Background The classes of social benefits for disabled persons, the conditions of entitlement thereto, the amounts of benefits and the procedure for the grant and payment thereof are stipulated by the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act (adopted in 1999). Social benefits are paid according to the principle of subsidy. This means that the local governments mostly provide social benefits and other social services. In the city of Tartu provides following social assistance: adaptation of the dwelling, social housing, personal assistant service, maintenance of medical devices/allowance, home care service, free parking card, allowance for the disabled, social benefits, social counselling, free public transportation, buss for wheelchair users, special taxi for the disabled, rehabilitation service.
Objectives The goal of Tartu Rheumatism Association is to raise the quality of life of its members. It is done by giving them an overview of the social services and benefits provided for people with physical disabilities and by applying for transportation and activities grants.
Operating grants on the organization related to the partial funding to support the activation of members of the joint activities for people with disabilities, rehabilitation and independent living increase. Transportation grants on the organization’s activities in the transportation costs associated with carrying out the partial financing of the organization to support wheelchair and limited mobility members of the movement’s participation in political, public, cultural, educational and sporting life of the organization’s activities.
Methods Tartu Rheumatism Association regularly organises lectures to raise its members’ awareness about how to cope with their disability. Professionals in the social field and specialists from Social Insurance Board have held several lectures. The members of the association have participated in information days about legislature regarding treatment of chronic diseases and about how to be successful in the job market despite the disability. The board of the association has applied for financial support from Tartu City Government for covering transportation and other costs to organise the aforementioned events.
Results Thanks to these events the members of Tartu Rheumatism Association have become more aware about social services provided by the state and town and how to apply for them. Tartu is a caring city. Tartu city government helped to finance 4 lectures, which were held on the following topics: normal ageing, dizziness, massage and kidney malfunctions. In addition, 5 outings to beautiful destinations all around Estonia were organised. Association members visited different museums and Ahhaa Science Centre, they met up with members from other similar associations, took part in Estonian Rheumatism Association’s summer seminar and Nordic walking days. The members also regularly visited Aura Centre swimming pools and participated in other health promoting activities.
Conclusions Every person is responsible for his or her activities and its respective outcome. The network of social care functions for all the risk groups in Tartu. Tartu Rheumatism Association has put much effort into providing disabled persons with information about different social benefits that could improve their life and also organising group activities for people with rheumatism.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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