Institutions acting for the benefit of disabled persons
Under the law, actions for the benefit of the disabled are performed by the national government and local governments. The tasks for the benefit of the disabled are also performed by non-governmental organisations of disabled persons or NGOs that act for their benefit.
Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People
The supervision, in terms of content, over the execution of tasks specified by the relevant Act is performed by the Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People – Secretary of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. From 2007, the post has been occupied by Mr. Jaroslaw Duda. The Plenipotentiary is appointed and dismissed by Prime Minister at the request of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy. The advisory body to the Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People is the National Consultation Council for Disabled Persons.
State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (PFRON)
PFRON is the state's targeted fund established on 1 July 1991.
The funds of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons are allocated by the Chairman of the Fund's Board to:
1) voivodship and poviat-level local governments, to finance specific tasks – based on the relevant formula,
2) entities performing tasks assigned by the Fund or other tasks under the Act.
The Fund’s resources will be used to establish new and retain the existing jobs for the disabled, to fund social rehabilitation of such persons and co-finance tasks under governmental programmes.
Local government bodies
Following the administrative reform of the state and amended Act on professional and social rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons, the majority of tasks related to professional and social rehabilitation were entrusted to local governments. The tasks of the voivodship-level local government that may be co-funded with the resources of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons are specified in the regulation of the Minister of Social Policy of 6 August 2004 on tasks of the voivodship-level local government that may be co-funded with the resources of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (Journal of Laws No 187, item 1940).
Types of tasks performed by poviat-level local government, which may be co-funded with the resources of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons, are specified in the regulation of the Minister of Social Policy of 25 June 2002 on types of tasks of the poviat-level local government that may be co-funded with the resources of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (Journal of Laws No 96, item 861, as amended).
Institutions for disability assessment
The following bodies are authorized to assess the level of disability: poviat disability assessment teams (body of first instance) and voivodship disability assessment teams (acting as second instance body – examining appeals against decisions by the poviat teams). The poviat team is appointed by the starost (head of poviat board), upon consent by the voivod (governor), under a governmental administration procedure. The voivod, following consultation with the starosts, determines the area of operation of the poviat teams, which may operate on an area broader than one poviat only.
Non-governmental organisations – a third sector, next to public and market ones, are an important segment of each effective and democratic state and society. They perform tasks in line with the policy of the state or tasks that, despite the existing demand, are not performed by public or private, profit-generating institutions. They provide the society with services, often filling the gap that the public and market sector are unable to bridge.
It is extremely difficult to give an estimate of the number of actually working organizations. The number or non-governmental organizations acting for the benefit and in the community of disabled persons and persons afflicted with illnesses in Poland is estimated at approx. 7 thousand.