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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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The translation of this document is outdated.
Translation validity: 02.12.2015.–08.12.2016.
Amendments not included: 10.11.2016., 12.01.2017.
Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre) with amending laws of:

19 December 2002 [shall come into force from 1 January 2003];
17 June 2004 [shall come into force from 13 July 2004];
25 November 2004 [shall come into force from 29 December 2004];
25 May 2006 [shall come into force from 28 June 2006];
3 May 2007 [shall come into force from 7 June 2007];
21 June 2007 [shall come into force from 19 July 2007];
20 December 2007 [shall come into force from 30 December 2007];
18 September 2008 [shall come into force from 1 October 2008];
18 December 2008 [shall come into force from 1 January 2009];
7 May 2009 [shall come into force from 1 July 2009];
29 October 2009 [shall come into force from 1 December 2009];
21 January 2010 [shall come into force from 4 February 2010];
7 October 2010 [shall come into force from 10 November 2010];
8 July 2011 [shall come into force from 1 January 2012];
15 December 2011 [shall come into force from 30 December 2011];
6 December 2012 [shall come into force from 22 December 2012];
14 November 2013 [shall come into force from 18 December 2013];
17 December 2014 [shall come into force from 1 January 2015];
26 November 2015 [shall come into force from 2 December 2015].

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, as well as persons who have reached the age that entitles one to receive the State old-age pension (hereinafter - persons of pensionable 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 the spending thereof, work, a link with society, the right to independently take and fulfil decisions, as well as 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 separate apartment or house in which are ensured individual support for persons with mental impairments in the resolving of social problems;

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, as well as 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) benefit for ensuring the guaranteed minimum income level - a benefit in cash and kind or a benefit in cash or kind which is granted to families or separately living persons who, due to objective circumstances, do not gain sufficient income and who are recognised to be needy. This benefit shall ensure the guaranteed minimum income level for each family member;

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 ensures the acquisition of a new occupation, the renewal or development of vocational knowledge and skills, including the acquisition of a vocational education programme at initial and secondary education level in conformity with the type and degree of severity of the functional disorder and the level of previously acquired education and qualifications of a person;

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 prescribed by this Law and who performs the professional duties of a social worker, caritative social worker, social carer, social rehabilitator or social assistance organiser;

17) social assistance - a benefit in cash or in kind the granting of which is based on the evaluation of the material resources of persons (families) who lack the means to satisfy basic needs;

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, as well as 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 as well as 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 - workshops in which workplaces have been created and the support of specialists is provided to person with impaired vision and hearing or persons with mental impairments;

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 long-term social care and rehabilitation institution structural unit in which persons with mental impairments are ensured social rehabilitation services;

28) consultative support for social work specialists (supervision) - the body of methodology intended for the work of social work specialists for the purpose of improving their professional competence and to provide them with psychological support in order to increase work quality;

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, as well as a person who has been recognised as conforming to victim of trafficking of human beings criteria by a social service provider;

30) mental impairment - within the meaning of this Law - mental illness and mental development disorder, 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;

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 at large to regain the ability to function socially and mentally; and

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, as well as delivery thereof at the place of residence of a person.

[17 June 2004; 25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 21 June 2007; 20 December 2007; 18 September 2008; 7 May 2009; 7 October 2010]

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 - social services) and social assistance, the range of persons who have the right to receive these services and assistance, as well as 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) aliens 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 legal relations 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 who have been granted alternative status, as well as family members of these persons who reside in the Republic of Latvia shall enjoy the right to receive the benefit for ensuring the guaranteed minimum income level, shelter and night shelter services, as well as information and consultations from the social service office referred to in this Law. The social service office of a local government is entitled to grant a housing allowance to a person who has been granted alternative status according to the procedure and in the amount specified to the inhabitants of the the relevant local government.

(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 receipt of social services and social assistance.

(3) The procedures by which social services provided by local government is 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 11 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 social service office of the local government 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 referred to 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 hosting needs by institutions involved in the asylum procedure shall enjoy 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 referred to service if the responsible institutions have adopted 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]

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, shall social care and social rehabilitation at a long-term care and social rehabilitation institution be 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 shall care be 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 Orphan's 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.

[18 December 2008; 7 October 2010]

Section 5. Basic Principles for the Provision of Social Assistance

(1) Social assistance shall be intended 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.

(2) Up to 31 December 2011, upon the evaluation of the material resources of a client, child care benefit, supplements to the child care benefit, or parenting benefit for twins or more children born during one delivery, the first 50 lats of the parenting benefit, the State family benefit, a supplement to the State family benefit for a disabled child, benefit for disabled child care, benefit for a disabled person requiring nursing, benefit for children with coeliac disease, benefit for the compensation of travel expenses of a disabled person who has movement disorders, childbirth allowance, funeral benefit, unemployment scholarship during vocational training, re-qualification or improvement of qualification, as well as during the acquisition of informal education, shall not be considered as income.

(3) Upon the evaluation of the material resources of a client:

1) income forming after payment of taxes shall be taken into account;

2) a supplement to the State family benefit for a disabled child, a benefit for disabled child care, a benefit for a disabled person requiring nursing, a benefit for the use of an assistance, a benefit for the compensation of travel expenses of a disabled person who has movement disorders, a benefit for a child with coeliac disease, a childbirth allowance and a funeral benefit, as well as the local government social assistance benefits specified by this Law, shall not be considered as income.

[29 October 2009; 15 December 2011]

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 as well as 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 specified by 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. Duties of a Client

A client has a duty to:

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

2) provide information about him or herself;

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 visit a place of residence, if the receipt of social services or social assistance is connected with the evaluation of the material resources of the client.

[7 May 2009; 7 October 2010]

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

(1) A client or his or her provider has a duty 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 specified by the Cabinet.

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

[25 November 2004; 25 May 2006; 3 May 2007]

Chapter II
Organisation of Social Services and Social Assistance

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

(1) The local government in the territory of which a person has registered his or her main place of residence has a duty 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 a duty 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, as well as 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, as well as one-time material assistance.

(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 referred to 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 a duty to ensure a survey of the living conditions and an evaluation of the needs of the person, which shall 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 a duty to ensure consultative support to the local government social service office and the social service provider established thereof social work specialists.

(7) A local government shall ensure the necessary social care services in the place of residence of a person with severe 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 suspended according to the procedures specified in Section 28, Paragraph three of this Law.

[25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 20 December 2007; 7 May 2009]

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

The following services of long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions shall be financed from the State budget, taking into account the provisions of Section 13.1 of this Law:

1) for persons with mental impairments who have been placed in such institutions up to 1 January 2003;

2) for adult blind persons and persons with severe mental impairments;

3) for children with severe mental impairments from four to eighteen years of age;

4) for orphans and children left without parental care up to two years of age and children with mental and physical development disorders up to four years of age

[29 October 2009]

Section 10. The social service office of the local government shall:

(1) In order to ensure the professional assessment of inhabitants' needs 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 pensionable 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;

4) to determine the participation duties 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, to develop concepts for the development of social services, target programmes and proposals for the implementation of new services and to participate in the development of local government development plans;

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

[7 May 2009; 29 October 2009]

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

(1) A local government social service office shall have the following duties:

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

2) to inform in writing the person who has requested a social service or social assistance regarding the decision taken and, in case of refusal, to specify the reasons for refusal, as well as 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 a duty to provide information and consultations in a manner comprehensible to the person.

(21) If the social service office of the local government 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 violation of children's rights, it shall immediately but not later than on the following business day notify the Orphan's court and State Police.

(22) If the social service office of the local government 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 business days notify the family physician of the child or another health care practitioner respectively.

(3) Social service and social assistance providers have the right to request and receive information free of charge on the nature and degree of functional disorders of a person, the exercise of rights of care, the legal and financial state of a child, guardianship and trusteeship issues, any income and property possessed, if this information is necessary to take a decision on the provision of a social service or social assistance.

(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 succession, except the persons referred to in Section 37, Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this Law:

1) in measures for retaining, renewal and acquisition of labour and social skills (up to twelve 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 referred to 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 legal relations or gain income from work.

[17 June 2004; 7 May 2009; 15 December 2011; 14 November 2013]

Section 13. Duties 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 vocational rehabilitation of disabled persons;

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 in appropriate institutions for adult persons and of children who have become addicted to narcotic, toxic or other intoxicating substances;

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, as well as 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 an institution of higher education (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.

(11) The State shall provide support to local governments for the provision of disbursements of the benefit of the guaranteed minimum income level and housing allowance for residents in accordance with the funds granted in the annual State Budget Law. The conditions and procedures for granting the funds from the State budget necessary for the provision of disbursements of the benefit of the guaranteed minimum income level and housing allowance shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(12) The State does not ensure 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 not 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 duties provided for in Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of this Section.

(21) Fulfilment of the State duties provided for in Paragraph one of this Section - provision of 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. Provision of services specified in Paragraph 1.2 of this Section shall be ensured by the Latvian Children's Fund, arranging the provision of social rehabilitation services and providing social rehabilitation services within an institution 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 shall also select other service providers in accordance with the procedures specified in the regulatory enactments regulating public procurement.

(22) The fulfilment of the State duties 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 the 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 specified by regulatory enactments regulating public procurement.

(23) When implementing the fulfilment of the duties 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 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 duties are entitled to issue administrative statements.

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

(3) The State shall participate in the financing of day centres provided 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, as well as the granting of State co-financing and the procedures 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 halfway houses intended for 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 halfway houses, as well as the granting of State co-financing and the procedures 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.

[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 / See Paragraph 17.1 of Transitional Provisions]

Section 13.1 Payment for State financed Social Services

(1) The services specified in Section 13, Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 2, 3.1, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11, and Paragraph 1.2 , as well as Section 9.1, Clause 3 of this Law shall be paid from 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 receiver of the service making a once-only payment or making a co-payment according to the procedures and in the amount specified by the Cabinet.

(3) The services specified in Section 9.1, Clauses 1 and 2 of this Law for a person who is not a recipient of pension shall be paid from State budget funds. If such persons are recipients of a pension, they shall pay for the service received with 90 per cent of the pension, including the supplement to the pension, but not more than the costs of the received service in the relevant institution.

(4) The services specified in Section 9.1, Clause 4 of this Law shall be financed from the State budget. Parents have a duty to pay for such service in conformity with the Protection of the Rights of the Child Law

[3 May 2007; 20 December 2007; 18 September 2008; 7 May 2009; 29 October 2009; 14 November 2013]

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 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, control the observance of the regulatory enactments regulating the provision of social services, and the conformity of the quality of social services and the provider of social services with the requirements of regulatory enactments and administratively punish the providers of social services for violations committed;

5) to develop and maintain the State social policy monitoring information system, which forms part of 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 such personal data of persons who have requested social assistance, social care, social or professional rehabilitation services, technical aids or services to ensure an independent life, as well as 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, as well as data volume to be included therein, data processing provisions and procedure, as well as collaboration rules of institutions shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[7 May 2009; 8 July 2011; 14 November 2013]

Section 15. State Social Services Agency

[7 May 2009]

Section 15.1 Social Integration State Agency

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

1) provides social rehabilitation services to persons, including soldiers of the National Armed Forces and officials of the institutions of the system of the Ministry of the Interior with special service ranks, applying medical treatment;

2) provides vocational rehabilitation services to disabled persons;

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].

(11) The social rehabilitation services referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 1 of this Section applying medical treatment shall be ensured in the amount specified for such purpose by the annual State budget law for soldiers of the National Armed Forces and officials of the institutions of the system of the Ministry of the Interior with special service ranks.

(2) The operation of the Agency shall be regulated by a by-law in which the requirements of the regulatory enactments regulating the activities of colleges in relation to the by-law of the college are also included.

(3) The work remuneration of teachers of the Agency shall be specified in the regulatory enactments regarding the work remuneration of teachers.

[20 December 2007; 7 May 2009; 29 October 2009; 7 October 2010; 8 July 2011]

Section 16. Social Services Quality Control Inspection

[17 June 2004]

Section 17. Social Service Provider

(1) In the cases referred to in this Law social services may be provided only by such a social service provider who meets the requirements determined by the Cabinet and is registered in the register of social service providers.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which a social service provider shall be registered in the register of social service providers and removed therefrom, as well as the justification for removal. The social service provider according to the procedures and in the amount specified by the Cabinet shall pay a State fee for the issuing of a social service provider registration certificate or the duplicate thereof.

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

[17 June 2004; 21 June 2007; 20 December 2007; 7 May 2009]

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, Paragraph 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, if it is not otherwise specified by 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 regarding the removal of a social service provider from the Register of social service providers, a decision of the Ministry of Welfare or a social service provider regarding the suspension or termination of the provision of social services, as well as a decision of the local government regarding the suspension or termination of the provision of social services shall not suspend the operation of the relevant decision, except the case where this operation is suspended by a decision of the institution in which the decision is being contested.

[7 May 2009]

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

The right to social care corresponding to their needs shall be enjoyed by all persons referred to in Section 3 of this Law who, due to old age or functional disorders, have difficulties taking care of themselves, as well as orphans and children left without parental care.

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, shall have the right to social rehabilitation:

1) disabled persons and persons with functional disorders;

2) persons after the 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 under extra-familial 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.

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 dwelling 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 regulate 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 deeds regarding granting of services to specific persons;

2) determine the providers of services in compliance 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 regarding the opportunities for receiving services.

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

Section 26. Vocational Rehabilitation

(1) The right to receive vocational rehabilitation services shall be enjoyed by persons of working-age if they have been classified as disabled and if they have a recommendation from the State Medical Examination Commission of Health and Capacity for Work to acquire a new occupation. In order to receive State financed vocational rehabilitation services, a person shall turn to the provider of the relevant service. The relevant provider of vocational rehabilitation services shall take a decision on granting of services or the refusal to grant services.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine procedures by which a person shall receive vocational rehabilitation services.

[25 May 2006; 7 May 2009]

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 pensionable 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 Houses (Apartments), Halfway Houses and Service Apartment Services

(1) In a group house (apartment) shall be ensured a dwelling and support for the resolving of social problems of persons with mental impairments that have objective difficulties in living independently, but for whom it is not necessary that they be located in a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution.

(2) In a halfway house shall be provided social rehabilitation to persons with mental impairments in order to acquire skills for independent life or life in a group house (apartment).

(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 skills 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 procedure by which the costs of the services are covered from State or local government budgets shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[25 May 2006; 3 May 2007; 21 June 2007]

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

(1) Long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions shall provide housing, social care and social rehabilitation to the following:

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 pensionable age and disabled persons with impaired vision or physical impairments, if the required scope of service exceeds the scope specified for home care or care at a day care and social rehabilitation institution;

3) children with severe mental development impairments, if the required scope of service exceeds the scope specified for home care or care at a day care and social rehabilitation institution;

4) persons of legal age with 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 at a centre or a group house (apartment).

(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; or

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

(3) In the cases referred to in Paragraph two of this Section, the decision on suspension of 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 a duty 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 specified by the law.

(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]

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 enjoy individual access to staff in the provision of social service offices;

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 duties of the parties, as well as 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 Protection of the Rights of the Child Law.

(2) A client living in a long-term social care 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 a pension or a State social security benefit, the sum of money remaining at his or her disposal after payment for the long-term social care service may not be less than 10 per cent of the amount of the pension, including the supplement to the pension, or State social security benefit of this person;

2) for a person of legal age who is not a recipient of a pension or a State social security benefit, the sum of money to be paid from the budget of the long-term social care institution shall be 10 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 paid 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 an educational establishment or long-term social care institution.

[3 May 2007; 18 September 2008; 7 May 2009; 29 October 2009]

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 - 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 in 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 the leaving of a person without supervision and to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons, the head of a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution or his or her authorised person may take a decision on the necessity to restrict the rights of the person to move freely.

(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 regarding 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 shall be 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 Rights of the Child shall be applicable.

(4) The disbursement of pensions, supplements to pensions and State benefits to clients, observing the conditions of Section 29, Paragraph two, Clause 1 of this Law, shall be ensured by long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions, in account of which the State Social Insurance Agency shall transfer the pension, supplement to the pension or the State benefit on the basis of an application by the client.

[7 May 2009]

Chapter V
Social Assistance

Section 32. Purpose of Social Assistance

The purpose of social assistance is to provide material support to needy and low-income families (persons) in a crisis situation in order to satisfy their basic needs and promote the participation of able-bodied persons in the improvement of their situation.

[18 September 2008]

Section 33. Recognition of a Family (Person) to be Needy

(1) The Cabinet shall determine the level of income and material situation of a family which, upon its failure to exceed thereof, consisting of spouses, persons who have common expenses for food and who live in one dwelling or a person living separately, is recognised to be needy and the procedures by which a family (person) shall be recognised to be needy.

(2) The local government in the binding regulations thereof may specify more favourable conditions for the recognition of a family (person) as needy, including a family (person) who has debt liabilities may also be recognised as needy.

[29 October 2009]

Section 34. Granting of Social Assistance and Manner of Payment of Social Assistance Benefits

(1) Subsequent to the assessment of income and other material resources of a person and his or her family members, a local government social service office shall decide on the granting of a social assistance benefit to the person who has claimed such benefit.

(2) The granted social assistance benefit may be paid to the person in cash, or the sum of the benefit may be used to pay for goods or services, which are necessary to satisfy the basic needs of the person or his or her family members. The social assistance benefit paid in money shall be regarded as social assistance benefit, against which collection proceedings cannot be brought.

(3) If the person who has claimed social assistance over the last three months has changed the place of residence, the local government has the right to request from the previous place of residence of the person a statement regarding the scope of the received social assistance and to take such into account when determining the scope of the necessary assistance.

[29 October 2009]

Section 35. Types of Social Assistance Benefits

(1) A local government shall disburse a benefit for the provision of the guaranteed minimum income level and a housing allowance from the basic budget.

(2) The local government may, without assessing the income of a person (family), grant to the person (family) a single benefit in an emergency situation if, due to a natural disaster or unforeseen circumstances he or she is not able to satisfy his or her basic needs.

(3) If a justified demand of residents of the local government for a benefit for the provision of the guaranteed minimum income level and a housing allowance has been satisfied, the local government, upon evaluation of the income of a family (person), is also entitled to pay other benefits to families (persons) for satisfying basic needs, from the basic budget of the local government.

(4) The type, amount and payment procedures of the benefits referred to Paragraph three of this Section and the persons who are entitled to receive such benefits shall be regulated by local government binding regulations.

(5) The amount of housing allowance, the procedures for payment and persons which are entitled to receive this allowance, shall be regulated by the binding regulations of the local government.

[25 November 2004; 18 September 2008; 29 October 2009]

Section 36. Benefit for Ensuring the Guaranteed Minimum Income Level

(1) The Cabinet shall determine and review the guaranteed minimum income level each year in connection with the draft annual State Budget Law.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which the benefit for ensuring the guaranteed minimum income level shall be calculated, granted and disbursed and the procedures by which an agreement shall be entered into regarding participation.

(3) [7 May 2009]

[7 May 2009; 29 October 2009]

Section 37. Conditions for the Granting of Social Assistance Benefits

(1) A person at working age, who wants to receive a social assistance benefit, except a one-time allowance in emergency situation, and is not employed (is not considered as an employee or self-employed person in accordance with the Law On State Social Insurance), shall register with the State Employment Agency as unemployed person, except a case when the person is:

1) a recipient of disability pension, old-age pension or State social security benefit;

2) a woman on maternity leave, one of a child's parent or other person during a child care period;

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

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

(2) A social assistance benefit for a client shall be reduced by the part granted to a person, concurrently taking into account the rights and interests of each child, or shall not be granted to a person living separately, if he or she:

1) has refused from participation or has not become involved in measures within a certain period of time for solving of his or her social problem;

2) has provided false information or refused to provide information regarding his or her income, property and other conditions that characterise the ability of the client to ensure the basic needs and the ability to involve in measures for solving of his or her social problem;

3) is absent for more than a calendar month and receives social or medical treatment service, within the framework of which the basic needs of the person are ensured, is at a place of imprisonment, social correction institution or he or she may not be included in the composition of the family due to other justified reasons.

(3) If the composition of the family, family's (person's) material or social situation changes, the local government social service shall assess anew the compliance of a client with the conditions for receipt of social assistance and, where appropriate, take a decision on granting of a social assistance benefit or refusal to grant a social assistance benefit.

(4) If the local government social service detects that a client is able to ensure his or her basic needs in the minimum amount, such service has the right to refuse a social assistance benefit for the client.

[15 December 2011]

Section 38. Restrictions in Determining the Duties of Participation

[15 December 2011]

Section 39. Reduction of the Scope of the Benefit for Ensuring the Guaranteed Minimum Income Level

[15 December 2011]

Section 39.1 Recovery of a Social Assistance Benefit Paid out Unjustifiably

The local government social service shall take a decision on 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 regarding 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 specified in the Administrative Procedure Law on the basis of the execution order of the local government social service.

[15 December 2011]

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, as well as 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) In performing the tasks referred to in this Section, social workers and caritative social workers shall comply with the social workers' code of ethics, which shall be approved by the Latvian Association of Professional Social and Care Workers.

[7 May 2009]

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 to needy persons in order to satisfy the basic needs of these persons to the minimum extent.

(2) A social assistance organiser shall:

1) assess the social and material situation of a person (family) and determine the type, scope of the required social assistance, the duration of the receipt thereof and the duties of participation;

2) inform the clients of their rights to social assistance and the possibilities of exercising these rights, as well as the duties of participation.

Transitional Provisions

1. Section 10, Paragraph one and Sections 41 and 42 in the wording of 31 October 2002 of this Law shall enter 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 reach the age specified for the granting of the State old-age pension;

2) up to 31 December 2007 have commenced studies or are continuing to acquire the education specified in Sections 41 and 42 of this Law. The referred to 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 when the relevant Cabinet regulations come into force, 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; and

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 is repealed (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).

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 specified 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 reached the age entitling one to receive the national old-age pension; or

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

[3 May 2007]

14. [18 December 2008]

15. Up to 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, duty and property of the 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 up to 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 be issued until 1 April 2014.

[14 November 2013]

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 ar 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; and

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 © 2017 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Saeima Type: law Adoption: 31.10.2002.Entry into force: 01.01.2003.Theme:  Social protectionPublication: "Latvijas Vēstnesis", 168 (2743), 19.11.2002., "Ziņotājs", 23, 12.12.2002.
Language:
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