In Ukraine, means-tested social assistance is granted predominantly to a family that in the most general case consists of parents and their under-age children. While determining social assistance eligibility, the total family income is taken into account. However, this income may not correctly reflect the well-being of the family, as in the Ukrainian society, multi-family households, i.e. households where several families live together, have some goods in common use and partly or completely share the cost of living, are widespread. Given this, the families with low income but living with better-off relatives can receive benefits, which may result in decreasing social assistance targeting. The report considers several approaches to solving the “family-household problem” and presents the analysis of relevant international experience.
The paper presents an analysis of the current system of household agro-income imputation for the purposes of social assistance granting in Ukraine and provides suggestions for improving the methodology of agro-income assessing. Recommendations are built on the presented in the paper analysis of international experience in assessing household agro-income and on the analysis of its applicability in Ukraine.
In this study we are compiling information on housing assistance policies in Central European countries. This group encompasses the former socialist countries that joined the European Union: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. All of them are transition countries of the same region. They share many similar features with Ukraine, such as the overall level of economic development and the pace of political, social and economic reforms. Therefore, their experience in housing assistance provision may be useful for improving housing subsidies program in Ukraine.
The document provides comprehensive overview of the social security system in the United States: development and the main features of the current system, major types of assistance, eligibility criteria, basic procedures for internal administration and tackling fraud. In addition, programs of involving able-to-work unemployed persons into work activities are described.
The report describes the role of commissions in the Ukraine’s social assistance system. Commissions are formed in order to grant benefits to low-income families and housing subsidies in exceptional cases when an applicant does not meet all the eligibility criteria, but is eligible by income. However, the number of applications satisfied by commissions “as an exception” is too large to be considered an exception, which distorts the procedure of granting benefits. The commissions’ activity is characterized by low efficiency; the cases they consider are of low fraud risk. The paper presents recommendations for increasing efficiency of commission’s work and reconsidering their role in the welfare system.
In the developed countries, household income from the ownership of assets such as equipment, real estate, vehicles, financial assets (bank deposits, shares, etc.) is imputed for charging personal income tax and for granting social assistance. The issue of imputing income from assets is important because households can receive either monetary or in-kind income from asset use; assets can also be converted into cash, if necessary. The paper presents the major ideas for developing methodology of imputing income from assets for the purposes of social assistance granting in Ukraine.
Moldova inherited the soviet system of privileges and compensations like many other former Soviet republics. In 1990s, about one third of the population received privileges. Over 12 years – from 1997 to 2009 – Moldova passed a complex way of re-organizing privileges and compensations and gradually replaced them with targeted cash benefits to low-income families. Currently, the social assistance eligibility is based on the applicant’s income level and the number of scores for property status.
The report describes works performed under the Social Assistance Reform Project in order to enhance social inspector work in Ukraine. The functions, rights and obligations of social inspectors, as well as the problems they face in their daily work, are thoroughly studied. The best practices of tackling fraud in the social assistance system are analyzed and recommendations for combating fraud and improving procedures of benefit applications processing and supervising the applicants are made. Finally, the document presents two practical tools designed to separate trustworthy applicants from suspicious ones, namely, a method of indirect (hybrid) means-testing and scoring method for assessing the applicants’ living conditions.
The Supplement to the Home Inspection Act has been developed in order to introduce a scoring method for assessing living conditions of social assistance applicants. The purpose of the development is to formalize the results of home inspections and to transform qualitative characteristics observed during home inspections into quantitative indicators. As a result of the Supplement application, every inspected household gets a certain number of points, depending on which it will belong to suspicious or unsuspicious. This should help social inspectors in identifying cases of incomplete / inaccurate information on income and property of the applicants.
The Supplement to the Inspection Act, the comments and instructions on how to fill it in are presented.
The report presents an analysis of potential effects of introducing income test for the housing and fuel subsidy applicants. The options of introducing income test at the levels of 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 subsistence minimums per person per month are analyzed. The analysis is based on the results of estimates conducted with the use of 2009 household budget survey data.