Your rights and procedure for obtaining the combat veteran status are determined by the Procedure for granting the combat veteran status for ATO participants, which is defined in the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated August 20, 2014 No. 413 (hereinafter—the Procedure).
In order to get a certificate about participation in the anti-terrorist operation, one has to provide the military unit with copies of the passport pages, photographs, a copy of the identification code, and written consent to the processing of personal data. The commanders in the military unit, in their turn, collect the necessary package of documents for consideration by the Defense Ministry and submit it within a month after persons’ completion of ATO tasks.
In particular: excerpts from orders, directives, regulations, military logs, service schedules, and other official documents containing sufficient evidence of the direct involvement of a person in the performance of ATO tasks.
If the commander (head) of the military unit (body, division) or other head of the establishment or institution fails to submit to the commission the documents necessary for obtaining the combat veteran status, the serviceman can independently submit the necessary documents for the certificate’s registration.
ATO participants submit documents to the commission of regional military commissariats and the city military commissariat of Kyiv.
For independent confirmation of participation in ATO, it is desirable to provide the following:
- a combat veteran certificate (issued in the military unit);
- an excerpt from the military unit’s order about being on the unit’s lists and performing tasks in ATO zone (issued in the military unit);
- a military ticket with a stamp (issued in the military unit and in some brigades).
Additional documents for proving participation in ATO:
- a certificate of participation in ATO;
- a certificate of attachment to the military unit;
- medical documents (a military medical commission, epicrisis of military hospitals);
- copies of travel documents (if available);
- copies of injury records (if available).
In the event of refusal to grant the combat veteran status, this issue may be re-examined by the departmental commission on the decision of the head of the relevant Ministry, other central executive body, or other state body (Defense Ministry, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), Foreign Intelligence Service, Administration of the State Border Guard Service, State Guard Department, Administration of the State Service of Communications, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU), the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine (SPSU)), an interdepartmental commission—on the decision of the Ministry of Social Policy.
Managing Partner of the Rezultat law firm Maxim Polishkevych comments on your rights: I can recollect a case from my experience, when the guy was not able to get the ATO participant certificate, as he could not submit the order for his transfer in ATO zone. Being from Mariupol, he began to serve prior to the anti-terrorist operation’s unfolding, and actually, that order didn’t exist. The Ukrainian officials’ mentality remains unchanged, thus the lack of a single piece of paper can create a moral dilemma: he cannot issue a certificate, since according to the Cabinet of Ministers’ resolution particularly such a document of such a model is required, and the official doesn’t care about objective reasons for impossibility of providing such a document. In this case, effective is communication, cooperation with ATO veterans and soldiers, deputies, or with the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the military command under which a soldier served.
Getting benefits for ATO participants:
Your Rights. Medical ones:
- free receipt of drugs, medicines, immunobiological preparations, and medical products according to prescriptions of doctors;
- priority free dental prosthetics (with the exception of prosthetics from precious metals);
- free provision of sanatorium and spa treatment or compensation for the cost of individual spa treatment (the procedure is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine);
- using after retirement or change of employment the clinics and hospitals you were attached to with your previous job;
- annual medical examination and health check-up with the involvement of necessary specialists;
- priority attendance in health care facilities and pharmacies, as well as priority hospitalization.
Your Rights. Housing and communal ones:
- a 75 percent discount payment for the use of accommodation (rent) within the norms stipulated by the current legislation (21 square meters of total area of housing for each person that is constantly living in the residential premises (house) and is eligible for a fee, and additionally 10.5 sq. meters per family);
- a 75 percent discount for utilities (gas, electricity, and other services) and liquefied bottled gas for household needs within the average consumption rate;
- a 75 percent discount on the cost of fuel, including the liquid one, within the limits established for sale to population, for persons who live in buildings without central heating;
- priority provision of living space for people who need improvement of housing conditions, and priority allocation of land for individual housing construction, horticulture, and gardening, priority repair of residential buildings and apartments of these persons and providing them with fuel.
Your Rights. Other benefits:
- free travel by all types of urban passenger transport, public road transport in rural areas, as well as by suburban rail and water transport and suburban and interurban buses, including the intradistrict, intra- and interregional ones, regardless of distance and place of residence;
- payment of temporary incapacity benefit in the amount of 100 percent of the average wage regardless of the length of service;
- use of regular annual leave at a time convenient for them, as well as obtaining additional leave without pay for up to two weeks a year;
- pre-emptive right to be left at work in case of reducing the employee number or staff due to changes in the organization of production and work and right to employment in case of liquidation of an enterprise, institution, or organization.
The benefit list is available on the TSN website, in particular in the article entitled “What benefits are ATO participants eligible for?”
According to Maxim Polishkevych, in most local councils, they’ve made a decision to grant benefits to families of ATO soldiers during their stay in service. That is, before the soldier gets the ATO participant certificate, his family can already receive a number of benefits which are individually determined by local councils. But if your family member has been mobilized, i.e. recruited, you can apply to the local authority providing the benefits, the list of which is much wider than is fixed by law. You will be asked to provide a written in an arbitrary form certificate that your family’s member is in ATO zone.
Allocation of land plots for ATO participants
Your rights are commented by Maxim Polishkevych:
The mechanism of obtaining a land plot for ATO participants is no different from the mechanism of obtaining a land plot by an ordinary citizen, and speculation on that issue was populism (the order of the State Land Agency to provide ATO soldiers with plots). In practice, ATO soldiers may have fewer bureaucratic obstacles and corrupt components in the process of registering rights to a land plot. In accordance with the law, a citizen applying for a free of charge land acquisition in private property must indicate where this land plot is located. If the ATO soldier knows where a free land plot is, then by submitting an application where he indicates the desired purpose of the land and its estimated area, attaching as well any graphic materials showing the land’s location, and adding for confidence the ATO participant certificate, he obtains permission to develop project documentation with little or no problems. In the future, private or state land management organizations are requested on a fee basis to develop documentation on land management, and based on that documentation, a decision is further made by local self-government bodies or the state authority on the provision of land in private ownership. The most difficult is to find a land plot free of possession by a third person. If you cannot find a free land plot yourself, you can apply to the village chairman, deputy, chairman of the district council or district state administration. If in the relevant district or locality they allocate arrays of land plots, that is fortunately sometimes done in practice, when some kind of array is taken and divided into 20–30 plots, the authorities will offer you some options.
The application is considered within one month by officials of the village or city council, or district state administration.
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