Personal Assistance Legislation in Italy

Raffaello Belli reports on various pieces of Italian legislation applying to payment of personal assistance for people with disabilites. Internet publication URL: www.independentliving.org/docs1/belli1998.html.

According to legislation from 11 February 1980, No. 18, (in Italian: http://pc-belli.idg.fi.cnr.it/vipdn/80N00180.htm) people with severe disabilities may be entitled to "indennità di accompagnamento". This is an allowance of about $475 U.S. a month and the user directly pays the personal assistant(s) of his/her choice. With this money it is possible to have 50-60 hours of personal assistance a month.

The main law regarding people with disabilities in Italy is from 5 February 1992, No. 104 (in Italian: http://pc-belli.idg.fi.cnr.it/vipdn/92N01040.htm):

  • Paragraph 5.1.e) rules that users must be able to choose from among various ways of receiving assistance
  • Paragraph 5.1.e) rules that local authorities may provide personal assistance.

In article No. 104, paragraph 9.2.l-ter) was added by law on 21 May 1998. Article No. 162 rules that regional authorities may issue rules in order to make local authorities able to give direct payments for independent living; some funds are provided by national government to regional authorities for this purpose. This means that people with disabilities may receive these funds only if regional authorities issue such rules. Nowadays, as far as I know, the only regional authority, which issued rules, is "Regione Toscana" (regional law 3 October 1997, No. 72, at: http://pc-belli.idg.fi.cnr.it/legiregi/lrto9772.htm). Where I live, people with severe disabilities who ask for direct payments receive about $300-500 U.S. a month. This equals about 35-65 hours a month of personal assistance.

The money from laws No. 18 and No. 104 may be added. If one is entitled to receive the money there is a difference: money from law No. 18 is paid from a national board and is a legal right - that is, it may not be said that there is a lack of funding. The money from laws No. 104 (and law No. 162) are paid by local authorities, but is not a legal right - that is, payments might be stopped because lack of funding. Thus, people with severe disabilities may have 3-4 hours a day of personal assistance with direct payments.

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