Social welfare

Romania

Country Report: Social welfare Last updated: 30/04/21

Author

Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

Beneficiaries of international protection who for objective reasons lack the necessary means of subsistence have the right to receive, upon request and within the limits of the state’s financial resources, a monthly non-reimbursable aid (“aid”) for a maximum period of 12 months.[1] The amount of aid is related to the reference social indicator under the terms and conditions established by Government Decision.[2]

The Integration Ordinance states that to ensure effective access to social rights, the competent authorities take into account the specific situation of the beneficiaries of international protection.[3] New provisions were added by the amendments, stipulating that at IGI’s request, local support teams may be set up to integrate beneficiaries of international protection and other foreigners who have a right of residence in Romania, as well as citizens of the Member States of the European Union, the European Economic Area and citizens of the Swiss Confederation. The local support teams are composed of IGI-DAI, local public administration authorities, public institutions and NGO representatives.[4] Further rules will be published, prescribing how these support teams are established, how they operate and what their responsibilities are.[5]

The timeline for the submission of the application for inclusion in the integration program was prolonged from 30 days to 3 months from the date the international protection was granted, by the amended Integration Ordinance.[6] Another legal provision introduced by the amendment prescribes that NGO representatives may participate at the interview conducted by the integration officer of IGI-DAI with the beneficiary of international protection. The scope of the interview is to establish the type of assistance or activities necessary for the social integration of the applicant.[7]

The duration of integration programmes for beneficiaries of international protection is prolonged from 6 months to 12 months, which may be extended with 6 months.[8]

  1. Conditions for aid

 

The non-refundable financial aid is granted for an initial period of 6 months, with the possibility of extending it to 12 months. In order to receive non-refundable aid, beneficiaries of international protection must be enrolled in the integration programme.[9] However, some groups, referred to as “special cases”, are exempt from the obligation to be enrolled in the programme. The special cases are:[10]

  1. Unaccompanied children;
  2. Persons with disabilities;
  3. Persons who have reached retirement age and do not benefit from retirement;
  4. Pregnant women;
  5. Single-parent families with juvenile children;
  6. Victims of human trafficking;
  7. Victims of torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological or sexual violence.

In 2018, 1,146 beneficiaries of international protection were enrolled in such a programme, of whom 608 continued a programme started in 2017. 10 unaccompanied children beneficiaries of international protection were enrolled in the integration programme in 2018.[11]

In 2019, 793 beneficiaries of international protection were enrolled in the integration programme, of whom 450 started in 2019 while the rest continued the programme started in 2018.[12]

In 2020, 588 beneficiaries of international protection were enrolled in the integration programme and in total there were 1,003 beneficiaries, of which 32 were unaccompanied minors.[13]

The provision of aid is subject to actual residence of the beneficiary, which is mentioned on the Residence Permit. The beneficiary of international protection is included in the integration programme coordinated by the IGI-DAI office territorially competent for the area where he or she resides.[14]

In case a beneficiary would like to change his or her place of residence, he or she has to communicate this intention to IGI-DAI where he or she started the integration programme and has the obligation, within 15 days from the date of moving to the new address, to present him or herself to the IGI-DAI office territorially competent for the area in which he or she now resides or, as the case may be, to the relevant territorial entity of the Aliens Authority, to register him or herself and to make the necessary changes to the identity document.[15]

IGI-DAI reported that 668 applications for non-refundable financial aid were lodged in 2020.[16]

  1. Application procedure for aid

The authority responsible for granting the non-refundable aid is the County Agency for Payments and Social Inspection (AgențiaJudețeanăpentruPlățișiInspecțieSocială,AJPIS). The funds necessary for granting aid are provided from the budget of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection through the Agency for Payments and Social Inspection of the County.[17]

The application for non-refundable aid is drafted individually by each beneficiary of international protection who fulfils the conditions set out in the law or by his or her legal representative or guardian, according to a template established by IGI.[18]This requirement raises issues in practice for unaccompanied children in Bucharest. An unaccompanied child beneficiary of international protection may not access non-refundable financial aid due to the fact that he was not appointed a legal representative by DGASPC, since the legal representative only assists unaccompanied asylum-seeking children during the asylum procedure and not after they are granted a form of protection.

According to the integration officer in Stolnicu Regional Centre, unaccompanied children who are granted a form of protection are left without a legal representative. Within 15 days children should be taken over by DGASPC. However, in reality they remain in the regional centre, without a legal representative. IGI-DAI submits the application for state legal aid for children, but the decision of appointment of legal representative is required in order to receive this aid. Therefore children are not receiving this financial aid for children. As for the non-refundable aid, if children are 15-16 years old they may sign the application for this aid.

AIDRom reported that in Timișoara, unaccompanied children are taken over by DGASPC and are represented by the social worker/case manager within DGASPC Timișoara. In Bucharest, there are still difficulties because the legal representative usually does not sign other documents than those related to asylum procedure.[19]

In Giurgiu it was also reported that in some cases the legal representative refused to sign the necessary documents in order for the unaccompanied minor to access his or her rights, especially where the minors were accommodated in the regional centre.

Children have access to the financial aid only when they are 18. Until then, the money is collected in an account on behalf of the beneficiary. Upon leaving the centre, the child will live in a DGASPC centre, and the director of the centre becomes the legal representative of the child.[20]

According to the AIDRom representative in Timișoara, unaccompanied children benefit from the state child allowance and non-refundable financial aid only if they are accommodated in an emergency residential centre of DGASPC or if they are appointed a legal representative. When unaccompanied children were not appointed a legal representative, who would have to sign the processing of personal data agreement for them according to the General Data Protection Regulation, NGOs could no longer assist them. Between 2017 and 2019, AIDRom had 3 cases of unaccompanied minors who did not benefit from the abovementioned financial aid and other benefits since no legal representative had been appointed. IGI-DAI does not keep statistics on the number of unaccompanied children beneficiaries of international protection who received the non-refundable financial aid.[21]

In practice, the application is made within 3 months of the date of granting international protection, with an NGO’s assistance. IGI-DAI forwards the file of the beneficiary to the AJPISfor review. The application must be accompanied by the decision granting international protection, the temporary residence permit, as well as a certificate attesting the registration in the integration programme issued by the territorially competent IGI-DAI office.[22]

In order to establish the right to aid, the AJPIS makes a social investigation within 10 days from the receipt of the application to confirm that the applicant lacks the necessary means of subsistence.[23] The Executive Director of the AJPIS approves granting the financial aid, starting with the following month in which the application was registered with the territorial agency, on the basis of the documents submitted by IGI-DAI.[24] Until the first month of payment of the aid, beneficiaries who have no means of subsistence shall receive from IGI-DAI material aid equal to the amount granted to asylum seekers, within the limits of available funds, but no more than three months.[25] In 2020, 588 beneficiaries of international protection benefited from this material aid.[26]

IGI-DAI reviews the situation of each beneficiary of aid, twice a year, depending on the active participation of the person in the activities stipulated in the individual integration plan and submits to the competent AJPIS proposals for extending the period of granting, suspending or terminating the payment of aid.[27]

No problems to obtain financial aid were reported in Şomcuta Mare, Galaţi, Rădăuţi, Bucharest.

Beneficiaries of international protection who participate in the integration programme, who do not meet the conditions for receiving non-refundable financial aid and who have no means of subsistence, are supported in order to fulfil the legal conditions for obtaining the minimum guaranteed income.[28]

Beneficiaries of international protection also have the right to benefit from social insurance, social assistance measures and social health insurance, under the conditions provided by the law for Romanian citizens.[29]

 

 

 

[1]        Article 20(1)(m) Asylum Act.

[2]        Ibid.

[3]        Article 14^1(1) Integration Ordinance.

[4]        Article 14^1(2) Integration Ordinance.

[5]        Article 14^1(3) Integration Ordinance.

[6]        Article 16 Integration Ordinance.

[7]        Article 17(1) (2) Integration Ordinance.

[8]        Artcile 20 integration Ordinance.

[9]        Article 60(1) Asylum Decree.

[10]       Article 33(2) Integration Ordinance.

[11]       Information provided by IGI-DAI, 5 March 2019.

[12]       Information provided by IGI-DAI, 20 February 2020.

[13]       Information provided by IGI-DAI, 16 February 2021.

[14]       Article 60(1) Asylum Decree.

[15]       Article 52(2) Asylum Decree.

[16]       Information provided by IGI-DAI, 16 February 2021.

[17]       Article 20(5) Asylum Act.

[18]       Article 60(2) Asylum Decree.

[19]       Information provided by AIDRom, 3 March 2021.

[20]       Information provided by IOM Romania, 18 November 2019.

[21]       Information provided by IGI-DAI, 5 March 2019.

[22]       Article 60(2)-(3) Asylum Decree.

[23]       Article 60(5) Asylum Decree.

[24]       Article 60(4) Asylum Decree.

[25]       Article 22(3) Integration Ordinance.

[26]       Information provided by IGI-DAI, 16 February 2021.

[27]       Article 60(6) Asylum Decree.

[28]       Article 22(1) Integration Ordinance.

[29]       Article 20(1)(g) Asylum Act.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation