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Working paper

Социальная политика в сфере защиты прав инвалидов в России

In the paper, we trace the evolution of the institutions of social support for disabled people in Russia from 1990 onwards and develop periodization based on changes in the legislation in the spheres of disability status and pensions assignment. The paper focuses on four dimensions of regulation and social policy: disability status assignment, disability benefi ts, employment protection and non-cash benefi ts. Our analysis reveals that the disability rate depends not only on objective health conditions of the population, but it is also shaped by institutional factors. Over the period, changes in disability legislation were followed by changes in the number of the disabled, their distribution among disability groups, and their employment rate. We show that extensive use of non-cash benefi ts during the economic downturn of the 1990s boosted the growth in the number of disabled people. The use of “remaining earning capacity” as the key criterion for assignment of disability benefi ts led to an increase in disability claims among the elderly and to a decline of employment among the disabled. Weak enforcement of employment quotas and of requirements concerning creation of specialized working places limits the effi ciency of employment policies for disabled people.