Patients with autism sue Flemish health agency over budget cuts

Patients with autism sue Flemish health agency over budget cuts
The cuts underscore a misunderstanding of the daily needs of people with autism, the plaintiff's lawyer said. Credit:Piqsels

Thirteen people with autism are taking a Flemish healthcare agency to court over changes to the allowance system which threaten to chip away at their allowances.

The Flemish Agency for People with Disabilities (VAPH) will from January modify the way in which allowances for people with disabilities are distributed.

The changes will mean that a total of 20,000 agency beneficiaries will see their allowances modified, with nearly half set to see their allowances swell, according to De Standaard.

But 13 people with autism have said that the changes will see them lose at least 30% of their personal budgets, and will take the case to the labour court.

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Filip Heymans, said that his clients were notified with of the cuts with a generic letter and that the budget underscored a misunderstanding about the daily needs of people with autism.

"They only received a general letter with a reference to the policy," Heymans told De Standaard. "And the budget cuts don't take into account the actual care that people with autism need in their daily lives."

The budget changes will see personal allowances cut on average by 10 to 20%, while a smaller portion of recipients are set to see their budgets increase or decrease by around 30%.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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