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On 26 March 2019, S.P., who has a 3rd-group disability, applied to HCA Vanadzor. The citizen informed that on 26 March 2019, Lori region No. 1 Medical-social expertise commission defined a disability of 3rd group for a duration of one year, i.e. until 1 March 2020.
Upon the expiration of the above-mentioned date, on 3 March 2020, he applied to Lori region No. 1 Medical-social expertise commission to undergo an expertise again and to have his disability group established, he also presented the necessary documents. The commission informed the citizen that due to the coronavirus pandemic no expertise was conducted in the region. His case would be sent to the RA Medical-social expertise agency. They also informed the citizen that he would be informed about the expertise on the phone. For 4 months, the citizen waited for the expertise, and after that he was informed that in order to undergo an expertise, he was supposed to submit an application and that he could not receive his disability benefit for the previous months.
For the clarification and restoration of the citizen’s rights, HCA Vanadzor sent a relevant letter to Zaruhi Batoyan, Minister of the RA Labor and Social Affairs. In the letter, HCA Vanadzor legal consultant Sofya Petrosyan pointed out the new time period for the establishment of the disability group, that were set based on the state of emergency declared in the country, in particular, “(...) If the timeframe set for the establishment of disability group expires in March and April 2020, then it will be extended until 1 June 2020”. Another announcement placed in the official website of the Ministry on 1 June 2020 clarified: “(...) if the time period for determining the disability group expires in March, April or May 2020, it will be extended until 1 July 2020”.
In the letter addressed to the Minister, HCA Vanadzor also cited the announcement placed on the official website of the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs on 25 March 2020: “(…) a number of changes were made in the terms of restoration, reappointment, recalculation or change of the type of pensions and benefits. As a result, citizens will not have to visit territorial divisions of Social Security Service in the conditions of the state of emergency (...)”.
The problems that arose in relation to the implementation of the citizen’s right to get benefits objectively has no connection with him. He applied within the established timeframe. However, besides the fact that he was deprived of his right to receive a benefit for 4 months, the medical social expertise agency offered to present a new one, without taking into account the fact that he had previously presented an application.
HCA Vanadzor Chairman asked the Minister to specify regarding the citizen’s problem, to examine his documents and to urge the medical social expertise agency to conduct S.P.’s medical social expertise in a manner provided for by law, as well as to pay the disability benefit that had not been paid since March 2020.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs immediately responded to HCA Vanadzor letter on the citizen’s problem and provided the relevant clarifications. Thus, based on the recommendation of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and S.P.’s application of 23 March 2020 regarding the reconduction of an expertise, the agency’s expertise division conducted an expertise in a special simpler procedure and on June 9, it established S.P.’s disability of the 3rd group with a term of 1 year, i.e. until 1 April 2021.
The above-mentioned decision was sent to the citizen by post. The registration place’s subdivision appointing pension was notified about it in an electronic way.At the same time, the Ministry informed that as a result of examining state pension system database it was found out that the disability pension appointed to S.P. in Vanadzor territorial division was paid until February 2020 included and stopped on 1 March 2020 due to the expiration of the timeframe of disability according to the RA Law “On state benefits”. By 30 June 2020, the extract on the decision of the establishment of the citizen’s disability will be received by the pension territorial division, after which his right to disability benefit will be restored. The amount of money of the benefit not paid since March 2020 will be calculated and paid as an additional payment in the pension list of July 2020.