23 Years After War Ended, 8,490 New Applications for War Disability Benefits

Total Croatia News

If only the Croatian economy could achieve similar rates of growth.

In the first five months since the adoption of the Law on Croatian Defenders from the Homeland War, which came into force at the end of December, a total of 8,490 new requests were received for the official recognition of the status of a disabled Croatian war veteran, reports Večernji List on June 25, 2018.

These claims have been submitted on the basis of an illness, deterioration of an illness, or occurrence of an illness as a result of the participation in the defence of the sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia, and they are now being processed and completed in order to be referred for an expert assessment of authorized healthcare institutions.

The Ministry of Veterans Affairs notes that, despite a high number of requests, only 4,239 cases have been completed, meaning that complete medical documentation has been collected for individual applicants. They also point out that the number of requests submitted is in line with expectations and planned financial projections.

Furthermore, the relevant ministry states that the number of applications submitted is also high due to the fact that in the past 12 years veterans could not file claims, as well as that after 1 January 2006. when the previous filing period ended, about 7,000 requests were rejected as being too late. “This means that the latest number also includes some members of the above-mentioned group who have now resubmitted their requests”, said the ministry.

In years after the war, the veteran disability benefits were often given to people not deserving them. In order to prevent this from happening again, the government has this time prescribed a strict and complicated procedure for applicants. They first need an expert assessment from a licensed health institution and will then meet with a panel of experts at the Institute for Professional Rehabilitation.

Many veterans complain about bureaucracy and slowness of the new procedure, and the ministry has announced that it has visited all state administration offices dealing with the issue in order to address the difficulties encountered, which it would continue to do in the future as well.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Renata Rašović).


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