The Generalitat eliminates the year and a half wait to collect aid from caregivers

  • Currently 6,400 people have stopped working to care for their relatives at home but had to wait a year and a half to receive less than 400 euros per month

The Ministry of Social Rights of the Generalitat, Violant Cervera, announced this Monday at the General Council of Social Services that the Government is going to eliminate the waiting list for aid to non-professional carers starting next month. These are people who care for their family’s dependents at home, usually women who care for the elderly, and who have had to stop working and give up their income to do so. They are entitled to a monthly aid that does not reach 400 euros per month for which, in Catalonia, they had to wait a year and a half to receive it. The Government calculates that 6,400 people will benefit from the measure and promises to invest an extra 17 million euros this year.

in Catalonia, 82,394 people receive non-professional caregiver help and are registered with social security. In fact, practicallyhalf of the people in a situation of dependency in Catalonia have this support according to Imserso data. They are usually women in 86% of cases and 60% of them are between 50 and 65 years old. Some take on this job out of necessity: nor can they afford a private caregiver at home before the few hours offered by the Public Home Care Service or have money to pay for a place in a residencewhile they wait for a public square that is eternalized by the high waiting lists.

Catalonia is the only autonomous community where a suspension period of 18 months still persisted to give financial aid to non-professional caregivers. In other words, those who applied for this benefit they had to wait a year and a half to start collecting them, even fulfilling all the requirements and having the benefit accepted. A measure that will be eliminated this March, and that had been active for 10 years since the government of Mariano Rajoy established a first period of two years to collect the aid. In 2017, the Government continued to apply this suspension but reduced it by six months. The truth is that many elderly died while their relatives cared for them those years when they could not fend for themselves and without any income to hold on to.

European funds

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To end these extensions, the ‘conselleria’ will increase the economic item to pay these contributions with an extra 17 million, until reaching the figure of 255 million a year. A measure that Cervera has taken taking advantage of the arrival of 27 million European funds, which will also be invested in digitization and information management plans to streamline the assessment processes for dependent people. According to data from the State Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, in 2021 3,400 Catalans died waiting for these assessments.

Even so, the waiting list in Catalonia to access dependency aid remains chronic, and is the highest in all of Spain. At the end of 2021, according to data from the ‘ministry’, there were more than 20,000 people on the waiting list that they had recognized the right to have a place in a residence, in a day center or to receive subsidized caregivers in their homes but that they were not accessing it. Government sources assure that one of the most important challenges that Cervera assumes is to end the waiting lists to enter nursing homes.

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