NGO calls for introducing benefit for parent carers as soon as possible

NEWS 21.03.202315:31

The Sjena association said on Tuesday they were surprised by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's announcement that parent carers would be entitled to a benefit for ten months after the death of the child, adding that the benefit should be introduced as soon as possible.

“We were surprised because we didn’t expect it. I don’t know what happened over the weekend that we were given this offer,” said Marica Mikulic, vice-president of this association of families of children with developmental difficulties and persons with disabilities.

Last Friday, the ruling majority in Parliament rejected the motion by MP Anka Mrak-Taritas (GLAS) that the benefits received by parent carers should be extended for another six months after the death of the child.

Mikulic said that the prime minister’s announcement did not actually resolve this matter because he did not specify when this benefit would be introduced.

“There have been announcements before, but they mean nothing to us. Laws concerning this population have been delayed for years and we insist that this entitlement be resolved as soon as possible,” Mikulic told Hina.

Considering the procedure, it cannot be expected that this benefit will be in place before 1 January 2024, she said, wondering what will happen with parent carers whose child dies in the meantime.

“If it really wants to, the government can sort this out tomorrow by passing a decree,” she added.

Mikulic said that the introduction of this benefit should not be seen as their victory but as a correction of an injustice because parent carers have been left to their own devices for years and this problem “has been swept under the carpet.”

She concluded by expressing regret that this benefit is being introduced not because of the government’s goodwill but solely under the pressure of parents with children with disabilities and their struggle in the streets.