Disabled in Beijing to get higher subsidies

13:21, December 31, 2010      

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The 109,900 people with disabilities in the capital will receive an annual total of 215 million yuan (32.5 million U.S. dollars) in living subsidies from the New Year, according to the Beijing Disabled Persons' Federation (BDPF).

"We want to make sure people with disabilities can also benefit from the capital's rapid development," BDPF's vice-president Wu Xuewen was quoted as saying by Friday's China Daily.

According to the new policy, people with Beijing hukou (residency permits) who receive minimum living allowances from the civil affairs departments will receive an extra monthly subsidy of 100 yuan from BDPF.

The plan also targets disabled women aged 16 to 55, and men aged 16 to 60, who are unemployed or without steady incomes and are excluded from receiving civil affairs departments' financial assistance.

People with mild disabilities will receive 100 yuan a month.

The policy also stipulates that BDPF will assist severely disabled people according to their hukou types. Rural residents will qualify for 480 yuan a month and urbanites can receive 300 yuan a month.

Perhaps nobody can better testify as to how the government's policies benefit people living with disabilities than Jiang Donghuan, who got a triple shot of good news in 2010.

The 42-year-old Beijing resident has been confined to bed for 28 years since she was paralyzed by rheumatoid arthritis.

Life was hard for Jiang, whose chronic disease caused incessant physical pain. She lived off 1,040 yuan a month, which she received for relocation compensation, she said.

"My husband can't go out to get a job, because my health condition requires 24-hour care," she said.

"And we must pay 700 yuan in rent for a small apartment in Fengtai district."

But life started to look up for the impoverished family after the government provided a 35-square-meter apartment with a 54-yuan monthly rent in January.

In July, Jiang gave birth to a healthy boy, who is being cared for by her mother-in-law.

Nearly 350,000 disabled people had registered with BDPF by the end of November.

Municipal authorities have introduced a series of welfare policies to help people deal with the soaring cost of living.

The capital's minimum salary will reach 1,160 yuan a month next year, a 21-percent increase over the present 960 yuan, according to the Beijing municipal bureau of human resources and social security.

In addition, 210 yuan will be added to enterprise retirees' basic pensions, and unemployment benefits will increase by 120 yuan in Beijing.

Source: Xinhua
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