Iceland - Article 28

I - The resources and income of disabled people.

  1. Are there specific legislative procedures for disabled people to enable them to have a minimum of resources ?
  2. Do laws exist in your country to enable a minimum of resources for people who become disabled during their working lives ?

II - Disability compensation.

I –THE RESOURCES AND INCOME OF DISABLED PEOPLE.

A) An average of 70% of blind and seriously partially-sighted people of working age are unemployed. Are there specific legislative procedures for disabled people in your country to enable them to have a minimum of resources?

Yes

  • If yes: what are these allowances?

The two principle acts which had long governed the disability pension system are the Social Security Act (Lög um almannatryggingar No. 117/1993: English http://eng.velferdarraduneyti.is/media/acrobat-enskar_sidur/Social_Security_Act_100_2007.pdf (External link) ) and the Social Assistance Act (Lög um félagslega aðstoð 118/1993: English http://eng.velferdarraduneyti.is/media/acrobat-enskar_sidur/Social-Assistance-Act-No-99-2007-as-amended.pdf (External link) ).  These acts were recently reissued and, combined with a number of amendments made over the years, are now known as the Social Security Act No.100/2007 (In Icelandic, Lög um almannatryggingar nr. 100/2007): English: http://www.althingi.is/english/elections/constituencies-/

and the Social Assistance Act No.99/2007 (In Icelandic, Lög um félagslega aðstoð nr. 99/2007): English: https://eng.velferdarraduneyti.is/media/acrobat-enskar_sidur/Social-Assistance-Act-No-99-2007-as-amended.pdf

Give specific details of the following aspects:

 

  • 1 Criteria of eligibility
  1. Age.

    - Minimum: 18
    - Maximum: 67

  2. Level of disability.
    Those who have a medically recognized disability or disease
  3. Nationality.
    Icelandic
  4. Conditions of residence in the country.
    Those who have resided in Iceland for 3 years.

 

  • 2 Financial conditions.
  1. Ceiling.
    - Is the allowance means-tested?

    Yes

    - If YES, does the ceiling take into account the family situation of the person?

    Yes

    - If YES, give details.

    The parent or parents who receive a disability pension are also entitled to receive a supplement for each dependent child (barnalífeyrir) they support up to the age of 18. The Barnalífeyrir is 29.469 ISK = € 208 a month per child.

  2. Calculation of financial conditions.

    - If the allowance is means-tested, state under what conditions.

    It is important to note as well that there are a number of restrictions and reductions built into the system. First, there is a structured divide between those who are evaluated as ‘fully disabled' (75%) and those who are not (50–74%). The financial implications for the latter category are quite significant, as they are ineligible for a full pension.

    These pensions and supplements are also means tested, as income from waged labour or contributory pension schemes (lífeyrissjóður) are considered in the calculations. There are also income caps placed upon the pensions.

  • 3 Amount of the allowance.
  1. Normal rate.

    - What is the amount of the allowance given to people with no other income, state briefly how the allowance varies according to other income or resources.
     

    As per the disability pension system, there are essentially two classifications of recipients: those who receive a full pension (a rating of 75%, who are referred to as ‘disability pensioners'  – örorkulífeyrisþegar), and those whose impairments are not considered as severe and receive a rating of 50–74%. The latter receive a much less generous ‘disability allowance' (örorkustyrkur) which is 29.469 or € 208 a month.

     

    The maximum amount of the disability basic pension allowance (Grunnlífeyrir) as per 2016 is ISK 39.862 or € 281 a month. On top of the basic pension is included a pension supplement (tekjutrygging) which is ISK 127.652 kr. or € 900 a month. This is paid to full disability pension recipients (75%). Another important supplement is the household supplement (heimilisuppbót) which is ISK 37.071 or € 262 a month paid to those who live alone. Further, there is also a fairly recent age-related pension supplement (aldurstengd örorkuuppbót) based upon the age at which one applies to the pension system which is ISK 39.862 or € 281 a month.

    Benefit Per Month Per Year
    Disability basic Pension  (Tekjutrygging) ISK 39.862 (€ 281) ISK 478.344 (€ 3378)
    Age-related supplement (Aldurstengd örorkuuppbót 100%) ISK 39.862 (€ 281) ISK 47/.344 (€ 3378)
    Pension supplement (Tekjutrygging) ISK 127.652  (€ 900) ISK 1.531.824 (€ 10.816)
    Household supplement (Heimilisuppbót) ISK 37.071 (€ 262) ISK 444.852 (€ 3141)
    Maximum amount ISK 244.447(€ 1080) ISK 2.933.364 (€ 20.712)

  2. Reduction of the allowance.

    Those whose incomes exceed a certain amount (frítekjumark) begin to see a reduction in their pensions. As of January 2016, reductions are implemented should an individual pensioner's income exceed ISK 214.602 or € 1514 a month. An individual is completely ineligible for a pension should one's income exceed a cut-off point (núllmark) of ISK 374.050 or € 2369 a month.

    - State briefly under what circumstances the allowance may be reduced.

    It is indeed a rare situation for disability pensioners to receive the maximum amount. For example, a close examination of one table entitled Number of recipients with unreduced pensions and allowances 2014 (Tafla 1.14 Fjöldi lífeyrisþega með óskertan lífeyri og tengdar greiðslur 2014), reveals that in 2014 only 21,6 % of all pensioners received unreduced pension supplements (tekjutrygging) (as a percentage of total elderly, disability and rehabilitation pensioners). Further, the household supplement (heimilisuppbót) is solely intended for those who live alone and is never received by those who cohabitate.

  • 4 Minimum wage and “poverty line”.

- In order to compare the situation in different EBU member states, please indicate the minimum wage (if this exists in your country) for a full-time worker, and what is considered to be “the poverty line”.

The minimum wage is 245.000 ISK = € 1729 in May 2015.

  • 5 Payment of the allowance.

 - What are the organisations which calculate and attribute the allowance?

The disability pension system is administered by the Social Insurance Administration of Iceland (Tryggingastofnun ríkisins). It is now supervised by the Ministry of Welfare (Velferðarráðuneytið).

  • 6 Tax treatment of allowances and fringe benefits.
  1. Tax. Is the benefit subject to tax?

    YES

    Fjöldi lífeyrisþega með óskertan lífeyri og tengdar greiðslur

    Disability pensions had been tax free in the period from  1998 to 1996, but have since had to bear an increasing tax load which erodes the value of these pensions (Ólafsson retrieved July, 2011). 

  2. Fringe benefits. Does this allowance accord any fringe benefits?
    Yes.

    There are also a number of smaller benefits available to disability pensioners, such as discount cards for pharmaceuticals, as well as additional support for specific individuals who meet certain medical and economic criteria, such as assistance to buy and maintain a vehicle.

B) Do laws exist in your country to enable a minimum of resources for people who become disabled during their working lives?

Yes

  • If yes : what is the name of the allowance ?

It is the same disability pension seen above.

Specify by giving details of the following aspects:

see above

  • 2 Means test.

n/a

  • 3 Amount of the allowance.

In generally it is the same as described above.  The age-related pension supplement (aldurstengd örorkuuppbót) depends on the age at which one applies to the pension system. The earlier one gets the pension the higher the amount is and the maximum is ISK 39.862 or € 281 a month.

  • 4 Attribution, payment of the allowance.

- Who attributes the allowance: State, local government, others, give details.

This pension supplement is paid by the Social Insurance Administration of Iceland (Tryggingastofnun ríkisins) as all the other pensions.

  • 5 Tax treatment of allowances and fringe benefits.
  1. Tax. Is the benefit subject to tax?
    Yes
  2. Fringe benefits. Does this allowance accord fringe benefits?
    No

II – DISABILITY COMPENSATION.

A visual disability (blindness or serious loss of sight) entails additional costs which must be met. Is there a specific allowance in your country to compensate for these costs?

Yes

According to a Regulation No 233/2010 based on the Law  on Service and Information Center for the Blind, Visually impaired and the Deafblind No. 160/2008 the Center provides assistive technology for all age groups based on the ISO 9999:2007, a classification of assistive products especially produced, or generally available, for persons with disability.

  • If yes, give the name of this allowance and reply to the following questions.

According to a Regulation No 233/2010 based on the Law  on Service and Information Center for the Blind, Visually impaired and the Deaf blind No. 160/2008 the Center provides assistive technology for all age groups based on the ISO 9999:2007, a classification of assistive products especially produced, or generally available, for persons with disability.

Aid and devices are lent to blind and visually impaired users without any cost.

  • 1 Eligibility conditions.
  1. Age.

    - Minimum: 0

    - Maximum: no limit

    - Duration of the allowance.

  2. Degree of disability.
    Less than 10 % vision for partially sighted, no usable vision for blind people.
  3. Nationality.

  4. Conditions of residence in the country.

  5. Other conditions, give details.
  • 2 Financial conditions.

  • 3 Amount of the allowance.

- What is the amount of the allowance?

 N/A

  • 4 Attribution and payment of the allowance.

- Which organisations attribute and pay the allowance:
State, local authorities, please give details.

  • 5 Payment of the allowance.
  • 6 Reduction of the allowance.

- State briefly under what conditions the allowance can be reduced.

  • 7 Tax system of the allowance and fringe benefits.
  1. Tax system.
    Is the allowance subject to tax?

    no
  2. Fringe benefits.
    Does the allowance offer fringe benefits?

    no


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