Disability and its Determination Procedure in Latvia
In Latvia, the procedure for determining disability is regulated by the Act on Disabilities [Invaliditātes likums] and the December 23, 2014 Cabinet of Ministers [Ministru kabinets] Regulations No. 805 "Rules for determining foreseeable disability, disability and loss of working capacity and on issuing a document certifying disability" https://likumi.lv/ta/en/en/id/211494-disability-law.
Disability is a long-term or non-transitory limitation of functioning of a very severe, severe or moderate degree that affects a person's mental or physical abilities, work capacity, self-care capabilities and inclusion in society.
Disability expertise is carried out by the State Commission of Doctors for Health and Work Capability Expertise [Veselības un darbspēju ekspertīzes ārstu valsts komisija], hereinafter referred to as the State commission.
Disability expertise is also carried out in Latvia for citizens of other countries:
– For citizens of the European Union, a country of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation or members of his/her family legally residing in the Republic of Latvia;
– For foreigners who have received a permanent residence permit in the Republic of Latvia;
– For persons who have received a permanent residence permit due to the granting of refugee status in the Republic of Latvia, or family members thereof who have a permanent residence permit in the Republic of Latvia;
- For persons who have been issued a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Latvia in the following cases:
- the person in question, as a socially insured person, has the right to social insurance services;
- the person in question has been granted an alternative status in the Republic of Latvia;
- the person in question is a family member of a person who has obtained an alternative status;
- the person in question has been granted a temporary protection status in the Republic of Latvia;
- the person in question has been granted a temporary residence permit in connection with conducting scientific activities in the Republic of Latvia;
- the person in question has been granted the status of a victim of human trafficking in the Republic of Latvia.
Adult persons from the age of 18 are defined as disabled in the following degrees of severity:
- Disability group I – very severe disability;
- Disability group II – severe disability;
- Disability group III – moderate disability.
For children up to the age of 18, disability is determined without division into specific groups.
In order to carry out a disability examination, the person is required to visit his or her family or treating doctor, who, taking into account the results of a comprehensive medical examination and appropriate treatment, will decide on the issue of referral to the State commission for disability examination.
A person or his legal representative submits the following documents to the State commission:
- application and self-assessment questionnaire, if the disability examination is carried out on a person over the age of 18 (application and self-assessment questionnaire form https://www.vdeavk.gov.lv/lv/pakalpojumi/iesniegums-vdeavk-par-invaliditates-ekspertizes-veiksanu), to which the following documents shall be attached:
- referral to the commission by the family or attending physician (form No. 088/u);
- other medical documents of the person, if the family or treating doctor or the person himself considers it necessary for the disability examination.
Disability can be determined for the following periods:
– one, two, five years or up to the age of 18, if the disability examination is performed on a person under the age of 18;
– for six months, one, two, five years or without a repeated disability examination period (for life), if the disability examination is carried out on a person over the age of 18.
If a person does not agree with the decision made by the State commission, it can be challenged to the head of the State commission within a month from the date of its entry into force. The decision of the head of the State commission can be appealed to the court as stipulated in the Law on Administrative Procedure [Administratīvā procesa likums]. Challenging and appealing the decision does not suspend its operation.
Additional information on the procedure for disability expertise and the working hours of the State commission's departments can be obtained on the State commission's website www.vdeavk.gov.lv, by means of calling the number 29632807; 67614885 or by means of writing to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A person with a disability, depending on the degree of severity of the disability determined for him, can be granted one of the following types of support: