Persons of legal age unable to carry out any professional activity owing to the severity of their disability, may in certain cases benefit from the allowance for the severely disabled (revenu pour personnes gravement handicapées - RPGH), introduced by the amended law of 12 September 2003.
The legal conditions for receiving this allowance are outlined below.
Who is concerned
Anyone residing in Luxembourg with a disability that prevents them from engaging in a professional activity can apply for the RPGH,
To receive the severely disabled allowance, applicants must:
- be 18 years old at the time of the application;
- before the age of 65, suffer from a capacity for work reduced by at least 30 % due to:
- a physical, mental, sensory or psychological impairment; and/or
- suffer from psychosocial difficulties that aggravate the impairment;
- be in such a state of health 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 a right of residence in Luxembourg, be domiciled and effectively reside there;
- have an income that is lower than the RPGH;
How to proceed
Filing an application
Applicants must contact the secretariat of the Medical Commission of the National Employment Agency (ADEM) to:
- receive an application form; and
- acquaint themselves with the formalities for receiving the severely disabled allowance.
Applicants must submit their duly completed, dated and signed form, along with the required supporting documents, by email to the secretariat of the Medical Commission at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 indicating:
- 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 the ID card or passport);
- documents certifying the capacity of the 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 right of residence for more than 3 months, in accordance with Articles 6 and 7 of the amended law of 29 August 2008 on the free movement of persons and immigration (if the application was submitted by a national of an EU Member State, a State that is a signatory to the European Economic Area 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 in the item above, unless provided for otherwise by law).
The Grand-Ducal regulation of 7 October 2004 implementing the law of 12 September 2003 on disabled persons stipulates that the application must be accompanied by a recent and detailed medical report, drawn up by ADEM's occupational health practitioner, with the percentage of decrease in working capacity and which attests 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 deems useful or essential in order to reach a decision on the applicant's reduced capacity to work and his or her state of health.
Procedure and decision
The Medical Commission:
- determines the applicant's reduced capacity to work; and
- decides on the applicant's residual capacity and state of health.
In order to obtain the RPGH, the applicant must in principle be stable from a medical point of view. If the applicant's state of health is not sufficiently stabilised, the Medical Commission postpones its decision.
The applicant is informed of the Medical Commission's decision by registered letter within 2 months of submission of the complete application.
When its decision has become final, the Medical Commission forwards it, together with the application and all supporting documents, to the National Solidarity Fund (FNS).
The age and residence conditions are checked by the FNS, which informs the applicant of its decision by registered letter, at the latest one month after the Medical Commission's decision has been communicated.
The FNS informs the Medical Commission of its decision.
If the RPGH is granted, it is due to the beneficiary from the date of the application. It 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.
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 (under Article 171 of the Social Security Code), 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.
Where applicable, the RPGH is suspended up to the amount of the earned and replacement income. The latter are exempt up to 30 % of the RPGH.
In practice, in the case of earned or replacement income, the initial amount of the RPGH is adjusted as follows:
- if the amount of the earned income or the replacement income is less than the RPGH, the amount paid will be the difference between the 2 amounts (the amount paid by the FNS will take into account the contributions for health insurance, long-term care insurance and, where applicable, pension insurance, as well as the adjustment of the consumer price index);
- if the beneficiary of the RPGH receives a disability pension, the FNS calculates the amount of the RPGH to be paid by deducting the amount paid by the National Pension Insurance Fund (Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Pension - CNAP).
Review and repayment of the RPGH
The FNS will regularly check whether conditions of entitlement are still met.
In the event of changes in the beneficiary's situation, the RPGH may be increased, reduced or withdrawn with retroactive effect.
The FNS may request the restitution of amounts paid to the beneficiary or their assigns in the following situations:
- the beneficiary received more than they were entitled to;
- the allowance was granted following a material error;
- the beneficiary dies.
The repayment is mandatory if the beneficiary:
- provided false information to receive the allowance;
- concealed important facts;
- neglected to report major events after the benefit was granted.
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 to the Social Security Arbitration Council.
This appeal must be lodged, on pain of forfeiture, 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 – CSSS) within 40 days of the notification of the contested decision.
The appeals procedure is governed by the amended Grand Ducal regulation of 24 December 1993 establishing, in accordance with Article 294 of the Luxembourg Social Security Code, the procedure for lodging appeals with the Social Security Arbitration Tribunal and the High Council of Social Security, the time limits for doing so, and the relevant legal costs.
If there is a fundamental change in the facts and circumstances relating to the claimant's capacity to work, the initial decision (relating to the reduction in the claimant's capacity to work and their state of health) may be the subject of an application for review.
The application for review is submitted by the applicant or their guardian to 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, nor before the expiry of a period of 6 months from the notification of a first decision that has become final.