To the mentally ill person has been interrupted the disability payment he has been receiving for many years because only few months ago the physicians have evaluated that he was capable to guard the hens. The director of the Social Service in Vlora, Ines Stasa, denies the interruption of the payment by declaring that the ill person has been re-commissioned.
By Endrit Habilaj
It looks like an absurd and unheard story, but in the coastal city of Vlora, the social aid was interrupted to a mentally ill person because the psychiatrists have evaluated him being mentally capable as he could take care of the hens. We are referring here to the 32 year old man Fatmir Mikaj, who for 22 years has been receiving the social aid for being mentally ill, at a time that the payment for the caretaker was received from his mother, who living in an extreme poverty was feeding with this payment her ill son. The 32 year old and ill man, Fatmir Mukaj, results to be declared as mentally incapable since 22 years ago and since his childhood he has not attended the preschool and school education and the military service as well. The 32 year old man was expelled due to his illness. The Association of the Journalists for Justice possesses the certification from the Ministry of Defense where the mentally ill man is stated to have been expelled from the military service.
To Mukaj family from Sevaster commune of Vlora district the problems with the State Social Service started since May 2014, when to the 70 year old mother of Fatmir, Fatime Mukaj was firstly removed the caretaking for her son by interrupting this way the payment given to her by the KEMP. With her eyes full of tears, the elderly lady says that her son needs to have a caretaker as he cannot carry all his personal needs. “I am today alive, tomorrow I will die, and who will serve to my son? My husband died some years ago and I live only with him. There is nobody else to take care of Fatmir. It is me now, but in the future he will need a caretaker. Who is going to pay for his caretaking? He will remain alone in crossed roads”, expresses the elderly woman, Fatime Mukaj.
Certification on non carrying out the military service from the ill person
As if it was not enough the removal of the caretaking payment to the mother of Fatmir, in October the next misfortune to Mukaj family was the interruption of the aid given by KEMP for the mentally ill person. The absurdity does not recognize limits as the physicians declare the 32 year old man after 22 years as being able to guard the hens of his mother in their dwelling in Sevaster commune.
The mentally ill person has been re-commissioned again and the Vlora KEMP has decided to remove him the invalidity payment under the pretext that the ill person generates incomes from the guarding of the hens in the village. To verify this entire phenomenon, the Association of the Journalists for Justice has at its disposal the medical report of the psychiatrist Laureta Selimaj where it is written: “The patient knows that he lives in a private house and he guards the hens”. Based on this medical report, the KEMP has re-commissioned the mentally ill person considering him able to work.
The Association of the Journalists for Justice contacted an expert on the field of psychiatry to learn more about this concerning phenomenon. The psychiatrist Fatime Elezi, being at the same time the chair of the KEMP in Tirana region, is expressed that the level of the mental disorder is defined based on four fields that according to her are:”The activities of the daily life; difficulties on pertaining the social functions; deficits in concentration, in the insistence to perform the duties on time; deterioration episodes- when the person withdraws from the normal social situation. The people that benefit the second group of invalidity payment do not mean that they are irresponsible for the actions they do, hence they could also be people with a slight mental disorder”, expresses the psychiatrist Fatime Elezi.
The mother of the mentally ill young man expresses that her son cannot fulfill his personal needs and how can it be thought that the 32 year old man has his daily life activities or to be responsible for the actions he undertakes. The physician Fatime Elezi expresses that in order to validate a mentally ill person a psychiatrist must follow his mental health since the very beginning of his disorder and on. So, for 22 years in succession Fatmir Mukaj was declared to be mentally incapable, whereas in 2014 the psychiatrist Laureta Selimaj, comes to the absurd conclusion that the mentally ill person is in good health conditions to take care of the hens.
Fatime Mukaj, the mother of the mentally ill person
Investigim.al contacted the director of the State Social Service for Vlora region, Ines Stasa, who at the very beginning expressed her readiness to follow up the case of the Mukaj family. Stasa expressed that the mentally ill person has been re-commissioned and that only his bimonthly payment was interrupted, at a time that she denied the total removal of the payment for Fatmir. “Fatmir Mukaj has been examined by three psychiatrists of the Psychiatric Hospital of Vlora town and according to the rules he has been commissioned again. The physicians that have diagnosed his health condition have decided to pass him on the second group by giving him 9750 leke per month”, says Ines Stasa. But the proofs and the facts are incontrovertible, as the medical report possessed by investigim.al shows that Fatmir Mukaj has been examined only by one psychiatrist who is Laureta Selimaj, and the later has concluded that the 32 year old man ‘is mentally capable to take care of the hens’ by even advising that the ill person is now in good mental health. The ability to guard the hens cannot be considered a profession and neither the labor Code can classify it as a job that generates incomes.
Investigim.al contacted again the director of the Social Service in Vlora, Ines Stasa to get any solution to this problem. She said that she has contacted the social administrator, the responsible person who carries out the payments and she has received the confirmation that they have not interrupted the social aid to Fatmir Mukaj. Stasa repeated the fact that the mentally ill person was re-commissioned by classifying him in the second group, whereas in a very strange way she declared that the ill person can complain about the decision of KEMP. After the response given by the Director of the State Social Service in Vlora, investigim.al contacted again the Mukaj family, who had gone to the regional directorate of KEMP to be interested on the payment. The answer given to them by the above mentioned institution was that the mentally ill person, who had received the social aid for 22 years, was not benefiting it any more. In such a situation it is clearly understood that out of all this mega scandal between the institution of the State Social Service and KEMP was played a ping pong game of responsibilities, where the only one that was directly affected was the Mukaj family.
The mayor of the Sevaster commune, Kujtim Sinani, where the Mukaj family lives, being contacted via telephone from the Association of Journalists for Justice confirms the disability of Fatmir Mukaj since his childhood and the economic difficulties of his family as well, adding that this is a case that cannot be solved out by the commune but from the State Social Service. But the director of the Vlora State Social Service says that the government has started a cleansing campaign for all the illegal beneficiaries because there was abused with the social aid payment for many years. “There have been identified discrepancies in the documentation of the previous year that is why, we, as a regional office will identify the responsible people after consulting on the legal violations that have taken place for years”, declares Stasa. But is seems that under the tendency to remove as many as possible beneficiaries of the social payments, the Vlora State Social Service has eliminated real beneficiaries as well, even if it is against the law. The case of Mukaj family is a non precedent case as now without the economic aid the 70 year old woman and her mentally ill son are destined to live in extreme poverty.
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