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We demand decent income support for people with disabilities!

12 January 2024 00:00

In Turkey, the access and employment rights of over 12 million people with disabilities are not protected, plunging the disabled population into deep poverty. The officially set inflation rates for the year 2024 have rendered the disability allowance meaningless.
Accordingly, the monthly allowance for people with a disability level between 40-69% has been increased from TL 1,874 to TL 2,796, while the allowance for people with a disability level of 70% and above has been increased from TL 2,811 to TL 4,195. In addition, the allowance for home care for the disabled was increased from TL 5,096 to TL 7,605.
In our country, where the poverty line is approaching 15,000 TL and the poverty line exceeds 47,000 TL, these symbolic allowances for people with disabilities have lost their value.
The allowance for people with a disability level of less than 70% is limited to 93 TL per day, while the allowance for people with a disability level of 70% and more is limited to 140 TL per day.
At a time when prices are rising inexorably and the Turkish lira is constantly losing value against the dollar and the euro, we do not know what to make of these "allowances" that have become meaningless. It is impossible to fight the poverty of disabled people with amounts that are not even enough for one meal for one person.
It should be recognised that the amount given as care allowance is not even half of the hunger line, and the labour and employment rights of those who devote all their time to the care services that the welfare state should provide must be improved.
It should be known that both disabled people and those who provide care are kept in conditions of deep hunger and poverty.
The legal employment quotas for disabled people are not fully met in public and private enterprises. While the labour force participation rate in Turkey is 53%, the labour force participation rate of people with disabilities is only 22.1%. For women with disabilities, this rate is 12.5%.
In a country where millions of disabled people are willing to work, the recruitment figures in the public sector are underrepresented.
We find it unacceptable that no disabled employees have been recruited into the public sector through the EKPSS in 2023 and the announced figure of 2392 disabled employees to be recruited by public organisations this year.
We repeatedly point out the high unemployment rate among disabled people and the fact that they are disproportionately affected by the economic crisis. Inflation rates and the prices of essential goods used by disabled people continue to rise every month. Many disabled people are condemned to live below the hunger line.
A comprehensive mobilisation should be launched to reduce unemployment among the disabled. Both the relevant ministry officials and the public are aware that the prices of basic medical supplies, hearing aids, wheelchairs/electric wheelchairs, care materials, medicines and other aids used by disabled people are pegged to foreign currencies and have risen far beyond the announced inflation.
For people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, including people with SSPE, who are immobile, bedridden and in need of care, it is impossible to make a living with the aforementioned "allowances" Those responsible for these systematic violations of rights are those who do not provide enough employment opportunities for disabled people and their families, do not fulfil the legal employment quotas in the public and private sectors and do not offer lasting solutions to the persistent impoverishment.
We reiterate our call for the rights of people with disabilities to be recognised and implemented in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It should be clear that without recognising the accessibility rights of millions of disabled people and implementing comprehensive policies against deep poverty, no progress can be made. Updating disability pensions and preventing disabled people from being crushed by poverty and inflation is our most important demand.

Sincerely announced to the public.