Welfare in Romania

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Social welfare (ajutor social in Romanian) in Romania is coordinated by the Romanian Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection. The system is funded from the state budget.[1] There are roughly fifty types of welfare a Romanian citizen can receive.[2] As of 2012, it has been estimated that 5,9 million Romanians (or half of the active population) are being given a form of welfare.[3] In 2013, the budget granted for social welfare is of 17,5 billion euros. [4]

History[edit]

The Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection was created in 1920, after the World War I. The purpose of the ministry was to reorganize the social classes and provide aid for the poor people in the Kingdom of Romania. The system worked even during World War II, as the King of Romania himself has encouraged the concept of social welfare.[5]

After the war ended and the Communist regime came to power, Romania became a socialist state, and therefore social welfare became widespread.[6]

In 1990, after the fall of the communist regime, the whole system was reformed. It got divided into multiple categories, and the concept of generalized social welfare got reduced.[7]

Today[edit]

Social welfare is subdivided into multiple categories.

Healthcare[edit]

See article Healthcare in Romania.

Child care[edit]

Giving birth is free. As soon as mothers give birth, they are entitled to vacation. They receive an aid which amounts 75% of their net income, without a limit being set.[8] After the age of two, children receive an allowance up until the age of 18, although they must attend school in order to receive it.[9]

Education in Romania is free. Children must stay in school until the age of 16, and then they are eligible for part-time work. Free meals are provided for all children. No one is required to pay for class supplies.[10]

Children up until the age of 18 also receive subsidies for public transportation.[11][12]

Adults[edit]

Naturally, adults are entitled to welfare. The most widespread type of welfare are subsidies for heat and electricity. The municipalities receive funding from the Ministry of Labor in order to do that (per gigacalorie) . In the past years, the funding has been reduced and not everyone can obtain that, unless they have a small income.[13]

Adults are also able to apply for unemployment aid. The amount varies from case to case, but is generally comparable to the minimum wage (which is 800 RON). The unemployment aid can be granted if the payer has contributed and if they can prove they are actively seeking for a job. The unemployment aid is granted on a time-limited, individually determined basis.[14]

People with disabilities also receive welfare. The amount depends by the disability and is normally granted until the end of their lifespan (or until their disability has been treated). It has been discovered that some beneficiaries of this are not truly handicapped, and in consequence there have been plenty of debates stirred on this theme.[15]

There is also a subsidy for funeral arrangements.. Welfare is being given out when a person dies, and it amounts to 2000 RON. It is given regardless of the circumstances. A death certificate is required.[16]

Elderly[edit]

Pension is provided by the state. Women retire at the age of 62, and men at the age of 65.[17] Pension is granted nonetheless of the contributions made during one's lifetime. The minimum pension given is 350 RON. It increases proportionally with the contribution a person made during their working age. Some retirees have pensions that overcome the medium salary, but a third of them live off with a pension equal to or under the minimum wage.[18]

Retirees also receive subsidies for public transportation.

Controversy[edit]

One in two Romanians receive a type of welfare.[19] They are commonly referred to as "socially assisted" (asistați social in Romanian) by the taxpayers.

It is estimated that 1.8 million people are not receiving it for a real reason and that legally, they should not benefit from it.[20]

Since the economical crisis, the state has cut down the welfare, and now as soon as there are suspicions of fraud, committees are established to check the truthfulness of the claim.[21][22]

Sources[edit]