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Agenzija Sapport Services

FAQs related to Agenzija Sapport.
 
The information provided in the answers should serve only as guidance and does not have any legal force.
For online live FAQs updates refer here
 
PEOPLE ASSISTANCE SCHEMES
 
EMPOWERMENT SCHEME
 
 
WHO CAN APPLY FOR AND BENEFIT FROM THIS SCHEME? IS THERE A SPECIFIC AGE GROUP?
 
Persons with disability who need to purchase assistive equipment which would allow them to lead a more independent life, can apply for this scheme.  There is no specific age group (i.e. babies and elderly included).
 
DO YOU NEED TO HAVE THE SPECIAL IDENTITY CARD (SID) WHICH IS ISSUED BY THE CRPD, TO APPLY FOR THIS SCHEME?
 
No, for this scheme one does not need to have the SID card.
 
WHAT IS TYPE OF ASSISTIVE EQUIPMENT INCLUDED IN THE EMPOWERMENT SCHEME?
 
Assistive equipment includes, but may not be limited to: electric/powered wheelchairs, motorised/hospital beds, pressure relief/air mattresses, walking aids, arm chairs/recliners, hoist system, gel cushions, commode chairs, scooters, alternative communication devices and applications, manual stair climbers and hearing aids.
 
DO I GET FULL REFUND OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE EQUIPMENT?
 
No, only a subsidy (partial refund) is allocated by the Board.  There is no specific percentage on which one is allocated the funds. The Board makes the decision when it is assessing the application at that point in time.
The Board includes a number of professionals, who advise and provide information to persons with disability on how they can purchase equipment according to their individual needs.
 
 
IS THE SCHEME MEANS-TESTED?
 
No. However, the Board still needs to know the income of the applicant, so that the application is evaluated on a more holistic basis.
 
IS TRANSPORT INCLUDED IN THIS SCHEME? DO I GET FULL REFUND OF THE TOTAL EXPENCE?
 
Yes, transport is included in this scheme, however, only a subsidy is allocated to the applicant.
 
ARE COMPUTERS AND TABLETS INCLUDED IN THIS SCHEME?
 
No, computers and tablets are not covered by the Empowerment Scheme, unless they are being specifically used as a communication device which pertain recommended applications.
 
 
GRANT ON THE PURCHASE OF SPECIALISED EQUIPMENT
DO I GET FURTHER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE ON THE EQUIPMENT BOUGHT?
 
Yes, however only partial subsidy is given, although payment is not issued from Aġenzija Sapport but through the Ministry of Finance. In fact, you can apply online by using the following link:    https://servizz.gov.mt/en/Pages/Tax-and-Finance/Taxation/VAT/WEB2311/default.aspx.  Moreover, in order to benefit from this scheme, one has to have the Special Identity Card (SID) which is issued by the CRPD.  Also, the applications must be submitted by not later than 3 months from the date of purchase of the special equipment.
 
Additionally, such Grant applies only to specific items found on the official list issued in the Government Gazette. Such information can be found in the following links:
https://mfin.gov.mt/en/Services/Documents/Grant_Scheme_disabled_2017.pdf

https://mfin.gov.mt/en/Services/Documents/List_of_Equipment_EN.PDF
 
 
IS THERE A LIMIT TO HOW MUCH I GET REFUND?
 
Yes. The Grant payable under this scheme is subject to a capping, based on the defined list, of 4.5% or 17.5% on the purchase price of the special equipment up to a maximum of € 400.00.  This capping will be applicable for a five year period from when the applicant would have benefitted from the first grant.  Therefore, the applicant is able to apply multiple times for this grant scheme but the cumulative amount of the grant/s received cannot be more than the indicated maximum capping over a period of five years.
 
VEHICLE ROAD LICENCE EXEMPTION SCHEME & CAR REGISTRATION EXEMPTION SCHEME.


DO YOU NEED TO HAVE THE SPECIAL IDENTITY CARD (SID) TO APPLY FOR THESE SCHEMES?
 
Yes, for these schemes the applicant needs to have the SID card, issued by CRPD, otherwise the application/s is/are not accepted.

ARE THE SCHEMES MEANS-TESTED?
 
No, they are not means-tested.
 
 
SOCIAL WORK SERVICES
 
 
HOW CAN SOMEONE MAKE CONTACT WITH THE SOCIAL WORK SERVICES WITHIN AGENZIJA SAPPORT?
 
A person with disability who requires support from the Social Work Services within Aġenzija Sapport can either phone on 2256 8000 or come to the Agency’s offices at Patri Ġwann Azzopardi Str, Santa Venera, to discuss with one of the Social Workers. A person with disability can also be referred by family members or any other professional who is already working with the person.
 
WHAT ARE THE OPENING HOURS OF AGENZIJA SAPPORT IN WHICH CONTACT CAN BE MADE WITH THE SOCIAL WORK SERVICE?

Opening hours are from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. During these hours there is always a Social Worker who is on intake and therefore available to answer any queries about the services offered by the Agency and other services.
 
WILL IT TAKE LONG UNTIL I AM ASSIGNED A SOCIAL WORKER?

Each situation / case presented to the Social Work Services is assessed and when this is considered to be as urgent, it is given priority. All the other new cases which are referred are placed on a waiting list and the case is assigned to a Social Worker at the earliest possible.
 
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE SOCIAL WORKER?
 
Following the allocation of the case, the Social Worker will establish contact with the referred person and will plan a visit at home with him/her and/or the family. The Social Worker will assess the situation in depth with the person needing the service and/or the family and these will also be involved in any decision taken or service applied for. The Social Worker will keep contact with the service user and the family for as long as this is necessary.
  
I AM CONCERNED THAT MY PERSONAL INFORMATION IS GIVEN TO PEOPLE THAT I DO NOT KNOW. WHAT DOES THE AGENCY DO WITH MY PERSONAL DATA?
 
Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy and in line with GDPR. All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred to other services or third parties with the consent of the person involved or as required by law. Personal information is retained for the duration of the service and as stipulated in the Agency’s Data Protection and Retention Policy and is seen only by the team and professionals involved on the service. Service users can contact our Data Protection Controller to receive further information pertaining to their rights on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt
 
DO I HAVE ACCESS TO MY RECORDS?
You may request access to your records by sending an email to our Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt

I AM A PERSON WITH DISABILITY. HOW WILL I BE INVOLVED IN THE DECISIONS TAKEN ABOUT MY NEEDS?
 
The Agency will discuss the plan of services with the persons with disability whenever possible. Furthermore, the Agency also provides easy-to-read versions of forms and important documents thus making same information accessible to persons with a disability.

RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
 
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE RESEARCH DEPARTMENT WITHIN AGENZIJA SAPPORT?

The Research Department is tasked with:
a. Collecting data relevant to organisational well-being and maintaining accountability
b. Conducting research projects which ensure that interventions follow the newest guidelines
c. Acting as a gateway for external parties to conduct research within Aġenzija Sapport
 
IF I WANT TO CONDUCT A RESEARCH ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY BUT I AM NOT SURE ABOUT THE TOPIC, MAY I RECEIVE SUGGESTIONS?

The Research Department is prepared to provide a few suggested research topics on demand. Contact research.sapport@gov.mt for guidance.
 
IF I WANT TO CONDUCT A STUDY ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY, WILL I NEED AN EASY-TO-READ FORMAT OF THE QUESTIONAIRE OR  DOCUMENTS?

Yes, an easy-to-read format is necessary in order to receive approvals for conducting research on people with disability. The easy-to-read format needs to cover not only for visual impairments but for neurodevelopmental disabilities as well.
 
CAN AGENZIJA SAPPORT GUARANTEE APPROVAL FOR RESEARCH SUBJECTS?

No. The Research Department will make efforts to ensure the highest chances at finding research participants, however there are a series of reasons for not being able to collect participants.
a. The research requirements, particularly for participative methodologies, may contain characteristics which are not found amongst our pool of professionals and clients. In that case the research request will result in a ‘refusal’.
b. The research topic may be on a sensitive topic which may discourage participants from contacting the external researcher. The final decision on whether to take part is on the research subjects themselves.
 
AFTER RECEIVING THE AGENCY’S APPROVAL, HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT BEFORE RECRUITING PARTICIPANTS?
 
The length of wait depends highly on the willingness of the participants to contribute to the research project. The Research Department is tasked with disseminating the information and consent letter to reach the relevant research target, however, the waiting time is dependent on their time line. The final decision on whether to contact the researcher is on the participants themselves.
 
IN DUE PROCESS OF APPLYING FOR RESEARCH AT AGENZIJA SAPPORT, WILL I NEED TO PRESENT ANY OTHER APPROVALS?

Yes. Requests coming from university students (Malta or overseas) will need to present a FREC (Faculty Research Ethics Committee) or UREC (University Research Ethics Committee) approval before commencing a study at Aġenzija Sapport.  
  
WHAT DOES CONDITIONAL APPROVAL MEAN?
Conditional approval is equivalent to a temporary approval. It may be dependent on providing additional supporting documentation, or on small changes within the research proposal. The study may not commence until the changes required are effected.
 
WHEN IS A REFUSAL DECISION HANDED OUT?
The ‘refusal’ on a research request may appear for a number of reasons:
a. There are no potential participants within the pool of clients and professionals that meet the requirements set out by the research parameters
b. There are severe structural flaws which may result in the need to re-write the entire proposal
c. The proposal raises serious ethical concerns which are not mitigated by any alleviating factors, or is not presented with University / Faculty Research Ethics Committee approval.
All motives shall be presented in writing along with the refused research proposal. 

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