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Long-term care and the situation of social workers

Country

Hungary

The responsible body for overall management of social worker activities in the country

Ministry of Health and Welfare

Long-term care

Basic principles

There is no separate long-term care system; the long-term care services are supplied within the healthcare and social service system.
Professional policies (and basic principles) pertaining to long-term care are shaped by the Ministry of National Resources (Nemzeti Erőforrás Minisztérium).

In case of long-term care services, personal social care (social services) is provided according to the Social Act by the state and local governments. The local governments are responsible for organising the services.

(Besides local governments NGOs and Churches can also provide services, but only the local government has an obligation to provide these services).

Long-term care services are based on social assistance and financed by the state budget. Both cash benefits and benefits in kind are provided.

Long-term care

Field of application

·    Elderly persons

·    People with disabilities

·    Psychiatric patients

·    Persons with addictions

·    Homeless persons

Organisation of Long-term care

Informal caregivers and professional providers

There are many informal caregivers who are taking care of their family members, friends etc. For their care work they can receive cash benefit (nursing fee) from the state, like nursing fee (Ápolási díj) is payable to persons who provide long-term care to family members who are disabled or under 18 years of age and permanently ill. In the case of persons with severe disabilities, the amount of assistance is 100% of the basic amount (alapösszeg) defined by the Act on the Central Budget (2011. évi CLXXXVIII. törvény Magyarország 2012. évi költségvetéséről), while in the case of persons with severe disabilities in need of intensive care it is 130%.

Professional providers in case of long-term care services providing personal social care (social services): the state, the local governments, churches and NGOs. They employ mostly professional carers, so care in services is provided by professionals.

Long-term care

Benefits for the carer

Nursing fee (Ápolási díj) is paid to the carer (not to the person in need of care) - the carer has to be a family member.
In the case of persons with severe disabilities, the amount of assistance is 100% of the basic amount (alapösszeg) defined by the Act on the Central Budget (2011. évi CLXXXVIII. törvény Magyarország 2012. évi költségvetéséről), while in the case of persons with severe disabilities in need of intensive care it is 130%.
In 2011 the basic amount is HUF29,500 (€103) per month.
The amount of the cash benefit (nursing fee) does not cover the full costs of the carer; rather it tries to compensate her/him for the lost income.

According to the Labour Act (Act XXII of 1992 on the Labour Code), those who are taking care of their relatives can take unpaid leave for a maximum duration of 2 years.

Long-term care

User charges

In case of long-term care services providing personal social care (social services):

- The beneficiaries shall contribute to the costs of services provided (co-payment).

- The amount of the co-payment (determined individually) must not be higher than a certain percentage of the income (maximum rate of charge differs according to services).

- The amount shall be paid on a monthly basis. Services are provided free of charge in case the beneficiary does not have an income (besides that, in the case of elderly homes: does not have a property), and does not have any relative who would be responsible and able to fulfil his/her obligation to support and care for the beneficiary.