Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Disability benefits to be broadened by gov’t

Disability benefits to be broadened by gov’t

Disability benefits to be broadened by gov’t

A Ministry of Social Affairs official yesterday announced that, starting next year, the government would offer regular payments of 20,000 riel (about $5) to all disabled Cambodians, a benefit that so far has only been available to retired disabled soldiers.

In an announcement that coincided with Cambodia’s National Day of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs Secretary of State Sem Sokha said the frequency of payments would be based on the severity of the recipient’s disability.

Those considered least disabled, he said, would receive the payment three times a year, those more seriously disabled would receive it six times a year and those considered most severely disabled would receive the payment monthly.

“We are creating a committee to assess the extent of the disabilities, and what kind of conditions will get this allowance from the state,” he said.

The Boan Moa, chairman of the Association of the Blind in Cambodia, welcomed the new policies yesterday, saying that disabled civilians had long missed out on the benefits provided to their military counterparts.

“The disabled have been waiting for this bonus; they cannot earn as much money as [non-disabled people] so they need encouragement from the state,” he said.

However, Ngin Saorath, executive director of the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation, urged the ministry to “hurry to create the committee”, saying that the benefits had been too slow in coming, given that the government had formulated disability benefit policies since the early 2000s.

Sokha, of the Social Affairs Ministry, said that while the benefits were overdue, it would take time for the ministry to establish an Association of Disabilities to determine who would be eligible.

“We are late because we need time to create the association throughout the country before we divide this bonus,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also marked yesterday with a message discouraging discrimination against the disabled.

According to government figures, between 30,000 and 40,000 Cambodians are disabled.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment