Applying for the allowance for the severely disabled (RPGH)

Persons of legal age who are unable to undertake gainful employment owing to the severity of their disability may, in certain cases, be eligible to receive the allowance for the severely disabled (revenu pour personnes gravement handicapées - RPGH).

This allowance is subject to certain legal conditions, which are outlined below.

Who is concerned

Anyone residing in Luxembourg who has a disability that prevents them from undertaking gainful employment can apply for the RPGH.

Prerequisites

To receive the severely disabled allowance, applicants must:

  • be 18 years old at the time of the application;
  • exhibit, before the age of 65, at least a 30-percent reduction in work capacity on account of:
    • a physical, mental, sensory or psychological impairment; and/or
    • psychosocial difficulties that aggravate the impairment;
  • exhibit a state of health such that:
    • any work effort is contraindicated; or
    • their working skills are so reduced that it is impossible to adapt a job to their needs, whether in an ordinary or a sheltered work environment;
  • have obtained the right to reside in Luxembourg, and be domiciled and actually reside there;
  • receive an income that is less than the RPGH.

How to proceed

Filing an application

Applicants must contact the secretariat of the Medical Commission (Commission médicale) of the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi – ADEM) to:

  • receive an application form; and
  • acquaint themselves with the formalities for receiving the severely disabled allowance.

The application form must be duly completed, dated and signed and, together with the required supporting documents, sent by email to the secretariat of the Medical Commission at: commissionmedicale@adem.etat.lu.

Supporting documents

Applicants must include the following with their application:

  • a birth certificate (or equivalent document) establishing that the applicant is at least 18 years of age at the time of the application;
  • a recent detailed medical report, issued by the relevant attending physician(s), indicating:
    • that the impairment was acquired before the age of 65;
    • the presumed causes of the incapacity for work;
    • details of their state of health and of the foreseeable evolution of their state of health (if applicable);
  • a certificate of nationality or equivalent (for example: a copy of their ID card or passport);
  • documents attesting to the capacity of their legal representative (if the applicant needs representation in their legal actions);
  • a residence certificate dated within the last 3 months, issued by the commune of residence, stating that the applicant is domiciled there and actually lives there;
  • proof of the right to reside in Luxembourg for more than 3 months (if the applicant is a national of an EU Member State, a state that is a signatory to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, or the Swiss Confederation);
  • proof that they have been residing in Luxembourg for at least 5 years in the last 20 years (if the applicant is a national of a State other than those listed above).
    Note: this residency requirement does not apply to the family members of Luxembourg nationals or nationals of other EU or EEA Member States or the Swiss Confederation, regardless of their nationality.

The application must be accompanied by a recent and detailed medical report, drawn up by ADEM's occupational health practitioner, specifying the percentage reduction in work capacity and certifying that the applicant's state of health is such that any effort is contraindicated (in the case of an application submitted by a job seeker).

Please note that in addition to the supporting documents listed above, the Medical Commission may ask the applicant or an expert for any other document it may deem useful or essential in order to reach a decision on the applicant's reduced work capacity and their state of health.

Procedure and decision

The Medical Commission will:

  • determine the applicant's reduced work capacity; and
  • rule on the applicant's residual capacity and state of health.

To obtain the RPGH, the applicant state of health must, in principle, be medically stable. If the applicant's state of health is not sufficiently stabilised, the Medical Commission will postpone its decision.

The applicant will be informed of the Medical Commission's decision by registered letter within 2 months of submitting the complete application.

When its final decision has been established, the Medical Commission will forward it, together with the application and all supporting documents, to the National Solidarity Fund (Fonds national de solidarité – FNS).

The FNS will send the applicant a questionnaire to provide the information it requires to process the application.

The age, residency and income criteria will be checked by the FNS, which will inform the applicant of its decision, by registered letter, within one month of receiving the Medical Commission's decision.

The FNS will then inform the Medical Commission of its decision.

If the RPGH is granted, it is due to the beneficiary from the date of the application. The allowance is paid by the FNS.

Duration of validity

The RPGH is paid to the beneficiary as long as the conditions for entitlement are met.

Any change in circumstances that may affect entitlement to the RPGH must be reported to the FNS immediately.

Amount

The gross amount of the RPGH corresponds to the amount of the social inclusion income (REVIS).

Contributions for health insurance and long-term care insurance are deducted from this amount.

If the beneficiary has been a member of the pension insurance scheme for at least 25 years, the pension insurance contributions are also deducted.

RPGH and other income

Applicants must declare to the FNS all earned and replacement income they receive in accordance with Luxembourg or foreign law.

The sum of all income taken into account for the calculation of the RPGH is reduced by 30 % of the RPGH base amount. The FNS will pay the difference between the base amount and the amount of all income taken into account.

Review and repayment of the RPGH

The FNS will regularly check whether the conditions of entitlement are still met.

In the event of changes in the beneficiary's circumstances, the RPGH may be increased, reduced or withdrawn with retroactive effect.

The FNS may seek to recover sums that have been paid to the beneficiary if:

  • the beneficiary received more than they were entitled to;
  • the allowance was granted following a material error;
  • the beneficiary dies.

Repayment is mandatory if the beneficiary:

  • provided false information to receive the allowance; or
  • concealed important facts; or
  • neglected to report major events after the benefit was granted.

The FNS may claim repayment of the amounts it disbursed in RPGH payments from the beneficiary's estate, up to the amount of the estate's assets. The repayment of the amounts disbursed by the FNS in RPGH payments is guaranteed by the registration of a legal mortgage on the property belonging to the beneficiaries of the RPGH.

Means of appeal and application for review

Decisions on reduced work capacity taken by the Medical Commission and decisions by the FNS to refuse to grant the RPGH may be appealed before the Social Security Arbitration Tribunal (Conseil arbitral de la Sécurité sociale).

This appeal must be lodged, on pain of ineligibility, within 40 days of notification of the contested decision.

Decisions handed down by the Social Security Arbitration Tribunal can be appealed, in which case the appeal must be lodged with the High Council of Social Security (Conseil supérieur de la sécurité sociale) within 40 days of notification of the contested decision.

If there is a fundamental change in the facts and circumstances relating to the claimant's work capacity, the initial decision (relating to the reduction in the claimant's work capacity and their state of health) may be the subject of an application for review.

The application for review must be lodged by the applicant or their guardian with the Medical Commission. It must be accompanied by the same supporting documents as for initial applications.

The Medical Commission will process the application for review under the same conditions and procedures as those defined for initial applications.

It is not possible to submit an application for review while proceedings before the social courts are in progress, or before 6 months have elapsed since the notification of a first decision that has become final.

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