How to Arrange Guardianship and Care for People with Disabilities

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Оформить опекунство , Оформити опікунство , Arrange guardianship

Often, citizens confuse the concepts of arranging permanent care and establishing guardianship for a disabled person. The difference lies primarily in the process of arrangement.

How to arrange guardianship for a disabled person?
Where to apply for permanent care?
What is the difference, and what is the procedure for arrangement?
Let us explain further.

What types of disabilities exist in Ukraine?

Currently, in Ukraine, the types of disabilities that determine the degree of persistent dysfunction of the body caused by a severe illness or injury are as follows:

  • Group 1 – citizens who have the most severe health condition and, therefore, are physically unable to perform self-care and basic household functions, thus requiring permanent care.
  • Group 2 – citizens who have persistent or chronic disorders in the body resulting from illness or injury. A person in this group may be able to perform self-care, work under special conditions, and not require external care.
  • Group 3 – citizens who have moderate functional impairments, which may include congenital defects (e.g., missing one lung). Such a person can work under light conditions but needs social protection.

It should be noted that due to the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, the procedure for determining disability has been changed. During the period of martial law in Ukraine and for six months after its termination or cancellation:

  1. If a person applying for disability determination cannot attend an examination by the medical-social expert commission, the commission can make a decision on disability determination remotely based on the referral from the medical advisory commission.
  2. The Crimean republican, regional, central city commissions in Kyiv and Sevastopol, city, inter-district, and district medical-social expert commissions perform their functions ensuring the principle of extraterritoriality and conduct medical-social examinations based on the referral from the medical advisory commission regardless of the place of registration, residence, or stay of the person applying for disability determination (Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated March 8, 2022, No. 225 “Certain issues of the procedure for conducting medical-social examinations during martial law in Ukraine”).

The Civil Code of Ukraine establishes that in our country, guardianship over disabled individuals is established by the court.

In what cases is it necessary to establish guardianship over a disabled person?

Guardianship is established by the court over a physical person who is recognized as incapacitated. A person can be recognized as incapacitated by the court if, due to chronic, persistent mental disorder, they are unable to realize the significance of their actions and/or control them. In such cases, a close relative of the person may file a court application to recognize the person as incapacitated, establish guardianship, and appoint them as the guardian.

The court appoints a forensic psychiatric examination to confirm or refute the presence of a mental disorder that led to the inability to realize their actions or control them. The expert examines the person over whom guardianship is to be established to determine whether they indeed have a mental disorder causing their inability to realize the significance of their actions and/or control them.

Guardians are primarily appointed from among persons who have family or kinship ties with the ward, taking into account their personal relationships and the ability of the person to perform the duties of a guardian. One or more guardians may be appointed.
To have the court appoint a guardian for an incapacitated person, it is mandatory to obtain a submission from the guardianship authority regarding the possibility of appointing a relative as a guardian.

After receiving the expert’s conclusion, the future guardian submits an application to the guardianship authority to obtain the corresponding submission. The future guardian must participate in the guardianship council meeting when considering the application. Based on the results of the guardianship council meeting, the guardianship authority sends a submission to the court regarding the possibility or impossibility of appointing the person as a guardian.

After the court has received the expert’s conclusion and the submission from the guardianship authority, the court holds a hearing and makes a decision. The person is considered incapacitated from the moment the court decision becomes legally effective. The duration of the court decision on recognizing a person as incapacitated and establishing guardianship is determined by the court but cannot exceed two years.

In the case of a positive court decision, its copy is submitted to the guardianship authority, where the guardian is issued a guardian’s certificate.

Note! There is no court fee for filing an application to recognize a person as incapacitated and appointing a guardian; it is covered by the state.

How is permanent care for a disabled person arranged?

For people with Group I disability, such care is assigned by the medical-social expert commissions obligatorily due to the extremely high degree of health loss, necessitating such care.

In all other cases, the need for permanent external care is determined by attending physicians and medical advisory commissions, which issue the corresponding conclusions on the necessity of such care.

Accordingly, external care is assigned in such cases:

  • For people with functional impairments due to incurable diseases, preventing them from moving and self-caring independently.
  • For elderly citizens with cognitive impairments who require constant care.
  • For people with Group I or II disability caused by a mental disorder.

To become a caregiver for a disabled person, one must contact the family doctor of the person with the disability and request a certificate confirming the disability and the need for permanent care.

To arrange permanent care for a person requiring it, one must apply to the social protection department or the administrative services center (CNAP) at the person’s place of residence or stay, providing the following documents:

  • An application stating the desire to provide permanent care for the person requiring it.
  • Copies of the passports of the caregiver and the person needing care.
  • A medical certificate of the caregiver.
  • A residence registration certificate.
  • Documents proving ownership or right to use the property.
  • A medical commission certificate confirming the need for permanent external care by another person.

If care is provided for a capable person who, due to their health condition, needs external care, their consent to receive care is required.

In the case of an elderly person/pensioner with cognitive impairments, they must also write a statement requesting the appointment of a caregiver.

Individuals providing social care services are compensated according to current Ukrainian legislation.

For a more detailed legal consultation on the issue of guardianship arrangements, you can contact the specialists of the “First Legal” Law Firm by filling out the application form on our website at or simply by calling us at: +38 (044) 35-35-164, +38 (067) 306-89-89, +38 (063) 45-85-448, +38 (099) 367-89-89. Our experienced lawyer in Kyiv will assist you with this process.

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