Too much of the law, said Left party parliamentary leader Dietmar Bartsch, would leave seriously disabled people at risk of "being stuck in a home." The dream of self-determination The law could potentially have a major impact: some 10.2 million Germans (more than 10 percent of the population) live with some form of disability, of which 7.5 million are categorized as "seriously disabled." Designed to implement the United Nations' 2008 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the point of the law was to re-organize disability benefits in a way that aids self-determination.
Up until now, the system left many disabled people worse off than those on unemployment benefits.
Despite the ministry's declared intentions, Miles-Paul believes that on some points the law actually makes people less independent.
"Disabled people have a right to their own assistant - people with disabilities fought very hard for this - now the law gives the chance for local authorities to say: okay, you have to share your personal assistant with your neighbor or someone in your neighborhood," he said.
("federal participation law") following months of campaigning and debate.
But activists say the law takes the wrong measures and doesn't go far enough when it gets things right.Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU and the pro-business FDP received millions, according to Bundestag data.After the SPD's crushing defeat in Sunday's elections, Labor Minister Andrea Nahles will be the first woman to head the party's parliamentary group.Now, seriously disabled people will be allowed to keep a considerably bigger personal fortune and still be eligible for benefits - 25,000 euros (,600), and going up to 50,000 euros by 2020 - and a partner's income will no longer be taken as a factor.
Furthermore, the government has also introduced new financial incentives for firms willing to employ people with disabilities.
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