14:05 Mar. 16, 2016
Russia's implementation of new health rules can affect one of the most unprotected layers of society
Russia's Ministry of Labor and Social Protection insists that the new measures are based on the German model and aim at perfecting the previous mechanism, which granted disability benefits according to the type of medical condition and the severity of the symptoms.
Under the new system, introduced at the start of 2015, health authorities instead evaluate the loss of a particular function of the body, regardless of the diagnosis or degree of general infirmity.
Only patients deemed to have lost at least 40 percent of one of their body functions can now apply for financial assistance.
According to government figures, the number of Russians formally recognized as disabled dropped by almost 500,000 over a year and a half, from 12.946 million in early 2014 to 12.45 million in September 2015.