have suffered from violence. Up until finding out the age of a person, social rehabilitation is ensured also to those persons who have suffered from violence and whose minority is doubted.

(2) The State may create social care and social rehabilitation institutions or enter into agreements with other social service providers in order to fulfil the State obligations provided for in Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of this Section.

(21) The fulfilment of the State obligations provided for in Paragraph one of this Section - provision of the services specified in Clause 2 - shall be ensured by the Latvian Society of the Blind and the Latvian Association of the Deaf; provision of technical aids services specified in Clause 5 - tiflotechnology and surdotechnology - shall be ensured by the Latvian Society of the Blind and the Latvian Association of the Deaf; psychosocial rehabilitation for persons with oncological diseases specified in Clause 12 shall be ensured by the Latvian Cancer Patient Support Society "Dzīvības koks"; psychosocial rehabilitation for children in a palliative care specified in Clause 12 shall be ensured by the Children's Palliative Care Society. The services specified in Paragraph 1.2 of this Section shall be ensured by the Latvian Children's Fund by arranging the provision of social rehabilitation services and by providing them at such foundations one of the founders of which is the Latvian Children's Fund. If necessary, the Latvian Society of the Blind, the Latvian Association of the Deaf and the Latvian Children's Fund, and also the Latvian Cancer Patient Support Society "Dzīvības koks" and Children's Palliative Care Society shall also select other service providers in accordance with the procedures laid down in the laws and regulations governing public procurements.

(22) The fulfilment of the State obligations provided for in Paragraph one of this Section - provision of the technical aids services specified in Paragraph one, Clause 5 thereof - shall be ensured by valsts sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību "Nacionālais rehabilitācijas centrs "Vaivari"" [State limited liability company National Rehabilitation Centre "Vaivari"], if necessary, involving capital companies in which they are members (shareholders). If necessary, the State limited liability company National Rehabilitation Centre "Vaivari" shall also select other service providers in accordance with the procedures laid down in the laws and regulations governing public procurements.

(23) When implementing the fulfilment of the obligations provided for in Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of this Section, the Latvian Society of the Blind, the Latvian Association of the Deaf, the Latvian Children's Fund, the Latvian Cancer Patient Support Society "Dzīvības koks" and Children's Palliative Care Society, and the State limited liability company National Rehabilitation Centre "Vaivari" shall be under the functional supervision of the Ministry of Welfare, shall ensure rational use and control of the funds granted from the State budget using not more than 10 per cent of the funds granted from the State budget for administrative costs related to the provision of these services. The organisations referred to for the provision of the fulfilment of these obligations are entitled to issue administrative statements.

(24) The Cabinet shall determine the conditions and procedures for the fulfilment of the obligations provided for in Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of this Section.

(3) The State shall participate in the financing of day centres intended for persons with mental impairments and, in conformity with the appropriations granted in the annual State budget law, support and finance other programmes for the development of new types of social services in local governments.

(4) The costs of establishment and maintenance for the day centres referred to in Paragraph three of this Section shall be financed from the State budget: in the year of establishment of the centres - 80 per cent, in the first year of operation - 60 per cent, in the second year - 40 per cent, in the third year - 20 per cent. The criteria for the specification of the costs of establishment and maintenance for the day centres, and also the procedures for the granting of State co-financing and for co-financing shall be determined by the Cabinet. In subsequent years these expenses shall be covered in the amount of 100 per cent from the budgets of local governments.

(5) The State shall participate in the financing for the establishment and equipping of group houses (apartments) and half-way houses intended for the persons with mental impairments in the year of the establishment thereof in the amount of 50 per cent in conformity with the appropriations granted in the annual State Budget Law. The criteria for the specification of the costs of establishment and equipping of group houses (apartments) and half-way houses, and also the procedures for the granting of State co-financing and for co-financing shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(6) The State shall participate in the financing of expenditures associated with the maintenance of group houses (apartments) in the amount of 50 per cent of the per person costs provided for long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution's maintenance for those persons with mental impairments who return from long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions. The Cabinet shall determine the volume of co-financing and the procedures for the granting thereof. Expenditure which is connected with the residence in group houses (apartments) established on the basis of long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions within the scope of the national programme of the European Regional Development Fund shall be covered by the State in full amount.

(7) [Paragraph shall come into force on 1 October 2023 and shall be included in the wording of the Law as of 1 October 2023. See Paragraph 29 of Transitional Provisions]

[17 June 2004; 25 May 2006; 21 June 2007; 20 December 2007; 18 September 2008; 18 December 2008; 7 May 2009; 29 October 2009; 21 January 2010; 7 October 2010; 6 December 2012; 14 November 2013; 17 December 2014; 10 November 2016; 12 January 2017; 19 December 2019; 24 November 2020]

Section 13.1 Payment for State financed Social Services

(1) The services referred to in Section 13, Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 2, 31, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and Paragraph 1.2, and also Section 9.1, Clauses 3, 4, and 5 of this Law shall be paid from the State budget funds.

(2) The services specified in Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 5 of this Law shall be financed from the State budget, the recipient of the service making a once-only payment or making a co-payment according to the procedures and in the amount stipulated by the Cabinet.

(3) The services specified in Section 9.1, Paragraph one, Clauses 1 and 2 of this Law for a person to whom, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia, a State pension (including a supplement to the pension) or a service pension, or a special State pension, or a compensation for the loss of capacity to work, or a compensation for harm, a survivor's compensation due to an accident at work or occupational disease have not been granted or who has not concluded a life-long pension insurance contract for the receipt of the accrued funded pension capital, or a benefit for the spouse of the deceased recipient of a pension, or to whom a pension has not been granted in accordance with foreign laws and regulations (hereinafter together - the pension or compensation) are paid from State budget funds. A person who is a recipient of a pension or compensation shall cover 85 per cent of the received service from the amount to be disbursed, but not more than the amount of the costs of the received service at the relevant institution.

(4) The services specified in Section 9.1, Paragraph one, Clause 6 of this Law shall be financed from the State budget. Parents have an obligation to pay for such services in accordance with the Law on the Protection of the Children's Rights.

[3 May 2007; 20 December 2007; 18 September 2008; 7 May 2009; 29 October 2009; 14 November 2013; 12 January 2017; 19 December 2019]

Section 14. Tasks of the Ministry of Welfare

(1) The Ministry of Welfare shall have the following tasks in the field of social services and social assistance:

1) to develop a State policy in the field of social services and social assistance, and also to organise and co-ordinate the implementation thereof;

2) to organise the administration of funds granted from the State budget for the provision of the social services referred to in Sections 9.1 and 13 of this Law;

3) [8 July 2011];

4) to supervise the implementation of this Law, to control the conformity with the laws and regulations governing the provision of social services and the conformity of the quality of social services and the provider of social services with the requirements of laws and regulations, and to administratively punish the providers of social services for the committed offences;

41) to develop the criteria for the assessment of the quality and efficiency of social services;

42) to develop guidelines for granting social assistance;

5) to establish and maintain the State social policy monitoring information system which is the State information system in order to perform the tasks specified in Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 2, and 4 of this Section.

(2) For the needs of the State social policy monitoring information system, the Ministry of Welfare has the right to receive from the State and local government institutions and to process personal data of such persons who have requested social assistance, social care, social or professional rehabilitation services, technical aids or services to ensure an independent life, and also data on services and social assistance requested by these persons and granted to them.

(3) The structure of the State social policy monitoring information system provided for in Paragraph one, Clause 5 of this Section, and also data volume to be included therein, data processing provisions and procedures, and also collaboration rules of institutions shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(4) The Ministry of Welfare is entitled not to inform the data subject of processing of personal data in the State social policy monitoring information system, unless the data subject requests it specifically and processing of personal data is necessary in relation to:

1) the provision of services of long-term social care and social rehabilitation services financed by the State;

2) the administration of the service of an assistant financed by the State at local governments;

3) the collection of statistical information specified by the State;

4) the inspections of social service providers.

[7 May 2009; 8 July 2011; 14 November 2013; 12 January 2017 / Clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of Paragraph one shall come into force on 1 December 2017. See Paragraph 26 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 15. State Social Services Agency

[7 May 2009]

Section 15.1 Social Integration State Agency

(1) The Social Integration State Agency (hereinafter - the Agency) is a State administrative institution supervised by the Ministry of Welfare which:

1) provides social rehabilitation services (if necessary, also health care services) to persons, including soldiers of the National Armed Forces, national guards, officials with special service ranks of the institutions of the system of the Ministry of Interior and civil experts determined in the laws and regulations regarding international assistance;

2) provides vocational rehabilitation services and determines vocational suitability for persons of working age with disability, mental impairments or with a predictable disability, and also within the scope of vocational rehabilitation services provides training of vehicle driving for persons without any medical contraindications for such training;

3) co-ordinates the provision of the State financed social rehabilitation, professional rehabilitation and long-term social care and social rehabilitation services;

4) implements vocational initial education, vocational secondary education, first level higher vocational education (college education), vocational further education and vocational in-service training programmes, preparing specialists in the professions which are necessary for the performance of social security measures for disabled persons;

5) [8 July 2011];

6) provides technical aids service financed from State budget - provides the adjustment of a vehicle.

(11) The social rehabilitation services referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 1 of this Section (if necessary, also health care services) are provided to the soldiers of the National Armed Forces, national guards, officials with special service ranks of the institutions of the system of the Ministry of Interior and civil experts determined in the laws and regulations regarding international assistance in conformity with the funds allocated for this purpose in the annual State Budget Law.

(12) By 31 December 2022, the Agency shall, within the scope of the European Union policy instruments:

1) determine vocational suitability for unemployed persons who have been unemployed at least for 12 months and have received a referral of the State Employment Agency for the determination of vocational suitability;

2) provide vocational rehabilitation services to persons with mental impairments to whom disability or predictable disability has not been determined.

(2) The operation of the Agency shall be governed by the by-laws in which the requirements of the laws and regulations governing the activities of colleges in relation to the by-laws of the college are also included.

(3) The work remuneration of teachers of the Agency shall be specified in the laws and regulations regarding the work remuneration of teachers.

(4) For the purpose of ensuring the accounting of persons who receive State-funded social rehabilitation services required to facilitate timely and qualitative granting of such services, and also to generate statistics in order to plan, develop, and evaluate the State policy in the field of social rehabilitation and to ensure the fulfilment of other functions of the Agency, the Agency shall create and maintain the social rehabilitation information system which is a State information system. The Agency shall be the administrator of the social rehabilitation information system. The social rehabilitation information system shall include data on the persons who have requested and received the social rehabilitation services referred to in Section 13, Paragraph one, Clauses 4, 6, and 7 of this Law, including personal data, and also data regarding the received services and their providers.

(5) The Agency and the Ministry of Welfare have the right to process the information included in the social rehabilitation information system in relation to social rehabilitation for the fulfilment of the functions and tasks specified in the laws and regulations governing their operation.

(6) The structure of the social rehabilitation information system referred to in Paragraph four of this Section, the data to be included therein, their volume, the data processing provisions and procedures, and also rules for the collaboration between institutions shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[20 December 2007; 7 May 2009; 29 October 2009; 7 October 2010; 8 July 2011; 10 November 2016; 12 January 2017; 19 December 2019]

Section 16. Social Services Quality Control Inspection

[17 June 2004]

Section 17. Social Service Provider

(1) The social services specified in this Law may be provided only by such social service provider whose principal activity or the principal activity of the relevant structural unit is related to the provision of these services and that has been registered in the register of social service providers in order to provide the relevant service not later than three months following commencement of the provision of the service.

(11) If a social service provider which is providing such service, including also accommodation of a client (social service with accommodation), has been excluded from the register of social service providers due to non-conformity with the requirements of laws and regulations, then such service provider shall continue the provision of the service for not longer than six months from the day when the decision to exclude from the register has been notified thereto, if the service provided does not endanger the safety or health of the client.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the criteria for the registration of social service providers in the register of social service providers, information to be included in the register and registration procedures, and also requirements for the social service providers.

(3) The head of an institution which provides social services shall be a person with a second level vocational higher or academic education.

(4) A social service provider has the right to request and receive free of charge from State and local government institutions and other State administrative institutions, private individuals, including medical treatment institutions, information that is necessary for the provision of social services, including the information regarding the nature and level of functional disorders of a person, income thereof and property owned by the person, guardianship and custody matters, exercising the rights of custody over a child, legal and financial state, if such information is necessary in order to take or to enforce the decision to provide a social service and it is not possible to obtain such information from State and local government databases.

(5) A social service provider has an obligation to provide information to the Ministry of Welfare and reports specified in laws and regulations regarding its activity in the field of the provision of social services.

[17 June 2004; 21 June 2007; 20 December 2007; 7 May 2009; 12 January 2017; 19 December 2019]

Section 17.1 Contesting and Appeal of Administrative Statements and Actual Actions

(1) The administrative statements issued or actual actions of institutions of direct administration, State capital companies or the persons specified in Section 13, Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of this Law as social service providers may be contested in the Ministry of Welfare, but the decisions thereof may be appealed in a court, unless it is otherwise laid down in the law or Cabinet regulations.

(2) The administrative statements issued or actual actions of local governments and institutions thereof as providers of social services or social assistance may be contested in accordance with the law On Local Governments.

(3) The administrative statements issued or actual actions of officials of the Ministry of Welfare may be contested by turning to the State Secretary of the Ministry of Welfare, but the decisions thereof may be appealed in a court.

(4) The contesting or appeal of a decision of the Ministry of Welfare to remove a social service provider from the register of social service providers, a decision of the Ministry of Welfare or a social service provider to suspend or terminate the provision of social services, and also a decision of the local government to suspend or terminate the provision of social services shall not suspend the operation of the relevant decision, except for the case where this operation is suspended by a decision of the institution in which the decision is being contested.

[7 May 2009; 12 January 2017]

Chapter III
Purpose and Types of the Provision of Social Services and Rights Thereto

Section 18. Purpose of the Provision of Social Care Services

The purpose of the provision of social care services is to ensure that the quality of life does not deteriorate for a person who, due to old age or functional disorders, cannot ensure such through his or her own effort.

Section 19. Purpose of the Provision of Social Rehabilitation Services

The purpose of the provision of social rehabilitation services is to prevent or reduce the negative social consequences in the life of a person caused by a disability, incapacity for employment, the serving of a sentence of deprivation of liberty, addiction or violence, and other factors.

Section 20. Rights of a Person to Social Care

(1) Orphans and children left without parental care have the right to a social care service corresponding to their needs.

(2) Persons who have objective difficulties in taking care of themselves due to functional disorders have the right to a social care service corresponding to the level of the necessary care.

(3) The following care levels are distinguished:

1) the first care level - physical or mental abilities of a person are moderately restricted. A person is capable of and knows how to carry out self-care according to his or her needs and state of health; minimum personnel support is required for a definite number of hours per week. The provider of a social care service shall ensure a client supervision determined by a medical practitioner;

2) the second care level - physical or mental abilities of a person are moderately or severely restricted. A person is capable of and knows how to carry out self-care according his or her needs and state of health, but deterioration of these skills or abilities is possible; slight support of the personnel is required on a daily basis. The provider of a social care service shall ensure a client supervision determined by a medical practitioner and shall observe changes in functional disorders;

3) the third care level - physical or mental abilities of a person are severely restricted. The ability of a person to carry out certain self-care activities is hindered; regular support of the personnel is required on a daily basis. The provider of a social care service shall ensure a client supervision determined by a medical practitioner and shall observe changes in functional disorders;

4) the fourth care level - physical or mental abilities of a person are extremely severely restricted, a distinct lack of self-care capacities, the person is fully dependent on care and must be supervised day and night. The provider of a social care service shall ensure a client supervision determined by a medical practitioner and shall observe changes in functional disorders.

(4) The criteria for determining the care level and assessment of clients, and also conditions for the receipt of social care services at a place of residence and institution and the procedures for the receipt thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[12 January 2017 / Paragraph four shall come into force on 1 December 2017. See Paragraph 26 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 21. Rights of a Person to Social Rehabilitation

(1) The following persons referred to in Section 3 of this Law whose integration into society is burdened have the right to social rehabilitation:

1) persons with disability, predictable disability and functional disorders;

2) persons after serving of a sentence of deprivation of liberty;

3) persons who have become addicted to alcohol, narcotic or psychotropic substances;

4) persons who have suffered from violence;

5) children who have for a long time (more than one year) been in out-of-family care.

(2) Where necessary, local governments shall develop rehabilitation programmes also for groups of persons whose integration into social life is burdened due to other reasons.

[19 December 2019]

Section 21.1 Rights of a Person to Psychosocial Rehabilitation

(1) The following persons who require assistance in resolving psychosocial problems if such problems hinder their integration into society have the right to receive the psychosocial rehabilitation service:

1) persons with predictable disability or first-time disability the cause of which is an oncological disease, retaining the right to receive the service granted also in case if the time period for which a predictable or first-time disability has been specified for the person has elapsed, and also persons after the end of a course of treatment of an oncological disease with a recommendation of the attending physician regarding the necessity to receive a psychosocial rehabilitation service;

2) one of the relatives selected by the person referred to in Clause 1 of this Paragraph if the person and the relative indicate to the necessity of receiving the service jointly and this necessity is substantiated by the relevant oncological disease;

3) a child who according to the decision by the doctors' council requires a palliative care and family members or foster family living in the same household as the child.

(2) Taking into account the necessity and financial possibilities, local governments may arrange psychosocial rehabilitation services also to other groups of persons.

[12 January 2017; 19 December 2019]

Section 22. Types of Provision of Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Services

Social care and social rehabilitation services shall be provided:

1) at the place of residence of a person, ensuring home care, rehabilitation at the place of residence, day care and social rehabilitation institutions, group apartments (group houses), service apartments, night shelters or shelters or elsewhere;

2) at long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions.

Section 23. Home Care

(1) If a person requires care at the place of residence, the local government shall first assess the possibilities for family members living together with this person or persons who have common expenses for food with the person to be cared for and who live in the same housing with him or her to provide the necessary care.

(2) If family members are caring for the person, the local government shall support these family members psychologically, by consulting and training them and, if necessary, also materially.

(3) If a person lives alone or the family members living together with this person, due to old age, their state of health or employment cannot ensure the care required, the person has the right to receive a social care service.

Section 24. Social Rehabilitation at the Place of Residence

In order to promote the use of resources available in the State and local government and ensure the integration into society of a person, the social service or social rehabilitation service provider shall develop and implement an individual social rehabilitation plan for each person to be socially rehabilitated.

[7 October 2010]

Section 25. Provision of Technical Aids

(1) The following persons with continuous or lasting organism dysfunctions or anatomic defects have the right to receive technical aids services if they have received an opinion of a medical practitioner regarding the need for such service:

1) disabled persons of all groups and disabled children under 18 years of age;

2) persons for whom the technical aids are necessary to reduce or eliminate functional inability;

3) persons with a predictable disability for whom the need for such service has been determined in the individual rehabilitation plan;

4) persons with anatomic defects - a prosthesis or orthopaedic footwear.

(2) The Cabinet shall govern procedures by which persons shall receive technical aids and regulations on the circulation of technical aids.

(3) The Cabinet shall approve the list of technical aids to be financed from the State.

(4) The persons specified in Paragraph one of this Section shall be ensured with tiflotechnology and surdotechnology services by the Latvian Society of the Blind and the Latvian Association of the Deaf, with other technical aids services - by the State limited liability company National Rehabilitation Centre "Vaivari" which shall:

1) organise the system for the provision of services, taking into account the territorial principle, and issue administrative statements for the granting of services to specific persons;

2) determine the providers of services in conformity with that specified in Section 13 of this Law;

3) ensure rational utilisation of the funds granted from the State budget and the control of the utilisation thereof;

4) organise circulation of technical aids - the creation and maintenance of databases in relation to technical aids, queues for the receipt of technical aids and persons who have received the service and other issues related to the provision of services;

5) inform the society of the opportunities for receiving services.

(5) The persons with disability to whom the State Medical Commission for the Assessment of Health Condition and Working Ability has determined medical indications for the purchase of a specially adjusted motor vehicle and the receipt of a benefit for the compensation of transport expenses, have the right to receive the service - the adjustment of a vehicle - from the funds of the State budget so that it would fulfil the function of a technical aid.

[25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 7 May 2009; 7 October 2010; 12 January 2017]

Section 26. Vocational Rehabilitation and Determination of Vocational Suitability

(1) The persons of working age if disability or predictable disability is determined for them have the right to receive State-funded vocational rehabilitation services and services for determining vocational suitability. In order to receive State-funded vocational rehabilitation services or the service for determining vocational suitability, the person shall address the relevant service provider that takes the decision to grant services or to refuse to grant services.

(2) The procedures by which a person receives State-funded vocational rehabilitation services and the service for determining vocational suitability shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[12 January 2017]

Section 27. Services of Day Care and Social Rehabilitation Institutions

(1) Day care and social rehabilitation institutions shall ensure care and the possibility to become involved in physical and mental activities:

1) for persons of retirement age;

2) for disabled persons with physical impairments;

3) for persons with mental impairments;

4) for persons after a severe, continuous illness.

(2) A local government has the right to provide day care and social rehabilitation services also to other persons.

Section 27.1 Group House (Apartment), Half-way House, Service Apartment and Social Rehabilitation Centre Services

(1) A housing and individual support for resolving social problems and, if necessary, social care shall be ensured in a group house (apartment) to persons with mental impairments that have objective difficulties in living independently, but there is no necessity to place them in a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution.

(2) Social rehabilitation services shall be provided in a half-way house to:

1) persons with mental impairments in order to acquire skills for independent life or life in a group house (apartment);

2) persons with other functional disorders in order to acquire or to strengthen the skills for independent life.

(3) In a service apartment shall be ensured the possibility of an independent life for persons with severe functional disorders, increasing the social functioning and self-care capacities of such persons.

(4) In the cases referred to in Paragraphs one and two of this Section, the amount of services, the client payments and the procedures by which the costs of the services are covered from State or local government budgets shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(5) Social rehabilitation services necessary for restoring social functioning abilities shall be provided in a social rehabilitation centre to persons with functional disorders, persons addicted to psychoactive substances, persons after serving a sentence of deprivation of liberty, and to other persons with social functioning problems in accordance with the needs of each person.

[25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 21 June 2007; 12 January 2017]

Section 28. Services of Long-term Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Institutions

(1) Long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions shall provide a housing, social care of the necessary level and social rehabilitation to a client. A long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution may also ensure to the client the fulfilment of a medical treatment plan determined by a medical practitioner. The following persons have the right to receive the services of this institution, unless there are any medical contraindications for the receipt thereof:

1) orphans and children left without parental care, if it is not possible to provide care and upbringing for them in a foster family or with a guardian;

2) persons of retirement age and persons with functional disorders if the required amount of service exceeds the amount specified for home care or care in a day care and a social rehabilitation institution;

3) children with severe functional disorders, if the required amount of service exceeds the amount specified for home care or care at a day care and a social rehabilitation institution;

4) adults with severe and extremely severe mental impairments for whom staying in a specialised medical treatment institution is not necessary and whose state does not endanger other people if the required amount of services exceeds the amount specified for social care and social rehabilitation services in home care or day care centre, or a group house (apartment).

(11) A long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution may establish a structural unit to ensure health care services.

(12) A long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution by using the Information System for the Support of Minors and not less than once every three months in respect of an orphan or a child left without parental care younger than three years of age and not less than once every six months in respect of an orphan or a child left without parental care having attained the age of three years until the moment when the provision of the service is suspended shall inform the Orphan's and Custody Court and the local government social service office of the following:

1) contacts with the child maintained by parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and also other persons with whom the child has been living in a joint household and co-operation with a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution;

2) physical and psychosocial development of the child.

(2) Provision of a service to a person of legal age at a long-term care and social rehabilitation institution may be suspended if:

1) the person endangers the health or life of other persons or systematically violates the provisions of the contract entered into;

2) as a result of rehabilitation the person no longer requires the services of the long-term care and social rehabilitation institution and these may be replaced with services at the place of residence;

3) the person requests the suspension of the provision of services;

4) the person serves the sentence at a place of imprisonment;

5) the person is absent longer than for a period of 12 months.

(3) In the cases referred to in Paragraph two of this Section, the decision to suspend the provision of a service shall be taken by the head of the relevant institution, informing thereof the local government within the administrative territory of which the person has been living prior to entering into the institution. If the administrative territory in which the person has been living prior to entering into the institution cannot be ascertained, the local government the administrative territory of which holds the last detectable location of the person shall be informed. The local government has an obligation to ensure accommodation for the relevant person, if it is not possible for such person to accommodate in the residential premises previously occupied in accordance with the procedures laid down in the law.

(31) The decision to discontinue the provision of a service may be taken by the head of the institution also in such case if instead of the local governments referred to in Paragraph three of this Section, another local government not later than one month prior to discontinuation of the provision of the service, has certified in writing to the head of the institution that, following a written agreement with the relevant person, accommodation and necessary social services will be ensured in the administrative territory thereof.

(4) The provision of long-term social care and social rehabilitation services shall be suspended if a person is absent without information as to his or her whereabouts for longer than two months from the day when the fact of the absence is notified to the police.

[25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 29 October 2009; 6 December 2012; 12 January 2017 / Paragraph 1.2 shall come into force on 1 September 2017. See Paragraph 27 of Transitional Provisions]

Chapter IV
Rights of Clients Living in Long-term Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Institutions

Section 29. Rights of Clients Living in Long-term Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Institutions

(1) A client living in a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution has the following rights:

1) to independently take decisions and implement them to the extent it does not restrict the rights and freedoms of other persons or does not endanger the health or life of the person;

2) to receive services suitable for his or her functional state and the necessary care level and also to individual and professional approach of the personnel in the provision of services;

3) if he or she is an adult person - for a period of time from one month up to three months to reside in the care of another person (family) outside the institution. A long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution, upon a written agreement with a person (family), shall determine the duration of this residence, the rights and obligations of the parties, and also disburse an allowance or maintenance benefit of the client in accordance with the period of time during which he or she is in the care of another person (family);

4) if he or she is a child - to reside in the care of another person (family) outside the institution in accordance with the Law on the Protection of the Children's Rights.

(2) A client living in a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution has the right to a particular sum of money for personal expenses in the following amount:

1) for a person of legal age who is a recipient of the pension or compensation, or the State social security benefit specified in Section 13.1, Paragraph three of this Law, or the allowance for the compensation of transport expenses for disabled persons who have difficulties in movement, the sum of money which remains at his or her disposal after payment for the service provided by the long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution must not be below 15 per cent of the total amount of such payments to be disbursed thereto;

2) for a person of legal age who is not a recipient of the pension or compensation, or the State social security benefit laid down in Section 13.1, Paragraph three of this Law, or the allowance for the compensation of transport expenses for disabled persons who have difficulties in movement, the sum of money to be disbursed to thereto from the budget of the long-term social care institution shall be 15 per cent of the amount of the State social security benefit;

3) for a child from the age of seven years, the sum of money to be disbursed from the budget of the long-term social care institution shall be 15 per cent of the amount of the State social security benefit. Taking into account the budgetary possibilities of the institution, the long-term social care institution may decide on granting a larger sum of money.

(3) The head of a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution shall be responsible for ensuring the rights of the client specified in Paragraph one of this Section and the arrangement of the work of the institution necessary for this purpose.

[3 May 2007; 18 September 2008; 7 May 2009; 29 October 2009; 12 January 2017; 19 December 2019]

Section 30. Competence of the Social Care Council

(1) In order to promote respect for the rights of the persons living in long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions, the head of the relevant institution shall establish a social care council (hereinafter - the council) which shall consist of the persons living in the long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution, their relatives, employees of the institution, and representatives of the local government. Decisions of the council shall have a recommendatory nature.

(2) The Council shall:

1) co-ordinate internal rules of procedure of the institution;

2) submit proposals for improvement of the operations of the institution;

3) examine conflicts between clients and the management of the institution;

4) participate in the quality assessment of the services provided by the institution.

[17 June 2004; 25 May 2006]

Section 31. Restrictions on the Rights of a Person at a Long-term Social Care and Social Rehabilitation Institution

(1) In order to prevent leaving a person without supervision and to protect the health and life thereof, and also the rights and freedoms of other person, the head of a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution or an authorised representative thereof may take the decision on necessity to restrict the right of a person to free movement for a definite time period if the necessity of such supervision, based on the state of health of a person, is determined in the individual rehabilitation or care plan.

(2) If a person with his or her actions endangers his or her health or life or the health or life of other persons, the head of the relevant institution or his or her authorised person may take a decision, making note in the person's file, on the isolation of the person for a period not exceeding 24 hours in a room specially arranged for such purpose, where the necessary care and continuous supervision of the person is ensured.

(3) If it is necessary to restrict the rights of children staying at long-term care institutions, the provisions of the Law on the Protection of the Children's Rights shall be applicable.

(4) The disbursement of these payments to a client who receives the services provided by a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution and to whom a pension or compensation or State social security benefit is granted shall be ensured by taking into account the conditions referred to in Section 13.1, Paragraph three and Section 29, Paragraph two, Clause 1 of this Law by a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution to whose account the State Social Insurance Agency transfers the abovementioned payments on the basis of an application submitted by the client.

[7 May 2009; 12 January 2017]

Chapter V
Social Assistance

[24 November 2020]

Section 32. Purpose of Social Assistance

The purpose of social assistance is to provide material support to low-income households in order to ensure income at the level of the guaranteed minimum income threshold and cover expenses related to the use of the housing, and also to provide support for covering certain expenses and in crisis situations.

[24 November 2020]

Section 33. Minimum Income Thresholds for the Provision of Social Assistance

(1) The guaranteed minimum income threshold shall be EUR 109 for the first or only person in a household and EUR 76 for other persons in the household.

(2) The income threshold of a needy household shall be EUR 272 for the first or only person in a household and EUR 190 for other persons in the household.

(3) Each local government is entitled to determine the income threshold of a low-income household not higher than EUR 436 for the first or only person in a household and EUR 305 for other persons in the household, but not lower than the income threshold of a needy household laid down in Paragraph two of this Section.

[24 November 2020]

Section 34. Review of Minimum Income Thresholds

Minimum income thresholds shall be reviewed in accordance with the procedures laid down in the law On Social Security.

[24 November 2020]

Section 35. Types of Social Assistance Benefits

(1) The basic social assistance benefits are as follows:

1) a guaranteed minimum income benefit - a material support in monetary terms for covering everyday expenses;

2) a housing allowance - a material support for covering expenses related to the use of the housing.

(2) Additional social assistance benefits are as follows:

1) a benefit for covering certain expenses - a material support to persons for ensuring social functioning and independent life;

2) a benefit in a crisis situation - a quick material support for preventing or reducing the consequences caused by external occurrences.

(3) The amount of a housing allowance shall be calculated by taking into account the following expenses:

1) for the use of residential premises (rental payment, expenses for the mandatory administration activities);

2) for the services which are related to the use of residential premises (for the provision of thermal energy for heating and hot water, electricity, water, natural gas, for the provision of sewerage or waste collection, municipal waste management) if they are not included in the rental payment or necessary expenses for the mandatory administration activities);

3) expenses related to telecommunication services and Internet, and also expenses for the installation and verification of water meters.

(4) The amount of a housing allowance shall be calculated as a difference between the sum of the guaranteed minimum income thresholds for a household and expenses for housing laid down in laws and regulations and total income of the household.

[24 November 2020 / Paragraph one, Clause 2, and also Paragraphs three and four shall come into force on 1 April 2021. See Paragraph 43 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 36. Conditions for the Granting of Social Assistance Benefits

(1) Before taking a decision to grant a social assistance benefit to a household or individual person in the household, a local government social service office shall evaluate the total material resources of the household by using the data of the State and local government information systems and complying with the following criteria:

1) a State family allowance and supplements to such allowance, care of disabled child benefit, allowance for a person with disabilities for whom care is necessary, allowance for the use of an assistant, allowance for the compensation of transport expenses for persons with disabilities who have reduced mobility, allowance for a child suffering from coeliac disease, childbirth allowance and benefit in the case of a person's death, social guarantees for an orphan and a child left without parental care after the end of the out-of-family care, student loan, grants for the persons who are learning or studying, up to the amount of the minimum monthly wage, income of the child younger than 18 years of age from paid work or self-employment up to the amount of the minimum monthly wage, the financial assistance provided to a person for the participation in active employment measures, except for the measures involving entering into an employment contract, temporary paid social work, subsidy for monthly income of an unemployed person for the commencement of commercial activity or self-employment, a compensation for a person suffered in criminal proceedings, compensation for donation of blood or blood components, refund of overpaid personal income tax, funds obtained from charity funds, and material benefit for a certain purpose obtained as a result of social campaigns, lump-sum financial support for a refugee or person who has obtained alternative status, and also social assistance allowances of a local government and volunteer initiative allowances of local governments laid down in this Law shall not be regarded to be income;

2) the immovable property of a household or part thereof where the submitter and other persons who have joint household with the submitter have declared their place of residence and are living, and necessary movable property of the housing, equipment necessary for work and acquiring of education, vehicles necessary for social functioning, however, not more than one unit in a household and, where there are children in the household, not more than two units in the household, land property of up to five hectares for a household, and also household buildings functionally belonging to such immovable property, capital shares or property on which burden to act with it has been imposed by a bailiff or other competent institution or which is under removal from debt obligations, insolvency or liquidation proceedings, or from which income has not been obtained due to suspension of economic activity within the period of 12 months, immovable property and funds of the child, and also accumulation of funds for a household in the amount of one person's income threshold for a needy household shall not be regarded to be a property and accumulation of funds.

(2) A person of working age who wishes to receive social assistance benefits, except for a benefit in a crisis situation, and who is not working has an obligation to register with the State Employment Agency and perform the obligations of an unemployed person or person seeking employment, except for the case when a person:

1) has a Group I or II disability, disability since childhood or is a recipient of old-age pension;

2) is a woman on a prenatal and maternity leave, one of the parents of the child on a child care leave or another person in a household who is ensuring care for a child of pre-school age and looking after him or her, if it is not possible to ensure otherwise due to objective reasons;

3) is one of a disabled child's parents if the child does not receive appropriate care services;

4) is a person from 15 years of age who is acquiring full-time education in a basic education, general secondary or vocational secondary education institution or he or she is a full-time student in a higher education institution.

(3) Basic social assistance benefits and the status of a needy or low-income household shall be granted:

1) for three calendar months if at least one person in a household is a person of working age;

2) for six calendar months if none in a household is a person of working age or exceptions laid down in Paragraph two of this Section apply to the person.

(4) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for evaluating the material situation of a household and for calculating, granting and disbursing the guaranteed minimum income benefit, and also the procedures for granting the status of a needy and low-income household.

(5) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for calculating, granting and disbursing the housing allowance and the minimum norms of expenditure items for calculating the amount of a housing allowance. A local government may determine more favourable conditions for the norms of expenditure items for the calculation of the amount of a housing allowance in the binding regulations.

(6) The benefit laid down in Section 35, Paragraph two, Clause 1 of this Law shall be granted to a person or household which is recognised to be needy or with low-income, and a local government shall determine the objectives, amount, procedures for granting and disbursing such benefits in its binding regulations. The amount of the benefit laid down in Section 35, Paragraph two, Clause 2 of this Law, the procedures for granting and disbursing thereof shall be determined by a local government in its binding regulations.

(7) In order to prevent risk that a social assistance benefit is disbursed for the same objective or for the same period repeatedly, a local government social service office has the right to obtain the information from the social service office of the local government of the previous place of residence on the type and amount of received social assistance if any of the persons living at the household who has requested social assistance has changed a declared place of residence or permanent place of residence during the last three months.

[24 November 2020 / Paragraph five shall come into force on 1 April 2021. See Paragraph 43 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 37. Type of Disbursement of Social Assistance Benefits

The benefit of the guaranteed minimum income shall be disbursed to a household in cash, other social assistance benefits granted may be disbursed to the household in cash or by covering expenses for the goods or services in the amount of the sum of the benefit.

[24 November 2020]

Section 38. Review or Discontinuing of Disbursement of Social Assistance Benefits

(1) The disbursement of the benefit of the guaranteed minimum income shall be discontinued or such benefit shall not be granted if a person is in a prison (except for an open prison), long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution, social correction educational institution or if a person is staying, for more than one calendar month, in a social rehabilitation institution with accommodation or receives in-patient medical treatment service where services are fully or partly financed from the State or local government budget.

(2) The disbursement of the granted housing and additional social assistance benefits shall be discontinued or such benefits shall not be granted if a person or housing does not qualify for the receipt of the benefit anymore. A local government social service office may extend the disbursement period of the granted housing benefit during which a person receives in-patient medical treatment service or social rehabilitation service with accommodation.

(3) The disbursement of the granted social assistance benefit shall be discontinued with the first date of the month following the month when the circumstances due to which the disbursement of the benefit is to be discontinued have set in.

(4) A local government social service office shall evaluate anew the material situation of a household and review the decision on the amount and types of social assistance benefits if the material situation of the household deteriorates or social situation is changed.

(5) The disbursement of basic social assistance benefits shall not be discontinued until the end of the time period for the granting of benefits if the material situation of a household has improved and income thereof has increased based on the income obtained from employment relationship, from review of pensions and remunerations or from economic activity, except for a royalty, income from an immovable property and income from the sale of scrap metal. When evaluating the material situation anew, the local government social service office shall, once within a calendar year for a period of three calendar months, not take into consideration the income up to the amount of the minimum monthly wage determined in the State from the relevant income for a person of working age who has started obtaining income.

[24 November 2020]

Section 39. Recovery of a Social Assistance Benefit Paid out Unjustifiably

A local government social service office shall take a decision on the recovery of a social assistance benefit paid out unjustifiably if it detects that the relevant benefit has been paid out unjustifiably due to the fault of a client if the client has provided false or incomplete information or failed to notify of changes that may affect the right to such benefit or the amount thereof. The decision shall be executed by a bailiff in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law on the basis of the execution order of a local government social service office if a client fails to refund the overpaid amount voluntarily.

[24 November 2020]

Chapter VI
Purpose of Social Work and Requirements for Social Work Specialists

Section 40. Purpose of Social Work

The purpose of social work is to help a person, a family, or a group of persons determine, resolve or diminish social problems by developing the resources of the person himself or herself and involving support systems.

Section 41. Persons having the Right to Perform Social Work

Persons who have acquired a second level vocational higher or academic education in social work or in caritative social work have the right to perform social work.

[20 December 2007]

Section 42. Persons Having the Right to Provide Social Care or Social Rehabilitation Services and Social Assistance

Persons who have acquired a first level vocational higher education in the field of the provision of social care, social rehabilitation or social assistance or a vocational secondary education in the field of social care (after graduation from such vocational secondary school or other educational establishment which implements vocational secondary education programmes) have the right to provide social care or social rehabilitation services and social assistance.

[18 December 2008; 7 May 2009]

Section 43. Register of Social Work Specialists

[17 June 2004]

Section 44. Certification of Social Work Specialists and the Purpose of Certification

[17 June 2004]

Section 45. Professional Tasks of Social Workers and Caritative Social Workers

(1) The professional activity of a social worker and a caritative social worker shall be aimed towards achieving and promoting practical resolution of the social problems of an individual and improvement in his or her quality of life, integration in the society, and the ability to help himself or herself.

(2) After evaluation of circumstances, a social worker and a caritative social worker shall:

1) provide a person with assistance and support in resolving social problems;

2) help the person develop the ability to resolve personal, interpersonal and social problems;

3) support the possibilities for the development of the person, and also the right to take decisions independently and to implement them;

4) attract social and economic resources and the appropriate social services for the resolution of the social problems of a person or a group of persons;

5) provide information regarding social service providers and establish contacts between the recipients and providers of social services.

(3) Upon performing the tasks referred to in this Section, social workers and caritative social workers shall comply with the social workers' code of ethics to be approved by the Social Workers Association.

[7 May 2009; 19 December 2019 / See Paragraph 35 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 46. Professional Tasks of Social Carers

(1) A social carer shall plan social services in order to ensure the satisfaction of the basic needs of such person who, due to old age or state of health, is not able to do so with his or her own effort.

(2) A social carer shall:

1) in conformity with the wishes and needs of the client, determine the necessity of a package of social care services or individual services and organise the provision of the services;

2) evaluate how the possibilities of the client to care for himself or herself change, and respectively change the scope and content of the package of social care services.

Section 47. Professional Tasks of Social Rehabilitators

(1) A social rehabilitator shall plan, manage, and organise the social activation work so as to promote an individual's integration into society.

(2) A social rehabilitator shall:

1) help the social worker, in co-operation with other specialists, develop and implement individual social rehabilitation plans for clients, change and supplement them in conformity with changes in the life situation of the client;

2) help the client improve existing and acquire new social skills.

Section 48. Professional Tasks of Social Assistance Organisers

(1) A social assistance organiser shall ensure the provision of social assistance in conformity with the requirements laid down in laws and regulations.

(2) A social assistance organiser shall:

1) evaluate the social and material situation of the persons in a household and calculate the amounts of social assistance benefits;

2) inform the clients of their rights to social assistance and the possibilities of exercising these rights, and also the obligations of participation.

[24 November 2020]

Chapter VII
Administrative Offences in the Field of Social Services and Competence in Administrative Offence Proceedings

[21 November 2019 / Chapter shall come into force on 1 July 2020. See Paragraph 33 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 49. Non-fulfilment of the Requirements Laid down for Social Service Providers and Failure to Ensure the Quality of Social Services

For the non-fulfilment of the requirements laid down for social service providers in laws and regulations or for the failure to ensure the quality of social services which causes or may cause direct threats to the safety or health of the recipient of the social service a fine shall be imposed on the social service provider - natural person - from twelve to one hundred and twenty eight units of fine, but on a legal person - from sixteen to two hundred and sixty units of fine.

[21 November 2019 / Section shall come into force on 1 July 2020. See Paragraph 33 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 50. Provision of Social Services without Registration in the Register of Social Service Providers

For the provision of a social service without registration in the Register of Social Service Providers, a warning shall be issued to or a fine shall be imposed on the social service provider - natural person - from eight to one hundred and twenty eight units of fine, but on a legal person - from fourteen to two hundred and sixty units of fine.

[21 November 2019 / Section shall come into force on 1 July 2020. See Paragraph 33 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 51. Competence in Administrative Offence Proceedings

The administrative offence proceedings for the offences referred to in Sections 49 and 50 of this Law shall be carried out by the Ministry of Welfare.

[21 November 2019 / Section shall come into force on 1 July 2020. See Paragraph 33 of Transitional Provisions]

Transitional Provisions

1. Section 10, Paragraph one and Sections 41 and 42 in the wording of 31 October 2002 of this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2008. After 1 January 2008, the right to perform social work, provide social care and social rehabilitation services and social assistance shall also be for persons who:

1) already perform the referred to work and for whom on 31 December 2007 not more than five years are left to attain the age specified for the granting of the State old-age pension;

2) until 31 December 2007 have commenced studies or are continuing to acquire the education specified in Sections 41 and 42 of this Law. The abovementioned persons shall each year by 15 October submit to the employer a statement issued by a higher education institution or college regarding the fact that such person is enrolled in the higher education institution or college list of students.

[17 June 2004; 21 June 2007; 18 December 2008]

2. [18 September 2008]

3. [18 September 2008]

4. Until the day of coming into force of the relevant Cabinet regulations, but not longer than until 1 June 2003, the following Cabinet Regulations shall be applicable insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law:

1) Cabinet Regulation No. 309 of 10 October 1995, Regulations Regarding Procedures by which the Stay of Persons in Social Care Institutions shall be Paid;

2) Cabinet Regulation No. 340 of 27 August 1996, Regulations Regarding State and Local Government Social Care Institutions;

3) Cabinet Regulation No. 262 of 8 August 2000, Procedures by which Persons Receive Technical Aids;

4) Cabinet Regulation No. 313 of 12 September 2000, Regulations Regarding Requirements for Social Assistance Service Providers;

5) Cabinet Regulation No. 314 of 12 September 2000, Procedures by which Persons Receive Social Care Services;

6) Cabinet Regulation No. 383 of 28 August 2001, Procedures by which Persons Receive Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers.

5. With the coming into force of this Law, the law On Social Assistance (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 1995, No. 24; 1996, No. 14; 1997, No. 2; 1998, No. 1, 23; 1999, No. 2, 24; 2001, No. 1), is repealed.

6. Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 4 of this Law shall come into force on 1 July 2003.

[19 December 2002]

7. From 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2003 social rehabilitation services at social rehabilitation institutions under State budget funding, in accordance with the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet, may be received by persons who do not work (are not considered to be employees or self-employed in accordance with the law On State Social Insurance) and receive only a State pension or only a State social security benefit and they are the following:

1) disabled persons;

2) persons who have attained the age entitling one to receive the national old-age pension;

3) politically repressed persons.

The length of rehabilitation may not exceed 21 days.

[19 December 2002]

8. Section 13, Paragraph one, Clauses 6 and 8 shall come into force on 1 January 2005.

[17 June 2004]

9. Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 7 shall come into force on 1 January 2006.

[17 June 2004]

10. Until the establishment of the Social Services Agency, its functions shall be performed by the State administrative institution subordinate to the Ministry of Welfare - the Social Assistance Fund.

[17 June 2004]

11. Amendments to Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 4 of this Law in relation to adult persons, Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 7 in relation to the receipt of social rehabilitation and the criteria for the recognition of a person as a victim of the trafficking in human beings, Paragraphs five and six shall come into force on 1 January 2007.

[25 May 2006]

12. Section 9, Paragraph six of this Law which determines the obligation of local governments to ensure consultative support to social work specialists shall come into force:

1) 1 January 2007 - in relation to those social work specialists who are social workers;

2) 1 January 2008 - in relation to those social work specialists who are social carers, social rehabilitators, and social assistance organisers.

[25 May 2006]

13. Until the day of coming into force of the new Cabinet regulations, but not longer than until 1 October 2007, Cabinet Regulation No. 285 of 27 May 2003, Procedures by which Persons receive Technical Facilities, shall be applicable insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law.

[3 May 2007]

14. [18 December 2008]

15. Until 1 July 2009 the tasks specified for local government councils in Section 3, Paragraph two of this Law shall also be performed by local government parish councils.

[18 December 2008]

16. [7 May 2009]

16.1 The new wording of Section 13, Paragraph two, and Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.4 of this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2010.

[7 May 2009]

17. Those local governments whose number of residents does not exceed 3000 shall establish the social service office specified in Section 10, Paragraph two of this Law as a separate local government institution, not later than by 1 August 2009. Until the establishment of a social service office as a separate local government institution in the relevant local governments, the implementation of the tasks referred to in Section 11 of this Law shall be ensured by the local government council (parish council) or the delegated institution thereof in accordance with the procedures provided for in the binding regulations of the local government.

[18 December 2008]

17.1 Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 3.1 and Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 11 of this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2015.

[7 October 2010; 6 December 2012]

18. Section 13, Paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 and Section 25, Paragraph four of this Law shall come into force on 1 September 2009. Paragraph 2.2 of this Law in the wording of 18 December 2008 shall not be applied until 31 August 2009.

[7 May 2009]

19. The rights, obligations, and property of valsts aģentūra "Tehnisko palīglīdzekļu centrs" [State agency Technical Aid Centre] to be liquidated, including the record-keeping and archives, shall be taken over by the State limited liability company National Rehabilitation Centre "Vaivari".

[7 May 2009]

20. During the period of time from 1 September 2009 until 31 December 2009, the State limited liability company "National Rehabilitation Centre "Vaivari"" shall also ensure persons with tiflotechnology and surdotechnology.

[7 May 2009]

21. The amendment to Section 5 of the Law regarding the evaluation of the material resources of a client shall, until 31 December 2011, not be applicable to persons to whom the status of a needy person has been granted with a decision taken up to the date of the coming into force of these amendments.

[29 October 2009]

22. The support provided for in Section 13, Paragraph 1.1 of this Law shall be provided by the State to local governments by performing co-payment for actual expenses for the provision of disbursements of the benefit of the guaranteed minimum income level regarding a time period until 31 December 2012, but for the provision of disbursements of the housing allowance - until 30 April 2012. The State co-financing shall not be granted to local governments for payments of local governments which have been performed in order to provide disbursement of the benefits of the guaranteed minimum income level after 1 January 2013 and disbursement of the housing allowances after 1 May 2012.

[15 December 2011]

23. Section 15.1, Paragraph one, Clause 5 of this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2010.

[29 October 2009]

24. The Regulation specified in Section 14, Paragraph three of this Law shall be issued until 1 April 2014.

[14 November 2013]

25. Until the day of coming into force of new Cabinet regulations, but not longer than until 1 July 2017, the following Cabinet regulations shall be applicable insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law:

1) Cabinet Regulation No. 291 of 3 June 2003, Requirements for Social Service Providers;

2) Cabinet Regulation No. 951 of 20 November 2008, Procedures by which a Social Service Provider is Registered in a Register of Social Service Providers and Removed Therefrom;

3) Cabinet Regulation No. 271 of 17 April 2012, Procedures by which Persons Receive Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

[12 January 2017]

26. Section 9.1, Paragraph two, Section 14, Paragraph one, Clauses 4.1 and 4.2, Section 20, Paragraph four of this Law shall come into force on 1 December 2017.

[12 January 2017]

27. Section 12, Paragraph 2.3 and Section 28, Paragraph 1.2 of this Law shall come into force on 1 September 2017.

[12 January 2017]

28. Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 12 of this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2018.

[12 January 2017]

29. Section 13, Paragraph seven of this Law shall come into force on 1 October 2023. Until 30 September 2023, the aid granted to local governments to cover expenses related to the improvement of vocational competence of social work specialists in the amount stipulated by the Cabinet is implemented within the framework of the European Union policy instruments.

[19 December 2019 / Paragraph seven shall be included in the wording of the Law as of 1 October 2023]

30. The condition of Section 13.1, Paragraph three of this Law in respect of the payment for the long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution services in the amount of 85 per cent of the pension or compensation and the conditions of Section 29, Paragraph two, Clauses 1, 2, and 3 of this Law in respect of the sum of money for personal expenses of the clients of the institution in the amount of 15 per cent of the pension or compensation, or the State social security benefit shall be applicable from 1 January 2020.

By 31 December 2019:

1) persons who are the recipients of a pension or compensation, shall pay for the services specified in Section 9.1, Paragraph one, Clauses 1 and 2 of this Law 90 per cent of the sum to be disbursed to them, but not more than the costs of the received service in the relevant institution;

2) for a person of legal age who is a recipient of the pension or compensation, or the State social security benefit specified in Section 13.1, Paragraph three of this Law, the sum of money which remains at the disposal thereof after payment for the service provided by a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution must not be below 10 per cent of the amount of the pension or compensation to be disbursed, or the amount of the State social security benefit;

3) for a person of legal age who is not a recipient of the pension or compensation, or the State social security benefit specified in Section 13.1, Paragraph three of this Law, the sum of money to be disbursed from the budget of the long-term social care institution shall be 10 per cent of the amount of the State social security benefit;

4) for a child from the age of seven years, the sum of money to be disbursed to the child from the budget of the long-term social care institution shall be 10 per cent of the amount of the State social security benefit. A greater amount of money may be granted for good and commendable results and activity in community life by educational establishments or long-term social care institutions.

[12 January 2017]

31. Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 13 of this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2019.

[12 January 2017]

32. Until the day of coming into force of binding regulations regarding the amount of a benefit in a crisis situation and the procedures for granting thereof, but not longer than by 31 December 2017, the binding regulations of local governments shall be applied in which the amount of a one-time allowance in emergency situation and the procedures for granting thereof are laid down.

[12 January 2017]

33. Part VII of this Law shall come into force concurrently with the Law on Administrative Liability.

[21 November 2019]

34. Until the day of coming into force of the Cabinet regulations provided for in Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 4 of this Law, but not later than until 1 July 2020, Cabinet Regulation No. 914 of 6 November 2006, Procedures by Which Persons Addicted to Psychoactive Substances Receive Social Rehabilitation Services, shall be applicable insofar as it is not in contradiction with this Law.

[19 December 2019]

35. Until the day when the social workers' code of ethics referred to in Section 45, Paragraph three of this Law is approved by the Social Workers Association, but not longer than until 1 January 2023, social workers and caritative social workers shall comply with the social workers' code of ethics approved by the Latvian Association of Professional Social and Care Workers.

[19 December 2019]

36. During the period while emergency situation is declared throughout the State in relation to the spread of COVID-19:

1) in case the term of validity of the statement issued to a household on conformity with the status of needy, low-income household or low-income household in conformity with the conditions for the receipt of benefit that have been laid down by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (EUR 327 for the first or only person in the household and EUR 229 for other persons in the household) (hereinafter - the statement) expires or has to be extended, a local government social service office shall prepare a declaration of means of subsistence by using the data available in the State and local government information systems on the basis of the previous submission and documents, and may extend the term of validity of the statement for the period of the emergency situation and one calendar month after the end of the emergency situation;

2) and for one calendar month after the end of the emergency situation the household shall retain all the benefits and reliefs granted by a local government and the State to which such household has the right;

3) if it is not possible to receive the service in person, the household for which it is necessary to evaluate material resources anew for the receipt of social assistance benefits, to determine the conformity with the status of needy or low-income household or which is in a crisis situation shall turn to a local government social service office remotely (by using the portal www.latvija.lv, e-mail or putting the submission in a box specially intended for such purpose). A local government social service office shall verify in the State and local government information systems the conformity of the submitter with the relevant income threshold and in such case need not request additional documents. A local government social service office shall take the decision to grant appropriate social assistance benefit and determine the status, or to refuse it.

[18 February 2021]

37. During the time period from 12 March 2020 to 31 July 2020 and from 9 November 2020 to 24 February 2021:

1) the local government shall grant the benefit specified in Section 35, Paragraph two of this Law in a crisis situation to a family (person) which (who) is unable to ensure its basic needs due to the emergency situation, disbursing the benefit from the funds of the local government budget. The benefit in crisis situation shall not be granted to a person living separately or for a person in a family to whom the allowance for idle time or assistance allowance for idle time has been granted in accordance with laws and regulations;

2) to partially compensate the expenses of local governments on ensuring benefits in a crisis situation, the State shall provide an earmarked grant to local governments for the coverage of expenses in the amount of 50 per cent of the sum of the benefit disbursed to a family (person) in a crisis situation, however, not more than EUR 40 per month per person;

3) in order to receive an earmarked grant, a local government shall, by the tenth date of the month following the reporting month and in accordance with the laws and regulations regarding the procedures by which the Treasury shall ensure electronic exchange of information, using the Information System of the Treasury "Information System of Budget Reports of Ministries, Central State Institutions and Local Governments", submit a report "Report on the Use of the Earmarked Grant for a Crisis Benefit" (Form No. 18_KrīzP) (hereinafter - the report), including the following information therein:

a) the total amount of the financing disbursed in full amount by the local government for benefits during a crisis situation;

b) the number of such persons for which a benefit in a crisis situation has been disbursed;

c) the account of the local government with the Treasury or a credit institution for the receipt of an earmarked grant and for making expenses;

4) the Ministry of Welfare:

a) within 10 working days after evaluation of the report and recognition thereof as conforming shall make the payment of the earmarked grant to the local government;

b) is entitled to conduct random control of the use of the earmarked grant, requesting additional information from the local government;

c) if mistakes in the report or violations in granting and disbursement of the benefit in a crisis situation are established, the disbursement of the earmarked grant shall be discontinued until clarification of the report or elimination of the violations; after clarification of the report or elimination of the violations a re-calculation and payment shall be made for the previous period and the unjustly disbursed resources shall be deducted from the resources provided for the local government in the following month.

[20 March 2020; 16 April 2020; 7 May 2020; 18 February 2021]

37.1 During the time period from 25 February 2021 to 30 June 2021:

1) a local government shall grant and disburse the benefit in a crisis situation laid down in Section 35, Paragraph two, Clause 2 of this Law to a household or an individual person in the household from the local government budget funds in the amount laid down in the binding regulations of the local government. Upon evaluating the information available in the State and local government information systems, a benefit in a crisis situation shall be granted to a household or an individual person in the household for whom income has significantly decreased or he or she has lost income due to the emergency situation declared in relation to the spread of COVID-19. The local government shall increase the amount of the benefit to be disbursed by EUR 50 per month for each child if the child up to the age of 18 years is under the care of the household, including a foster family and guardian who have the right to benefit in a crisis situation;

2) the local government shall not grant the benefit in a crisis situation to a person living separately or for an individual person in the household to whom the furlough allowance has been granted in conformity with laws and regulations. The local government shall not increase the benefit to be disbursed in a crisis situation or shall reduce it for the relevant time period when the supplement for a dependant child has been granted to the person who receives the furlough allowance in conformity with laws and regulations;

3) in order to partially compensate the expenses of local governments for ensuring benefits in a crisis situation, the State shall provide an earmarked grant to local governments for the covering of expenses in the amount of 50 per cent of the amount of the benefit disbursed to a household during the time period from 1 February 2021 to 30 June 2021, however, not more than EUR 75 per person per month. In order to compensate expenses for increase of the amount of benefits to be disbursed by EUR 50 per month for each dependant child up to the age of 18 years, the State shall ensure an earmarked grant to local governments for the covering of expenses in the amount of 100 per cent of the disbursed benefit increase - EUR 50 per month for each dependant child up to the age of 18 years to a household, including a foster family and guardian who have the right to benefit in a crisis situation;

4) that laid down in Paragraph 37, Sub-paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Transitional Provisions, and also that laid down in Paragraph 39 of the Transitional Provisions in respect of the number of the children to be indicated in the report for whom the benefit in a crisis situation has been disbursed.

[18 February 2021]

38. During the period while emergency situation is declared throughout the State in relation to COVID-19, the State and local governments have the right to make payment to social service providers with which a contract has been concluded for the provision of social services on site, if they could not be provided due to the emergency situation. The State and local governments shall evaluate the impact of idle time on the financial flow of a service provider and shall determine to what extent payment for the period of idle time will be made.

[20 March 2020]

39. If a family (person), including a foster family and guardian, who has the right to the benefit referred to in Paragraph 37, Sub-paragraph 1 of these Transitional Provisions in a crisis situation cares for a child up to 18 years of age, a local government shall increase the amount of the benefit to be disbursed by EUR 50 per month for each child, and the State shall reimburse it to the local government in the amount of 100 %. If a local government has, until 17 April 2020, granted the benefit referred to in Paragraph 37, Sub-paragraph 1 of these Transitional Provisions in a crisis situation to a family (person), including a foster family and a guardian, for March 2020, the local government shall ensure the increasing of the benefit by EUR 50 per child. A local government shall not increase the benefit to be disbursed in a crisis situation or shall reduce it for the respective period where the supplement for a dependant child has been granted to the person who receives the allowance for idle time or assistance allowance for idle time in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations. In order to receive the earmarked grant, a local government shall indicate in the report referred to in Paragraph 37, Sub-paragraph 3 of the Transitional Provisions the number of children for which the benefit has been disbursed in a crisis situation.

[16 April 2020; 7 May 2020]

40. Until the day of coming into force of the binding regulations of local governments provided for in Section 36, Paragraph six of this Law, but not longer than by 1 October 2021, the types of social assistance benefits laid down in the binding regulations of local governments, except for the benefit for ensuring the guaranteed minimum income benefit and housing allowance, and criteria for the granting thereof shall be applied.

[24 November 2020]

41. The statement of the local government social service office on conformity with the status of needy or low-income family (person) which is issued until 31 December 2020 shall be in force until the end of the time period indicated on the statement, but not longer than by 30 November 2021, and during such time period it is the basis for the receipt of the benefits and reliefs laid down in laws and regulations of the State and local government.

[24 November 2020]

42. If the benefit for ensuring the level of guaranteed minimum income to a family (person) is granted by 31 December 2020 and the disbursement thereof continues after 1 January 2021, a local government social service office shall ensure recalculation of the abovementioned benefit in conformity with the laws and regulations regarding granting the guaranteed minimum income benefit and difference for the time period from 1 January 2021 shall be disbursed by 1 April 2021.

[24 November 2020]

43. The framework laid down in Chapter V of this Law and amendment to Section 3, Paragraph 1.1 of this Law in respect of a housing allowance shall come into force on 1 April 2021.

[24 November 2020]

44. In order to provide assistance in solving housing issues, a local government social service office shall, during the time period from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021, be entitled to grant a housing allowance in conformity with the legal framework regarding a housing allowance until 31 December 2020 laid down in this Law and binding regulations of the local government. A local government shall disburse a housing allowance from the funds of the local government budget.

[24 November 2020]

Informative Reference to European Union Directives

[6 December 2012; 14 November 2013; 26 November 2015]

This Law contains legal norms arising from:

1) Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents;

2) Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC (Text with EEA relevance);

3) Council Directive 2004/81/EC of 29 April 2004 on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperate with the competent authorities;

4) Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast);

5) Directive 2011/93/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA;

6) Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection.

This Law shall come into force on 1 January 2003.

The Law has been adopted by the Saeima on 31 October 2002.

President V. Vīķe-Freiberga

Rīga, 19 November 2002


1 The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia

Translation © 2021 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Title: Sociālo pakalpojumu un sociālās palīdzības likums Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Saeima Type: law Adoption: 31.10.2002.Entry into force: 01.01.2003.Theme: COVID-19; Social protection; Administratīvās atbildības ceļvedisPublication: Latvijas Vēstnesis, 168, 19.11.2002.; Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 23, 12.12.2002.
Language:
LVEN
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