Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

Due to HCA Vanadzor legal support, the citizen deprived of his disability group managed to restore it

December 2, 2020

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In 2018, the Administrative Court started the proceeding of citizen M.B.’s representative, HCA Vanadzor advocate Samson Galstyan’s claim on the violated right of the citizen with a disability. 


The two years of continuous expertise, re-expertise and litigation ultimately ended with the restoration of the citizen’s violated right. On 15 October 2020, the Court upheld the claim.  The decisions that deprived him of the status of disability were recognized invalid. 


Until 2017, M.B. had the third group of disability due to severe diabetes. In 2015 and 2016, Yerevan Commission N 2 of the RA Medical and Social Expertise Agency continued recognizing the third group of disability per the relevant decisions. Noteworthy, during that period, no positive dynamic was recorded in M.B.’s health state.  


Strangely, as a result of the re-expertise in 2017, that same commission decided not to recognize M.B.’s disability. Thus the citizen got deprived of the third group of disability and the relevant pension. Within the established timeframe, the citizen appealed that decision to a superior body, however, the decision remained unaltered by the Re-expertise Department of Medical and Social Expertise Agency.


The citizen applied to HCA Vanadzor representative office in Yerevan to restore his violated rights. First, HCA Vanadzor lawyer Tatevik Siradeghyan and then Samson Galstyan undertook the protection of M.B.’s interests in court. 


Throughout the whole litigation, the Medical and Social Expertise Agency objected to the claim. The reasoning was that the re-expertise of 2017 did not reveal any state that would lead to any restriction of M.B.’s life activity. The disorder of his organism’s function is so insignificant that there is no ground to define a disability and a relevant group.  


Finding that the above-mentioned decision was made by violation of law, HCA Vanadzor advocate S. Galstyan insisted on his claim to uphold the application and define 3rd group of disability. 


The advocate substantiated his claim by a number of arguments. In his opinion, the decision made in 2017 on M.B. is groundless and does not meet the requirements of the Law “On fundamentals of administration and administrative procedure”. According to the law, written administrative act or administrative act confirmed in writing shall contain clear justification where all the legal grounds for the issuance of the decision shall be mentioned.  


Besides the condition that the decision made regarding M.B. is groundless and unsubstantiated, it was also not made in a manner stipulated by law, which amounts to a violation of the requirements of the RA Law “On fundamentals of administration and administrative procedure”.  


In his claim, S. Galstyan invoked a number of clauses of the guideline approved by the order made in 2017 by RA Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, which enshrine the criteria for defining a disability.  According to them, among other factors, the degree of the main clinical manifestations of the disease has an essential role for the determination of the disability group.  Whereas, according to the epicrisis of 2017, the stages, forms and degrees of clinical manifestations of M.B.’s disease were not determined. In such conditions, it was not possible to conclude that he has no disease causing a disability. 


Detailed analysis of the clauses of the same guideline shows that given the health problems and the degree of their severity, M.B. should have been recognized as having a disability of the third group. 


Based on the RA Constitution, RA Law “On social Protection of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Armenia” and RA Law on “On Fundamentals of Administration and Administrative Procedure”, HCA Vanadzor advocate reaffirmed his assertion that the decisions by both the commission and re-expertise department of RA Medical and Social Expertise Agency were made by violation of law, and are, therefore, subject to being recognized invalid. 


Considering confirmed the results of the expertise conducted in the frame of the case, the Court concluded that the restriction of M.B.’s life activity corresponds to the criteria for the determination of the third group of disability. In such a case, the Agency had to define the third group of disability. Therefore, all the refusals are unlawful.  


Summing up, the Court concluded that M.B.’s claim was grounded and subject to being upheld, as the legality of the favorable administrative act claimed was grounded. 


On 15 October 2020, the Administrative Court, presided by Judge Gevorg Sosyan, upheld M.B.’s claim to oblige RA Medical and Social Expertise Agency to make an administrative act favorable for the citizen, that is, to determine the third group of disability. The judgment also recognizes invalid the previous two decisions on not recognizing the disability.  


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