The Polish authorities reversed their decision and granted a Ukrainian refugee woman a one-off benefit for the birth of a disabled child.

The woman had applied for a one-off pro-life (“za życiem”) benefit of PLN 4,000, which is payable in the case of a severe and irreversible handicap or an incurable life-threatening disease that arose during the prenatal period of the child’s development or during birth.

The migrant, despite submitting all the required documents for the case, initially received a negative decision. The first-instance authority, in denying her the right to the requested benefit, referred to the provisions of the Special Act on assistance to citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of that country (the so-called ‘Special Act’). The fact that the one-time benefit for the birth of a live child does not fall within the catalogue of family benefits listed in Article 2 of the Special Act was the only basis for the refusal to grant the benefit. However, it has not been established whether the woman is a recipient of the benefit in question on any other basis other than that indicated in the law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens.

The Local Government Appeal Board ( the ‘SKO’) upheld the migrant’s appeal, referring the case for reconsideration by the body of first instance. The SKO considered that, at an earlier stage, the provisions of the Special Act, in connection with the Family Benefits Act, were wrongly applied. The legal basis for processing an application for such a benefit is provided directly by the provisions of the ‘pro-life’ Support for Pregnant Women and Families Act, which refers to the Health Care Benefits Act as to documenting entitlement to a health care benefit. In the present case, it must therefore first be determined whether the applicant is subject to compulsory health insurance or voluntary insurance.

After reconsidering the case, the authority of the first instance amended its earlier decision and granted the refugee woman the requested benefit.

The migrant is represented by legal adviser Aleksandra Pulchny from our Association.