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 SBU suspended social benefit payments to 450,000 "pension tourists", Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister says

The Security Service of Ukraine has identified about 450,000 people illegally applying for social payments from the state budget as they actually live in the temporarily occupied territories.

Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Rozenko said in an interview with Censor.NET.

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According to him, the so-called "pension tourism" is meant when residents of the occupied areas of the Donbas have formally registered on the territories controlled by the legitimate authorities to receive social benefits.

"Neither social services, nor the Pension Fund have means to establish which side of the demarcation line a person actually lives on. According to Ukrainian laws and government regulations, all such information is provided to us by the State Migration Service or Interior Ministry, or the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)," Rozenko said.

"These agencies were not efficient last year, so the "pension tourism" flourished. But three months ago, the Security Service handed over to the Pension Fund the database of almost 450 000 people, who, according to the SBU, were not actually living on the territory controlled by the legitimate government, but received social benefits and pensions," the official said.

Read more: Pensions of up to 350,000 Ukrainians to be exempted from taxes, vice prime minister says

According to him, the payment of pensions to the individuals included in these lists has been immediately suspended.

"Those who were put on the list by mistake have the opportunity to change this. However, they should undergo identification by the Pension Fund, local authorities and so on in the territory controlled by the legitimate authorities," the vice prime minister said.

He also clarified that in the case of citizen's confirmed emigration to the territory controlled by Kyiv, the person has the right to immediately receive the full amount of social payments, such as pensions owed.

According to Rozenko, 1,780,000 displaced persons are currently registered in Ukraine by the agencies of the Ministry of Social Policy.
 
 
 
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