Disability benefits


Social protection systems play a key role in meeting the specific needs of persons with disabilities with regard to income security, social health protection and social inclusion. Disability benefits are one of the elements of social protection systems that explicitly address disability-related needs and provide income support to persons with disabilities and their families. These include both contributory schemes (disability pensions), as well as non-contributory disability benefits.

In addition, schemes and programmes that support the (re-)integration of persons with disabilities into the labour market and facilitate their participation in employment also play a key role in promoting independent living and income security. In this respect, financial support to cover the disability-related costs associated with having a job can help persons with disabilities to avoid falling into poverty traps and facilitate their participation in productive employment.

Social health protection and other mechanisms to ensure universal health coverage also play a key role in responding to health-related needs.

Photo credit: “Tails are wagging for new guide and service dog guidelines” via Province of British Columbia (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).



Legal Instruments

National Insurance and Social Security Act (Benefits) Regulations (No. 33)

This Act establishes regulations for national insurance and social security.

Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 2006

Article 28: Adequate standard of living and social protection 1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization […]

Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors’ Benefits Convention, 1967 (No. 128)

Reflecting the trend to find all three long-term benefits (i.e. invalidity, old-age and survivors’ benefits) in a single national pension system, Convention No. 128 regroups these three branches into one instrument and extends coverage to all employees, including apprentices, or not less than 75 per cent of the whole economically active population, or all residents […]

Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102)

A reference for the development of social security systems, Convention No. 102 is the flagship of the up-to-date social security Conventions since it is deemed to embody the internationally accepted definition of the very principle of social security.  Convention No. 102 is unique for both its conceptual formulation of social security, and the guidance it provides for […]

Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)

Recommendation No. 202 is the first international instrument to offer guidance to countries to close social security gaps and progressively achieve universal protection through the establishment and maintenance of comprehensive social security systems. To this aim, the Recommendation calls for (1) the implementation, as a priority, of social protection floors (SPF) as a fundamental element […]


Joint statement: Towards inclusive social protection systems supporting the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities

This joint statement reflects our shared commitment to inclusive social protection systems for persons with disabilities. The statement emerged from meetings and discussions between international partners working on the issues of disability and social protection. These meetings also contributed to the first report of the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons […]

Universal social protection for human dignity, social justice and sustainable development: General Survey concerning the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)

The ILO’s General Survey 2019 , compiled by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR). The Survey (published under the title Universal social protection for human dignity, social justice and sustainable development) focuses on the ILO’s Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202), which calls for basic income security and essential healthcare […]

Social security system of Ukraine in 2014–15 and beyond: towards effective social protection floors

This report presents a review of the recent changes made to the Ukrainian social security system between 2014 and 2015 and of the planned future reforms in the light of international social security standards. The ILO assessment aims to assist the Ukrainian Government and the social partners in effectively formulating and implementing measures to sustain […]

World Social Protection Report 2014/15: Building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice

Social protection policies play a critical role in realizing the human right to social security for all, reducing poverty and inequality, and promoting inclusive growth – by boosting human capital and productivity, and by supporting domestic demand and structural transformation of national economies. This ILO flagship report provides a global overview of the organization of […]

Social Protection and Human Rights