August 29, 2023

Case Study #2 Pro Bono Legal Aid: Access to Justice for People with Disabilities - Disability Misclassification

The following story is completely real and belongs to a beneficiary of ACTEDO's pro bono legal assistance program, The Pro Bono Network for Human Rights, the largest pro bono clearinghouse in the country, dedicated to vulnerable people whose fundamental rights have been violated.

The request for legal assistance came from Ioana, from Timișoara, whose mother is diagnosed with stage IV Parkinson's disease, being almost totally dependent on another person. Following the assessment for classification in the degree of disability, her disability was classified as severe but was not granted a personal assistant. Ioana's mother cannot move, eat or take care of herself. For this reason, her daughter requested the cancellation of the certificate and a reclassification of the disability as severe, with a personal assistant.

Ioana had no legal assistance until she got in touch with ACTEDO and made a request to The Pro Bono Network for Human Rights. Ioana's case was then taken on pro bono by the lawyer Paula Manciulea from the Alba Bar. The lawyer, being unable to travel to Timișoara at the next court date, drafted written conclusions that the beneficiary submitted to the court during the court hearing.

The beneficiary won the case in the first instance, but the County Council of the Municipality of Timișoara (which represented the Commission for the Evaluation of Adults with Handicap Timiș in court) filed an appeal, this being the procedural stage of the case at the moment.

"It's ill-will, from my point of view. Either the state should help you if you are disadvantaged, not make your life harder. Or the state representatives do not have any empathy, or they don't know… if they were in our situation what would they do, would they do the same? Unfortunately, that's the system.

Parkinson's disease is degenerative, there are no arguments for not granting the personal assistant, because it is clear from the medical documents that my mother has lost more than 70% of her independence."

Ioana, beneficiary of pro bono legal assistance

Read the full case study here (only in Romanian):

Case Study #2 Pro Bono Legal Aid: Access to Justice for People with Disabilities - Disability Misclassification


The activity is part of the project INTEGRIS: Integrated Support for Human Rights, developed by the Equality and Human Rights Action Centre (ACTEDO), in partnership with the Centre for Legal Resources (CLR), with financial support from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Grants 2014 -2021.

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Website-ul ACTEDO a fost actualizat în cadrul proiectului INTEGRIS: Sprijin integrat pentru drepturile omului, derulat de Centrul de Acțiune pentru Egalitate și Drepturile Omului (ACTEDO), în parteneriat cu Centrul de Resurse Juridice (CRJ), proiect care beneficiază de o finanțare în valoare de 197.716,41 euro prin programul Active Citizens Fund România, finanțat de Islanda, Liechtenstein și Norvegia prin Granturile SEE 2014-2021. Conținutul acestui website nu reprezintă în mod necesar poziția oficială a Granturilor SEE și Norvegiene 2014-2021. Pentru mai multe informații accesați Informații despre Active Citizens Fund România sunt disponibile la

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