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Disabled Ex-Combatant Branded “Healthy” in order to Save Money

Hayk Torosyan, wounded during the escalated combat of April, 2016, was given a disability category of 1st grade, which has recently been downgraded to 2nd category. In a conversation with Epress.am Torosyan mentioned that the reason he was provided for downgrading his disability was that he had healed and was able to conduct some labor-related activities. However, Hayk is paralyzed in his left side, is due to undergo a complicated head surgery soon.

Hayk was wounded on April 2, 2016 in Martakert region of Nagorno Karabakh. Despite having been in military service for only 3 months, he was sent to the frontline. “Back then I had no idea that they had no right to send me to the frontline.”

Hayk was a driver during his service in NK. When the military alert was received and the soldiers were transferred to the frontline, he tried to hide the military vehicle, and was injured in the head while hiding the car.

“It was a miracle that I survived, nobody was giving hope,” says Hayk. He was unconscious for 4 days. While he is able to walk now, he is unable to feel all of his left side. “I don’t feel that it is part of me.”

According to Hayk, the state normally assigns a disability category of 1st grade to those who have an amputated part of body. “Do I need to be amputated in order for them to believe that I don’t feel my arm?”

The 1st category disability pension amounts to 91.000 AMD, while for the second category, it is 74.000 AMD.

After two years of disability pension assignment, Hayk went for a repeated examination, after which his disability category was downgraded. “They tell me that I am able to walk. This is the reason. In other words, I am able to move. They wrote in the papers, that the consequences of the injury are not severely expressed. My arm and my foot do not work, should they have been amputated? They have written that I am able to work partially. I don’t know a job like that. When I ask them what kind of a job can I do in my condition, they tell me, in a factory you can assemble parts, just put something from the right side to the left side. But I have never encountered such a job in Armenia.”

The Ministry of Labor and Social Issues has informed us that the criteria have been downgraded, that is why his disability category has changed too.

Torosyan knows ex-combatants who were injured during the April combat and whose military disability category has been downgraded too. “There are people who have been recognized healthy. For example, we have a guy whose half lung is missing and he is recognized healthy.”