Ukraine

Protection Cluster Fact Sheet - March 2016 [EN/RU/UK]

Attachments

Suspension of Social and Pension Payments to IDPs

BACKGROUND

  • On 16 February the Ministry of Social Policy (MoSP) issued a letter ordering all MoSP regional offices to suspend social payments for IDPs until their residence address is verified either by the State Migration Services of Ukraine, or by personally visiting Department of Social Protection (DoSP). There is however no procedure for such a verification and it is not stipulated by current legislation, which makes it impossible to comply with.

  • The process followed to establish the lists of IDPs whose payments are suspended is not known. No official explanation has been received so far despite requests from international and national organizations requesting clarification.

  • Based on information collected by protection partners, the lists include:

    • Registered displaced persons who have not applied for permit to cross the line of contact;
    • Persons who are known to have crossed the line of contact for an extended period of time.
  • Per a statement made by the Chief of Security Service of Ukraine1 on 25 February 2016, bank cards and civil registration data may also have been used in identifying persons. Lists have not been made public and there is no individual notification so IDPs do not know if they are, or not, on these lists. Based on information collected in the field, it is reported that these lists include displaced people living in Government Controlled Areas (GCA) and who have never moved back to Non-Government Controlled Area (NGCA), therefore creating unnecessary anxiety and time consuming verification process.

  • To date, and based on available information, lists have only been prepared for displaced persons registered in Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Zaporizha oblasts. Estimates of the number of persons affected vary widely. The office of the Ombudsman has estimated that as many as 500,000 persons may be affected, though this is not confirmed.

  • The types of benefits that have been suspended include benefits paid to displaced persons under CoM 505 but other types of social benefits including pensions (which are not linked to displacement) have been suspended as well.

  • In Kharkiv region, these measures have led to the suspension of all social payments (whether IDP benefits or payment of pensions outside of IDP registration). Implementation varies widely between different branches and between the oblasts. Payments are suspended for 97,000 in Kharkiv. As a consequence, suspension has led to the cancelation of 22,000 IDP certificates in Kharkiv.

  • The Pension Fund in Luhansk oblast has already suspended paying pensions to 47% of IDP pensioners registered in the Government Controlled part of the oblast.