Varawut touts dual ID-disability cards

Varawut touts dual ID-disability cards

Social Development and Human Security Minister Varawut Silpa-archa on Tuesday said he plans to combine ID and disability cards to facilitate disabled people.

He also insisted the disability allowance covers disabled inmates.

His move follows reports of a 48-year-old disabled man, Monthon Phetsang, pedalling his tricycle with his hands from his hometown in Sukhothai to Bangkok to claim his disability welfare benefit at the Comptroller General's Department (CGD) in the capital. He began the 400-kilometre trip three weeks ago and is currently pedalling through Ayutthaya province.

Monthon has been registered disabled since 2015. However, he said that the allowance of 800 baht per month has not been paid since 2020.

Because he lost his identification documents in a flood, officials in Sukhothai advised him to contact the CGD to confirm his disability in order to have his monthly allowance restored.

According to the CGD, Monthon's allowance was suspended in October 2020 after being removed from his house registration and placed in the central registration, meaning he is not considered capable of performing legal transactions of any kind.

A local source said Monthon had been imprisoned a few times and could be hard to contact. No one has known his whereabouts for the past two years.

The CGD said on Monday that several agencies had spoken with Monthon, suggesting that they would help him to have his new ID card and disability documents issued in Ayutthaya and that the disability allowance will be paid to him starting next month.

Monthon said he does not intend to receive their assistance.

Minister Varawut said he had no idea why Monthon refused the assistance and what his plan was.

"As of now, we need to issue a new house registration in Sri Satchanalai district in Sukhothai as he wished," the minister said.

Mr Varawut insisted that Monthon was not disqualified because of drug-related convictions and that the benefit still covers all disabled inmates.

Mr Varawut suggested that the disability status should also be stipulated in the ID card in order to facilitate disabled people more efficiently.

His idea was backed by Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who suggested the MSDHS work with the Department of Provincial Administration to combine the two.

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