Ombudsperson’s regional coordinator helped a pensioner to restore his rights

Regional Coordinator of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) in Zakarpattia oblast addressed the pension payment issue and helped restore the rights of a pensioner.

14962794 1312838125403858 453940976828921256 nThe individual taxpayer identification number, or the ID number, is primarily assigned to avoid messes with citizens, as far as there are many people bearing the same name across the country. But it is not the only reason why it is assigned. To obtain this type of document, citizens must do their duty for the state and pay taxes. But what needs to be done if you have two tax ID numbers instead of one? The incident, which happened to a resident of Zakarpattia oblast, is unlikely to have many analogues in Ukraine.

Ombudsperson's regional coordinator Oleh Hryhoryev was approached by a senior citizen Yuriy Turyanytsa with a request to help him receive his pension: "For over six months, I have been mocked at by public officers who would say it was my fault that I was not able to get my pension."

As it turned out, the impossibility to receive the pension was due to the fact that the person had two different numbers of taxpayer. But how could it happen that a person has two ID numbers? After a talk with Yuriy, it was clear that the error crept in on early days of issuing tax ID numbers in the country. Mr. Turyanytsa was assigned one number, but according to a new certificate from the State Fiscal Service he already had another number. In fact, the matter concerns double registration in the National Registry. Despite his repeated requests, the local Revenue clerks were not willing to solve the problem of the double numbers because of their indifference, which is typically based upon one's reluctance to go beyond their procedure instructions.

vid-na-live7869590656457The regional coordinator helped Mr. Turyanytsa to write a letter and to address a request to the State Fiscal Service in Kyiv. Upon the examination of the request, the State Fiscal Service notified Mr. Turyanytsa of termination of one of his numbers. The data on Turyanytsa's income were normalized. The half of the way was covered - Mr. Turyanytsa was finally assigned one single number. But he was not so much concerned about this, as he only wanted to receive his legal pension payment.

"If government entities were ready to meet citizens' needs, Yuriy Turyanytsa would not have had to wait for six months to apply for and receive his pension. Nobody denies either the human factor or the margin for error. But it is worth to fight indifference and unwillingness to help a person, as far as upon minimal aid or at least a qualified advice the person would have been able to avoid all the stress, disappointment in the state, and the flat broke life for a half-year," comments Oleh Hryhoryev.

For the past three years, UNDP has been supporting the implementation of the system of Ombudsperson's Regional Coordinators in order to tackle regional representation challenge of the Office of the Ombudsperson. Locally-involved civic experts have come to serve as "eyes and ears" of the Ombudsperson for monitoring the human rights situation on the ground. Now, the network of regional coordinators is working in 18 regions of Ukraine.