Old Age Pension and Disability Act (Amendment) Order, 2021

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports informs that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the Old Age Pension and Disability Act, Amendment, Order, 2021 and Persons with Disabilities Order, 2021 which will be effective from 1st October 2021. The Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam continues to emphasise and give priority to the welfare of persons with different abilities in the country, so that they are always looked after, in line with the country's national policies and initiatives of the National Council on Social Issues under the Plan of Action on Persons with Different Abilities, as well as its commitment under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in ensuring that those with different abilities are given equal opportunity and able to enjoy life with inclusivity in this country. In a media release, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports informs that to ensure the welfare and well-being of those with different abilities in the country is always guaranteed, several provisions in the Old Age and Disability Pensions Act, Chapter 18 has been amended to strengthen the care of people with different abilities, and ensure the provision of allowances to those who are entitled to receive, and no one is left behind. This Act will also be known as the Old Age Pensions and Disability Allowances Act. In addition to that, the Persons with Disabilities Order 2021, has also been enacted to ensure that persons with different abilities are accorded due recognition and protection.

Under the Old Age and Disability Act, Amendment Order, 2011: Old Age Pensions and Disability Allowances will only be given to citizens of Brunei Darussalam, or permanent residents with no national status of any other country; introducing the Care Provider Allowance under Regulation 8(a)(1), Care Provider Allowances, Old Age and Disability Pensions Regulations, in the amount of 250 dollars per month only for recipients of disability allowances, under the guidelines of the Department of Community Development; Revising the criteria in assessing the eligibility for disability allowances, by eliminating the condition of being "unable to work", and instead replacing this with certification by a medical practitioner, who will assess the functional impact of the disability, based on Guidelines to be issued by the Director-General of Medical Services and, Ensuring that persons with different abilities will also be entitled to continue receiving disability allowances in addition to old age pensions after reaching the age of 60.

The Persons with Disabilities Order, 2021 focuses on: Definition of 'Person with Disabilities', Section 2, which includes a person who has long-term behavioural, communication, developmental, physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which in interaction with various barriers may hinder his full and effective participation in society; Establishment of the Registration of Persons with Disabilities, through Section 6, Registration, where the Registrar, Director of Community Development will keep a register of persons with different abilities, with name, address, and other details of persons with different abilities registered within; And specific protection for persons with different abilities, through Section 4 namely Offences against persons with disabilities, which outlines offences against persons with different abilities that carries severe penalties.

The Outreach Sessions on the Old Age Pension and Disability Act, Amendment, Order, 2021 and Persons with Disabilities Order, 2021 will be carried out together with all concerned parties, especially the with Penghulus and Village Heads, the National Council on the Welfare of Persons with Different Abilities, and associations of persons with different abilities.

Source: Radio Television Brunei