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Monday, December 4, 2023

ZUS, disability pension. Mr. Michał is permanently disabled, but has a temporary pension. He’s fighting for his life

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Michał has a permanent disability, which he constantly has to prove – show that his condition has not improved. Otherwise, he will not receive the pension he needs, for example to buy the bags he needs to do his business. This means a dramatic fight for life.

Michał Cybulski is 23 years old and is permanently disabled due to genetic defects. His intestines are not fully developed and he struggles with everything that comes with it. He is fed parenterally. He has to relieve himself in bags. – I should probably have a second stoma, because I have stones that are renewed so much every three months that the pain simply brings me to the ground floor and I am not able to function normally – says the man.

Michał is unable to function normally also because ZUS stopped paying him a pension two months ago, and this is his only source of income. Now he has no money and no insurance, because the pension is also insurance. – A bag costs a thousand zlotys and I simply have one last bag at home. Now I have to get this insurance as soon as possible, otherwise I won’t live. I can’t survive without this bag for more than a week. Maybe eight days, maybe ten, and I will simply die – emphasizes Michał Cybulski.

ZUS explains that Mr. Michał stopped receiving the pension because his previous five-year periodic pension expired. The officials granted him a periodic pension, although it is known that he must receive it for the rest of his life. A periodic pension is awarded to someone who is temporarily unable to work, and this problem does not arise here. – I will not go into the matters of the certifying doctor, because he is a specialist – says Paweł Żebrowski, press spokesman for the Social Insurance Institution Headquarters.

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Letter from ZUS to retirees and pensioners. “This is not a party campaign, only an information campaign”Arleta Zalewska/Fakty TVN

Official blockade

Michał Cybulski was cared for by doctors from the Children’s Health Center from birth to adulthood. – He is not a able-bodied boy or man, so this defect he has is incurable, therefore nothing positive will happen, he requires constant highly specialized care – explains Professor Janusz Książek, head of the Department of Pediatrics, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases at the “Pomnik” Institute. -Children’s Health Center.

Mr. Michał cannot work normally because due to short bowel syndrome and parenteral nutrition, he often develops sepsis and is regularly admitted to hospital. Each such case is a fight for life. – A year ago I was in the ICU for half a year, I was resuscitated three times and I was not given a chance to live – adds Michał Cybulski. ZUS is not interested in this. Mr. Michał must reapply for the pension and provide new documents proving that he is disabled.

However, ZUS has documents from 2018 which show that the patient is permanently disabled. – Those documents were taken into account in 2018, when you applied for this pension – says Paweł Żebrowski. In order to apply for a new pension now, which Michał did not do before for family reasons, the man must provide a certificate from a doctor. He no longer has insurance, so the doctor does not want to issue him a certificate for free. Eight years ago, the PiS government announced that all Poles would be able to receive treatment without insurance. That’s where the announcement ended.

Main photo source: Fakty TVN

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