Home / Video / Armenian Pensioner Forced to Return Disability Benefits ‘for Chernobyl’ to State

Armenian Pensioner Forced to Return Disability Benefits ‘for Chernobyl’ to State

Rubik Tamrazyan, resident of the village of Haghartsin in Armenia's northeastern Tavush province, has received a notification letter from Dilijan's territorial social service agency, according to which, Tamrazyan is obliged to return a part of the pension he received in the last three years to the state. In the event that the pensioner does not pay the required AMD 159 thousand (around $336), as stated in the officials' letter, the amount will be confiscated via a court order. 

Speaking to Epress.am, Tamrazyan's daughter Anna said her father has been receiving an additional AMD 3000 (around $6) per month for injuries that he received as a result of participation in the mitigation of the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. And now, as Anna pointed out, the state “wants the Chernobyl money back.”

“My father went to Chernobyl in [19]87. He was to stay for six months; however they sent him back three months later since his health had been destroyed by radiation. He worked there as a concrete mixer truck driver.”

Rubik Tamrazyan started to receive a disability pension in 2007, and in 2010 it was concluded that he would be paid disability benefits permanently. “He applied to social services constantly for an allowance for Chernobyl. In 2011, they started to give him additional 3000 drams and said he had to sign for it separately as it was 'for Chernobyl',” the daughter said. 

When faced with the demand of returning the money, she added, her father applied to the head of Dilijan social services Armen Kharatyan, saying that he was a pensioner and could not afford to pay AMD 159,000.

When contacted for comment, Kharatyan told Epress.am that he only did what the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs ordered him to do. The official also claimed that Tamrazyan was issued the additional monthly allowance by mistake for a disability linked to military service. However, as it later turned out, Tamrazyan did not have a military status in Chernobyl. “A revision found inaccuracies in his pension forms.”