4.6 Access to quality services
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In the middle of 2018, the law on financial incentives for young families purchasing their first home was adopted, the purpose of which is to determine the conditions, procedure and financing of financial incentives for young families purchasing their first home in the regions of Lithuania. This measure applies to young families who purchase their first home in the region of the Republic of Lithuania, in the territory of which the normative value of a unit of real estate area is at least 65 percent lower than the maximum normative value of one square meter of housing in multi-apartment buildings, which is determined and published by the Real Estate Register on its website manager
According to this and other laws, a young family is considered to be one in which each of the spouses or persons who entered into a registered partnership agreement is under the age of 36, as well as a family in which a mother or father, guardian (carer) alone raises one or more children or (and) child(ren) under permanent guardianship (care) and under 36 years of age.
In accordance with the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on support for the purchase or rental of housing, subsidies are provided for the payment of the part of the housing loan that is partially compensated by the state. The amounts of subsidies are as follows:
• for those not raising children - 15 percent;
• those raising 1 child - 20 percent;
• those raising 2 children - 25 percent;
• for those raising 3 or more children - 30 percent.
When the family grows, it is possible to apply for an additional subsidy, but at the time of application, the family must meet the definition of a young family, that is, spouses or one person raising children cannot be older than 36 years old. When a third or more children are born in a family that has received a financial incentive, they can apply for an additional subsidy up to the age of 40 (creditable) (more details here).
The Law of Support for Housing or Rent (Lietuvos Respublikos paramos būstui įsigyti ar išsinuomoti įstatymas) defines the principles of support for housing or rent to individuals and families, sources of funding, forms of support for housing or rent, the rights and duties of the beneficiaries, as well as procedures of renting, purchasing and selling social housing and municipal housing. Subsidies for individuals and families to partially compensat mortgage loan are provided in line with the law of Article 8 where the requirements for beneficiaries are stated i.e. they must: 1) have been left without parental care (care) persons until they reach the age of 35 years, or their families, as well as families with three or more children (adopted children), disabled or families with disabilities; it this case they might apply for 20 per cent state compensated housing credit (or the mortgage balance) ; 2) young families with one or more children (adopted children) and families with one child (adoptive) parents are dead - paid 10 per cent state compensated housing credit (or the mortgage balance).
In 2006 Law on Social Services entered into force. The Law describes the services aimed at providing assistance to a person (family) who, by reason of his age, disability, social problems, partially or completely lacks, has not acquired or has lost the abilities or possibilities to independently care for his private (family) life and to participate in society. According to the Law social services are managed, granted and provided so as to ensure that a person (family) can access social services as close to his place of residence as possible. Therefore, a municipality is in charge of the ensuring of provision of social services to residents of its territory by assessing needs, planning, organising and controlling the quality of social services of general interest and social attendance. The big challenge is carefully establish the person’s (family) need for social services in order to provide adequate services. There are no specific entitlements in this law for young people as a special group. The entitlement to the social services depends upon the assessed need.
There is a health website for young people in Lithuania: https://www.sveikatostinklas.lt/ , where young people can find reliable, systematic, easily accessible and attractive information prepared by experts, aimed at improving health and empowering young people to choose a healthy lifestyle.
The web portal provides information about health services and the possibility of direct counseling of young people through digital media. Through the discussion forums, young people can not only communicate, but the created public access wireless Internet points help to publicize this portal.
Like many other European States Lithuania has put in place the compulsory health insurance system which means that residents of Lithuania are obliged to obtain health insurance coverage (i.e. pay compulsory health insurance contributions). With respect to the insured the State guarantees healthcare services compensated by the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. The principle of solidarity means that the contributions paid by all employed persons, or persons otherwise engaged in active economy activities, as well as the funds of the State budget contribute to the accumulation of the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. The conditions are thus created to pay for the healthcare services provided to the insured from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. The compulsory health insurance is a guarantee for all insured that when needed their healthcare expenses will be compensated from the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, irrespective of the contributions paid by the specific insured individual. The major part of the revenue of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund is represented by the compulsory health insurance contributions paid by the insured and the contributions paid on their behalf.
Health care services specifically designed for young people as a separate group do not exist, however it is evident that based on the principle of solidarity and universality on behalf of weaker members of the society the burden of the compulsory health insurance is borne by socially stronger and economically more active members of the society. The range of persons insured with State funds is fairly broad. Persons insured by the state: 1) persons who receive any type of pension or relief compensation set by laws of the Republic of Lithuania; 2) unemployed persons registered with local labour exchange offices and persons involved in vocational training measures organised by local labour exchange offices, unless they sign an employment contract; 3) unemployed persons of working age who have statutory compulsory state social pension insurance record required for receiving the state social insurance old-age pension; 4) women who are granted a maternity leave and unemployed women during the period of pregnancy 70 days before the child birth (after 28 pregnancy weeks and over) and 56 days after the child birth; 5) one of the parents/adoptive parents raising a child under 8 years of age, one of the guardians providing guardianship for a child under 8 years of age in the family, also one of the parents/adoptive parents raising two or more minor children, one of the guardians/caretakers providing guardianship for/taking care of two or more minor children in the family; 6) persons under the age of 18 years; 7) pupils of general education schools, full-time students of vocational schools, post-secondary and higher education institutions of the Republic of Lithuania, also citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and foreign nationals and stateless persons permanently residing in the Republic of Lithuania, who are full-time students of higher education institutions of the Member States of the European Union; 8) persons supported by the state and provided with a social benefit; 9) one of the parents/adoptive parents, guardian or caretaker nursing at home a person for whom a disability level is established/disabled child or a person who was recognised as having incapacity for work (before 1 July 2005 – a person with disability of category I) before he reached the age of 24, or a person who before he reached the age of 26 was recognised as having incapacity for work (before 1 July 2005 – a person with disability of category I) because of an illness which occurred before he reached the age of 24, or a person who is identified as being in need of permanent nursing (before 1 July 2005 – total disability); 10) persons who have been recognised as disabled in accordance with the procedure laid down by legal acts; 11) persons suffering from publicly dangerous communicable diseases which are included in the list defined by the Ministry of Health; 12) participants of the opposition/resistance – volunteer soldiers, participants of fights for freedom, rehabilitated political prisoners and similar persons, deportees and similar persons, also victims of the events of 13 January 1991 or other events injured while defending Lithuania's independence and statehood; 13) persons who contributed to the post-accident management at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant; 14) former inmates of the ghetto and juvenile prisoners kept at fascist forced confinement places; 15) clergymen of traditional religious associations recognised by the state, students of clergy training schools, novices undergoing monastic formation in novitiates; 16) persons for whom the legal status of participants of the war in Afghanistan is recognised in accordance with the procedure laid down by law; 17) unaccompanied foreign minors; 18) the spouse of the President of the Republic who has not reached the pensionable age and does not have insured income – for the duration of the term of office of the President of the Republic. 19) persons engaged in voluntary hands-on training in accordance with the procedure defined by the Law on Support for Employment.
Social services in Lithuania are fee-paying by a person and also partially financed by the state or municipalities. There are no special financial services for youth as a separate category. The amount to be paid for social services is established taking into consideration the type of the services provided to a person (family) and the financial capability of the person (family (income and asset level). Sources of payment are: a person’s (family’s) income, property in money, funds of the person’s adult children and other earnings. From the 1st of January 2007, after the implementation of new procedure of payment for social services, and pursuant to the methodology for financing social services and calculation of funds, a new procedure of financing social services was applied. Thus currently all social services spring from three main sources: municipal funds, state special targeted grants, allocated to municipalities, and personal contributions paid for social services. This prompted the formation of a mixed social service market and competitive conditions for the social service institutions.
In 2007 the quality system of social services in Lithuania was introduced. Accordingly, social care services should be provided in comply with social care standards. These standards place the major focus on a human right to privacy, preservation of dignity and honour, harmonisation of emotional needs and the environment created for a person, creation of conditions favourable for the self-expression and the development of interests, strengthening of social ties with a community and relatives, etc. In 2009 the Social Care Standards were supplemented with assessment criteria, thereby establishing the assessment of compliance of provided social care with the social care standards, which are carried out by the Social Institutions Supervision and Audit Department under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. The prices of social care services are not regulated in Lithuania, so theoretically the institution can ask quite a high price for services it provides. The quality of the services does not necessarily mean the demand for these services. In practice cheaper services are more favourable. Moreover, what concerns long term care institutions and social families in future they will be obliged to receive licences which will be granted in case the social care is provided in comply with social care standards.
The project "Quality assurance of social services in Lithuania" was launched in 2023. The start of the project implementation - August 18, 2023, the end - January 31, 2029. Organizations providing social services will be able to participate in project training and implement the National Quality Standard from 2025.
The scope of the project - it is planned that 303 organizations will participate in the implementation and/or maintenance of the social service quality standard, of which 80% will successfully implement the social service quality standard and/or successfully complete their participation in the maintenance of the social service quality standard.
The project is financed in the years 2021-2027 by means of the European Union's structural support "European Social Fund +" and in the years 2021-2027 by the co-financing of the European Union's structural support.