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On the disability pension (pension for lost capacity to work)

Case No. 26/06

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF ARTICLE 30 (WORDING OF 19 MAY 2005) AND PARAGRAPH 4 (WORDING OF 19 MAY 2005) OF ARTICLE 32 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON STATE SOCIAL INSURANCE PENSIONS WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

2 September 2009
Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius, Toma Birmontienė, Pranas Kuconis, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Zenonas Namavičius, Ramutė Ruškytė, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

Seimas member Dalius Alfonsas Barakauskas and Jadvyga Andriuškevičiūtė, the Head of Labour and Social Law Unit of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, acting as the representatives of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its public hearing, on 18 August 2008, considered constitutional justice case No. 26/06 subsequent to the petition (No. 1B-25/2006) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that, according to the petitioner, “in relation to the persons, who, according to the previous legal regulation, upon recognising a minimum loss of 40 percent of capacity to work, were granted and paid the disability pension of Group III, the legal regulation was established, according to which the lowest margin of claim for the pension for lost capacity to work in the event that the health status of these persons does not change (improve), is the loss of 45 percent of capacity to work”, are not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, was considering an administrative case. By its ruling, the said court suspended the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that, according to the petitioner, “in relation to the persons, who, according to the previous legal regulation, upon recognising a minimum loss of 40 percent of capacity to work, were granted and paid the disability pension of Group III, the legal regulation was established, according to which the lowest margin of claim for the pension for lost capacity to work in the event that the health status of these persons does not change (improve), is the loss of 45 percent of capacity to work”, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

II

The petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, is based on the following arguments.

The provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, under which, according to the petitioner, one established the lowest limit of 45 percent of lost capacity to work, instead of 40 (as established in the legal regulation, which was valid by 1 July 2005), in the presence of which it is possible to claim the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work, violate the rights of the persons who due to the changed legal regulation lost the state social insurance disability pension which had been previously granted and paid, although their health status remained unchanged, i.e. the established level of their lost capacity to work remained the same.

The petitioner refers to the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, as formulated in the Constitutional Court’s rulings, inter alia, the one stating that one of the essential elements of the principle of a state under the rule of law which is entrenched in the Constitution is the principle of legal security, that by amendments to the legal regulation the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations of a person may not be violated, that persons who have acquired certain rights according to the law, have the right to reasonably expect that these rights will be maintained and implemented for the established time period, and has doubts whether Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that, according to the petitioner, in relation to the persons, who, according to the previous legal regulation, upon recognising the minimum loss of 40 percent of capacity to work, were granted and paid the disability pension of Group III, one established the legal regulation, according to which the lowest margin of claim for the pension for lost capacity to work in the event that the health status of these persons does not change (improve), is the loss of 45 percent of capacity to work, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

III

In the course of preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, who were D. A. Barakauskas, a Member of the Seimas, and Jadvyga Andriuškevičiutė, the Head of Labour and Social Law Unit of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, which state that Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (to the extent indicated by the petitioner) are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the party concerned is based on the following arguments.

1. According to D. A. Barakauskas, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, since 1 July 2005 the procedure for establishing disability (incapacity) has seen fundamental changes, therefore, one may not state that the degree of loss of vocational capacity to work, which was set according to the previous procedure for establishing disability (incapacity), is identical to the level of capacity to work, which is set according to the new procedure for establishing disability (incapacity). In the opinion of D. A. Barakauskas, the principle of legitimate expectations was not violated, because there exist no grounds to claim the guarantees which were applied upon establishing the disability of Group III, in the event that it is not stipulated that the person is partially capable of working. D. A. Barakauskas believes that the provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions are not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution, because the said article consolidates the discretion of the legislature to establish by law the cases of payment of benefits, which are indicated in this article.

2. According to J. Andriuškevičiūtė, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions did not establish any new rules of calculation or size of state social insurance disability (lost capacity to work) pensions, they were simply harmonised with each other alongside paying heed to the criteria of setting a level of disability or capacity to work, which are listed in the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004).

In order not to violate the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and to ensure protection of the legitimate expectations, Articles 29, 30, 31 and 32 (wording of 11 May 2004) of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities established the continuity (preservation) of the rights of persons with incapacities that were acquired by 1 July 2005 for the entire period of the established disability. Therefore, in the opinion of J. Andriuškevičiūtė, the conclusion should be drawn that, according to the legal regulation that was valid by 1 July 2005, disability was set for a limited period and, upon the expiry of the period of the disability, the disability could be established upon a new procedure, having made a new assessment of the health status of the person and the level of his capacity to work. According to the representative of the Seimas, when establishing the level of capacity to work, it is not the health impairment that is of special importance, but the personal functions that were changed because of the impairment, which determine his capacity to work, to implement a previously acquired vocational competence, or to acquire new vocational competence, or to do work requiring lower vocational competence.

J. Andriuškevičiūtė also indicated that the right to the state social insurance disability (lost capacity to work) pension is only one of the rights established to the person with incapacities, which are aimed at his integration into society; the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) provides also for other measures that create preconditions for persons with incapacities to compensate their incapacity, for example, provision of services of vocational rehabilitation, meeting special needs, etc. The entirety of these measures creates preconditions for the implementation of the right (which is the guaranteed by the state, under Article 52 of the Constitution) of the citizens to receive old age and disability pensions as well as social support in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, loss of breadwinner, and in other cases provided for by law.

Having considered the aforementioned arguments the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, concludes that the rights of persons with incapacities were not limited or revoked before the expiry of the period for which they have been set for, therefore, by the established legal regulation one protected the legitimate interests of persons with incapacities and the Constitution was not violated.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, written explanations were received from Petras Baguška, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, Rimantas Kairelis, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, Audra Mikalauskaitė, Vice-minister of the Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, Nora Ribokienė, Vice-minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, Irmantas Jarukaitis, Deputy Director General of the European Law Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, Eduardas Šablinskas, the President of the Dispute Commission under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Zdislavas Skvarciany, Director of the Disability and Work Capacity Assessment Office under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Algimantas Čepas, Director of the Institute of Law, as well as Prof. Habil. Dr. Arvydas Virgilijus Matulionis, Director of the Social Research Institute.

V

At the Constitutional Court hearing, D. A. Barakauskas and J. Andriuškevičiūtė, the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in their written explanations and provided additional explanations.

At the Constitutional Court hearing the specialists, who were Eglė Čaplikienė, the Head of the Equal Opportunities Division of the Equal Opportunities and Social Integration Department of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and Vytautas Radavičius, the Head of the Specialised Medical Services Division of the Personal Health Department of the Ministry of Health, took the stand and answered the questions that were raised.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. Article 32 “Calculation and Amount of the State Social Insurance Pension in Case of Lost Capacity to Work” (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions established the following:

1. The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work shall be calculated for those entitled to this pension by summing up the basic and additional parts of the pension for lost capacity to work. When calculating the additional part of the pension for lost capacity to work, the period of receipt of unemployment social insurance benefits (by 1 January 2005—unemployment allowances) (Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 8) shall be included in the period of the state social pension insurance, and unemployment social insurance benefits (by 1 January 2005—unemployment allowances) received during the period of unemployment as included in the aforementioned period—in a person’s insured income (Article 14), where this is of benefit to the person. The same provision shall also apply where a person received the unemployment social insurance benefit in the year of retirement due to the loss of capacity to work.

2. For the persons who have lost 75–100 percent of their capacity to work and have the obligatory period of state social pension insurance for the pension for lost capacity to work, the basic part of the pension for lost capacity to work shall be equal to 1.5 basic pensions, and for the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of their capacity to work—to the basic pension. Where a person’s period of insurance is shorter than the obligatory period of insurance, the basic part of his pension for lost capacity to work shall be calculated by multiplying the amount of 1.5 basic pensions for the persons who have lost 75–100 percent of their capacity to work and the amount of the basic pension for the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of their capacity to work by the period of insurance acquired by them and dividing by the obligatory period of insurance.

3. The supplementary part of the pension for lost capacity to work shall be calculated for the persons who have the period of state social pension insurance acquired while working under an employment contract or on the basis of membership or service, in the same manner as the supplementary part of the state social insurance old-age pension (Article 24), by including in the period of insurance:

1) a person’s entire period of state social pension insurance acquired while working under an employment contract or on the basis of membership or service (Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 8 as well as Paragraph 1 and Items 1–9 of Paragraph 2 of Article 54);

2) the number of years left until a person attains the age for the old-age pension established for him (Articles 21 and 57). If the person’s period of state social pension insurance acquired while working under an employment contract or on the basis of membership or service is shorter than the obligatory period of state social pension insurance for the pension for lost capacity to work (Article 31), the period of insurance shall not include the total number of years left until the age for the old-age pension, but a proportionately smaller part thereof, which shall be obtained by multiplying the number of the years left until the age for the old-age pension by the period of state social pension insurance acquired by the person while working under an employment contract or on the basis of membership or service and dividing it by the period of insurance obligatory for the pension for lost capacity to work

4. The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work for the persons who have lost 45–55 percent of their capacity to work shall be calculated in the same manner as for the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of their capacity to work and shall then be reduced by 50 percent.”

2. Thus, Article 32 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, inter alia, Paragraphs 2 and 4 thereof, the compliance of which with the Constitution (to the corresponding extent) is impugned by the petitioner is aimed at regulating the relations, linked to the calculation of the pension for lost capacity to work and setting the amount of this pension to the persons who are entitled thereto.

3. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether the provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that, according to the petitioner, “in relation to the persons, who, according to the previous legal regulation, upon recognising a minimum loss of 40 percent of capacity to work, were granted and paid the disability pension of Group III, the legal regulation was established, according to which the lowest margin of claim for the pension for lost capacity to work in the event that the health status of these persons does not change (improve), is the loss of 45 percent of capacity to work”, are not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The doubts of the petitioner concerning the compliance of the aforementioned provisions of Article 32 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions with the Constitution occurred due to fact that, according to the petitioner, the persons, in the respect of whom the loss of 40 percent of capacity to work is established, are not granted the pension for lost capacity to work, although according to the previous legal regulation such persons were granted the disability pension. According to the petitioner, by the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, one increased the lowest limit of lost capacity to work from 40 to 45 percent of lost capacity to work, therefore, the persons to whom the lost capacity to work of 40 percent was established according to the previous legal regulation were granted and paid the disability pension of Group III, lost the right to receive the pension for lost capacity to work, which is provided for in the law at present.

4. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into, inter alia, the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions with the Constitution and indicates that this paragraph consolidates “the lowest level, in the presence of which one may aspire to the pension for lost capacity to work”, however, the aforementioned Paragraph 2 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions did not (and does not) establish the minimum level of lost capacity to work that is necessary in order to receive the pension for lost capacity to work. This paragraph regulated (and regulates) only the relations of calculation of the pension for lost capacity to work of the persons who lost a major capacity (75–100 and 60–70 percent) to work. Thus, Paragraph 2 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, which is impugned by the petitioner, was (and is) aimed at calculation of the pension for lost capacity to work of the persons who lost 60–100 percent of their capacity to work, and it did not (and does not) entrench the minimum level of lost capacity to work that is necessary in order to be eligible for the pension for lost capacity to work. This means that the petitioner requests an investigation into the compliance of the provision of Paragraph 2 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, which the court will not need to apply in the case examined by it, with the Constitution.

5. It is obvious from the petition of the petitioner and the material of the administrative case, in which one decided to apply to the Constitutional Court, that in the administrative case one solves a dispute concerning the establishment of the level of capacity to work, which is related to an accident at work. According to the previous legal regulation, the disability group (Group III) was established to J. R., whose application was examined by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, upon assessing the loss of his vocational capacity to work and establishing the degree of loss of vocational capacity to work (40 percent). Having consolidated the new legal regulation, according to which the person may be entitled to the pension for lost capacity to work, if he has not more than 55 percent of capacity to work (i.e. if the person has lost not less than 45 percent of capacity to work), the capacity to work of 60 percent (lost capacity to work of 40 percent) was established to J. R. and he was deprived of the right to the pension for lost capacity to work.

For this reason the Constitutional Court in this constitutional justice case will examine whether the provision “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work to the persons, who lost 45–55 percent of capacity to work, shall be calculated in the same manner as to the persons, who lost 60–70 percent of capacity to work <…>” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that it prescribes that the pension for lost capacity to work is calculated to the persons, when they have lost at least 45 percent of capacity to work, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of the state under the rule of law.

II

1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner has doubts concerning the compliance of the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions and grounds this doubt on the increase of the minimum level of lost capacity to work, which is consolidated in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), and upon establishing which the person becomes entitled to the pension for lost capacity to work (previously—disability pension). Therefore, when deciding in this constitutional justice case whether the legal regulation (to the respective extent) which is impugned by the petitioner and which is set forth in Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions is not in conflict with the Constitution, it is necessary to find out, on the one hand, what model of establishing disability (inter alia, the bases and conditions of acquiring the right to the disability pension) was consolidated prior to 1 July 2005, when the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) came into force (when, inter alia, the bases of social integration of the disabled and the system of disability pensions were reorganised, and the model of establishment of lost capacity to work (the level of capacity to work) was entrenched instead of the model of establishing the disability), and, on the other hand, what model of establishing the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work) (inter alia, the bases and conditions of acquisition of the right to the pension for lost capacity to work) was (and is) consolidated in the laws of the Republic of Lithuania after the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) came into force on 1 July 2005.

2. When the independent State of Lithuania was restored on 11 March 1990 and creation of the national legal system began, the regulation of relations linked to establishment of person’s disability, granting the disability pensions for a certain period was based on the model of establishing disability which had been formed during the previous period of time.

It should be mentioned that by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Improvement of Providing Residents with Pensions of 28 July 1990, which was adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and which came into force (with a certain exception) on 1 January 1991, and which with certain amendments and supplements is still valid at present, one established the bases and conditions for providing pensions, inter alia, the size of disability pensions for certain categories of people.

On 23 October 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Bases of State Social Assistance System, which came into force (with a certain exception) on 1 January 1991 and is still valid. Article 3 of this law provides, inter alia, that in cases established by law, the social security shall apply to the disabled.

On 28 November 1991, the Supreme Council adopted the Republic of Lithuania on the Social Integration of the Disabled, which came into force (with certain exceptions) on 15 December 1991. Article 1 (wordings of 28 November 1991 and 22 October 1998 with subsequent amendments and supplements made by 4 November 2004) of this law indicated that the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled regulates, inter alia, the establishment of disability. Paragraph 1 (wording of 28 November 1991) of Article 4 “Establishment of Disability” of the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled sets forth, inter alia, that the disability shall be established: 1) for children who are under 16 years of age—by commissions of medical and social experts from state institutions of treatment and prevention as well as from specialised institutions whose bylaws shall be approved by the Ministry of Health; 2) for individuals who are 16 years of age and older—by state commissions of medical and social expertise (hereinafter referred to also as SCMSE) whose bylaws shall be approved by the Government. Pursuant to Paragraph 2 (wording of 28 November 1991) of Article 4 of this law, the aforementioned commissions had the right to adopt decisions on the fact of disability, its character, cause, time of origin, group, term, and degree of the person’s loss of general or vocational capacity to work, the means for the medical, vocational and social rehabilitation of the disabled, the conditions and character of the development, training and work of the disabled, the necessity of permanent nursing of the disabled, and special compensational means for the disabled.

On 19 July 1994, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Health System, which came into force (with certain exceptions) on 17 August 1994. Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 July 1994) of Article 5 of this law provided that, inter alia, the protection of persons against disability is among the purposes of health activities (Item 2).

On 1 December 1998, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending the Law on the Health System, which came into force on 23 December 1998. By this law the Law on the Health System (wording of 19 July 1994 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was amended and set forth in a new wording. Paragraph 1 (wording of 1 December 1998) of Article 27 of the Law on the Health System prescribed that in case of a long-term and permanent loss of capacity to work the medical and social examination shall be carried out upon the procedure established by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.

3. On 18 July 1994, the Seimas adopted the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, which came into force on 1 January 1995. This law was aimed at regulation of the relations linked to the state social insurance pensions, inter alia, disability pensions.

Article 4 (wording of 18 July 1994) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions established: “According to this law one shall grant the state social insurance old-age, disability, survivors’ and orphans’ (loss of breadwinner) pensions.”

Pursuant to Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 1994) of Article 27 of this law, the person could become eligible to the state social insurance disability pension, when he was rated as a disabled, if on the day of establishing the disability he had the obligatory period of state social pension insurance as defined by law. An exception was set forth to this general rule. For example, pursuant to Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 1994) of Article 28 of this law, it was prescribed that the persons who are less than 23 years of age and who are rated as the disabled or as the one with more severe group of disability during the period of state social pension insurance, are granted the right to receive the state social insurance disability pension while considering that they meet the requirements of the minimum and compulsory insurance period in order to become eligible to the disability pension.

Article 25 “Definition of Disability” of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions defined that “disability is a full or partial loss of capacity to work, which is permanent or remaining upon the expiry of the period of payment of illness benefit and which restricts a person’s possibilities of engaging in an activity that generates income”.

Thus, pursuant to Article 25 of this law, the disability is associated with a certain long-term loss of person’s capacity to work, which restricts the person’s possibility of engaging in an activity that generates income. This means that the purpose of the disability pension, as consolidated in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, was a respective compensation to the person for the income lost due to the loss of his capacity to work.

In this context one should note that a broader notion of the disability was presented in the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled. Paragraph 1 (wording of 28 November 1991) of Article 3 of this law prescribed that “disability is the condition of an individual, as established by competent institutions, which due to a congenital or acquired physical or mental defect, totally or partially incapacitates the individual from taking care of his private or social life, from enjoying his rights and from fulfilling his duties.”

4. Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 1994) of Article 26 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions prescribed that, having taken into account the level of lost capacity to work, three groups of disability are set forth for the purposes of calculation of pensions (Paragraph 2 (wording of 18 July 1994) of this law prescribed that groups of disability, the causes, the time of appearance and the period of the disability are set by the SCMSE in accordance with the bylaws that are approved by the Government).

Paragraph 2 (wordings of 28 November 1991 and 22 October 1998) of Article 3 of the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled prescribed that “according to the degree of manifestation, disability shall be divided into three groups (I, II and III). The loss of general or vocational capacity to work shall be expressed in percentage <…>”. Item 1 (wording of 22 October 1998) of Paragraph 3 of Article 4 of this law prescribed that commissions establishing disability shall adopt decisions inter alia, concerning the establishment of the degree of general and vocational loss of capacity to work.

These laws did not disclose the content of the notions “loss of general capacity to work” and “loss of vocational capacity to work” that are used in the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled (wordings of 28 November 1991 and 22 October 1998), and they did not establish as to what particular level of lost capacity to work is associated with the respective group of disability. Moreover, they did not consolidate the minimum degree of lost capacity to work, in the event of which the person could become eligible to the state social insurance disability pension, and they did not include provisions regulating the periods of establishing the disability, inter alia, the criteria of differentiating these periods.

The aforementioned relations (to a certain extent) were regulated by substatutory legal act—the Procedure for Establishing the Long-term and Permanent Loss of Capacity to Work (Disability) (hereinafter referred to as the Procedure for Establishing the Disability), which was approved by Item 1.1 of the Order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour (No. 226/49) “On the Approval of the Procedure for Establishing the Long-Term and Permanent Loss of Capacity to Work (Disability)” of 28 April 2000.

5. The Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) prescribed that SCMSE passes an individual decision on the person’s capacity to work by taking into account the course of illness, prognosis of capacity to work, employment possibilities and other social factors (Item 10); the reasons of disability, inter alia, common illnesses, occupational disease, may be established (Item 38).

Capacity to work is “a person’s ability and possibility of doing work that does not require special knowledge, qualification and skills” (Item 15); vocational capacity to work is “a person’s ability and possibility of performing a job under his profession that requires special knowledge, qualification, work experience (skills). When assessing the vocational capacity to work one takes into account also the ability and possibilities of the person of doing, by using the acquired knowledge, qualification and skills, a job of similar profession and of learning a new profession” (Item 16). Item 12 (wording of 28 April 2000) of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability established, inter alia, that the loss of vocational capacity to work is expressed in percentage.

In Item 28 of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) one presented a list of states of organism of a person, due to which the disability of Group I is established, in Item 31—a list of states of organism of a person, due to which the disability of Group II is established, and in Item 33—a list of states of organism of a person, due to which the disability of Group III is established.

It was established in Item 32 of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) that “the disability of Group III shall be established to the persons: 32.1. who, due to the state of their organism, face a loss of vocational qualification or it becomes lost, and capacity to work becomes lower by one third (1/3); 32.2. in case of certain states of organism, where vocational factor is not taken into account (anatomic defects, etc.)”, and in Item 33 one presented a list of states of organism of a person, due to which the disability of Group III is established.

It should be noted that in Chapter V (Items 32–33) of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) that regulated the establishment of the disability of Group III, there was not a single social criterion indicated, which should be taken into account when establishing the disability of Group III to the person.

Item 35 of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) prescribed, inter alia, that in the course of establishing the degree of loss of vocational capacity to work, its size is set to be proportionate to the disability as follows: Group I—loss of vocational capacity to work of 90–100 percent, Group II—65–100 percent, Group III—30–60 percent. This item also prescribed that the SCMSE establishes to the person, who suffered from several events insured against, a general percentage of lost capacity to work and indicates the level of lost capacity to work per every event individually, however, the general percentage of lost capacity to work of the person, who suffered from several events, may not exceed 100 percent (Item 35.9 (wording of 25 May 2004)).

Thus, the person, to whom one established the level of lost vocational capacity to work of 30 percent, was entitled to the state social insurance disability pension (disability of Group III).

In this context it should be noted that the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) did not contain any provisions consolidating a requirement in the course of establishing the group of disability, when the disability cause is a common illness (not an occupational disease) to establish the degree of the loss of capacity to work; it did not stipulate that the degree (size) of the loss of capacity to work should be adjusted to the respective group of disability, moreover, it did not establish the minimum degree of the loss of capacity to work, in the presence of which the person used to acquire the right to obtain the disability group (save the exception, where this is caused by the reduced vocational capacity to work (capacity to work becomes reduced by at least 1/3)).

Item 36 (wording of 28 April 2000) of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability prescribed that the disability may be established for a limited and unlimited period.

According to Item 37 (wording of 28 April 2000) of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability, the disability for an unlimited period was established in the following cases: during the primary inspection due to very serious illnesses or traumas, anatomical or psychical defects, and in cases where the clinical prognosis and that of capacity to work of the person raise no doubts (Item 37.1); in cases of changing processes, where the disabled person was under observation for at least 4 years and, upon applying measures of medical, vocational and social rehabilitation, permanent and irreversible morphological and functional changes occurred in his organism (Item 37.2.); when, in the event that no changes of the type as indicated in Item 37.2. are present, the issue of establishing the disability for a limited period is decided individually during every repeated examination, however, for no longer than 10 years (Item 37.3); and for the persons who reached the age of pension, except the cases where the disability group was established for the purposes of rehabilitation (Item 37.4).

According to Item 36 (wording of 28 April 2000) of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability, the issue of establishing a limited period of disability was decided individually; in case of predicting an efficient rehabilitation, a group of disability could be established for the period of 6 months or one year, and in case of not predicting an efficient rehabilitation, a group of disability could be established for two years.

6. It should be noted that the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) did not contain any provisions that separately regulate the period, for which the deadlines of disability should be set in the course of indicating the level of loss of vocational capacity to work and the group of disability.

Thus, the periods of disability as indicated in Items 36 and 37 of the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) should be applied, inter alia, in cases of accidents (incapacitation at work) and occupational disease.

7. The disability for the person for a limited or unlimited period prior to the model of establishing the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work), which was consolidated in the laws that came into force on 1 July 2005, had to be established according to medical and social criteria. Paragraph 3 (wording of 28 November 1991) of Article 3 of the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled prescribed that medical and social criteria of disability are regulated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Security. Having amended the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled and having set it forth in a new wording of 22 October 1998, Paragraph 5 of Article 3 prescribed that medical and social criteria of disability and disability of full incapacity are regulated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.

Thus, the content of the provision of the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled (wording of 28 November 1991) from the aspect that medical and social criteria were assigned to be regulated by the ministries as indicated in the law, remained unchanged and was valid till 1 July 2005.

It should be noted that neither the Instruction on Establishment of the Disability as approved by the 9 December 1991 order (No. 1-4031) of the Minister of Health and the 5 December 1991 order (No. 13-2229) of the Minister of Social Security, which entrenched, inter alia, the criteria of establishment of disability groups, nor the Procedure for Establishing the Disability as approved by the 28 April 2000 order (No. 226/49) of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour, which established the list of states of organism of a person, due to which the respective group of disability (Group I, II or III) was established, indicate as to which criteria are medical and which are social, whereas Chapter V of the aforementioned Procedure (wording of 28 April 2000) which, as already mentioned, regulated establishment of the disability of Group III, only provided a list of states of organism that are the basis for establishing the disability of Group III.

8. Summing up the legal regulation entrenched in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 18 July 1994 with subsequent amendments and/or supplements) and the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled (wordings of 28 November 1991 and 22 October 1998), which was valid by 1 July 2005, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 1994) of Article 26 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions prescribed that, having considered the degree of the loss of capacity to work, three groups of disability are established for the purposes of pensions’ calculation. Paragraph 2 (wordings of 28 November 1991 and 22 October 1998) of Article 3 of the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled provided that “according to the degree of manifestation, disability shall be divided into three groups (I, II and III)”.

The aforementioned laws did not entrench as to how the level of loss of vocational capacity to work, in the course of its establishment, should be harmonised with the group of disability. This was set forth in a substatutory legal act—the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) as approved by the order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour (Item 35 of this Procedure indicates that when establishing the degree of loss of vocational capacity to work, its size is adjusted, inter alia, as follows: Group III—30–60 percent. Thus, the person, to whom the degree of loss of vocational capacity to work was established to be 30 percent, had the right to become entitled to the state social insurance disability pension (disability of the Group III)).

In the event that the disability was caused by a common illness (not an occupational disease), neither laws, nor the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) established how the level (size) of loss of capacity to work must be adjusted to the respective group of disability, moreover, the minimum degree of loss of capacity to work, in the event of establishment of which the person could become eligible to the state social insurance disability pension (except Group III of disability—in cases where it was established for the persons, whose vocational qualification was reduced or lost due to their state of organism, the capacity to work was reduced by at least 1/3) was not consolidated.

Alongside, it should be noted that for the purposes of establishing the disability of Group III (when one does not take into account the vocational factor) the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) indicated only the list of states of organism of a person, due to which the disability of Group III is established, and it did not provide for a single social criterion, although Paragraph 5 (wording of 22 October 1998) of Article 3 of the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled prescribed that medical and social criteria of disability must be regulated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.

The laws (the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled (wordings of 28 November 1991 and 22 October 1998) and the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 18 July 1994) did not contain any provisions regulating the periods of establishing the disability, inter alia, the criteria of differentiating these periods. The Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) as approved by the order of the ministers defined the criteria, according to which the disability group is established for an unlimited and limited period (6 months, one or two years).

9. On 19 May 2005, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (pursuant to Article 2 thereof this law became valid on 1 July 2005), by Article 1 of which it amended the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 18 July 1994 with subsequent amendments and/or supplements) and set it forth in a new wording.

10. Article 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the State Social Insurance Pensions provides, inter alia, the following:

1. As of 1 July, the following state social insurance pensions shall be established:

1) Old-age pension;

2) Pension for lost capacity to work;

3) Survivor’s and orphan’s pension.

2. In accordance with the procedure laid down by this Law, until the expiry of the term of payment or until the granting of state social insurance old-age or pension for lost capacity to work in replacement thereof, the following pensions shall continue to be paid:

<…>

1) Disability pensions granted prior to 1 July 2005 <…>.”

Thus, in this law the pension for lost capacity to work was consolidated in replacement of the disability pension and it prescribed that previously granted pensions shall continue to be paid for the respective period as defined in the law.

11. It should be noted that despite the fact that Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 41 of the aforementioned law provides, inter alia, that “state social insurance pensions shall be granted for lifetime or for a period during which the recipient of the pension remains entitled, under this Law, to the pension granted”, however, the period for which the person, under this law, remains entitled to receive the granted pension for lost capacity to work is not established in this law.

12. The right to receive the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work is provided for in Article 28 “Entitlement to the State Social Insurance Pension for Lost Capacity to Work” of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions. Article 28 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides that “the persons who, in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, have been established a level of capacity to work and who are rated as incapable or partially capable of working <…> shall be entitled to the social insurance pension for lost capacity to work where these persons fulfil the conditions established in Articles 30 and 31 of this Law”.

Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 29 “Establishment of a Level of Capacity to Work and Percentage of Lost Capacity to Work” of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides, inter alia, that a person’s level of capacity to work, reason thereof, time of occurrence, time limit and percentage of the person’s lost capacity to work shall be established by the Disability and Work Capacity Assessment Office under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (hereinafter also referred to as the Disability and Work Capacity Assessment Office).

Article 30 “Conditions of the Granting of the Pension for Lost Capacity to Work” (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides that the person to whom a level of capacity to work is established for the first time and who is rated as incapable or partially capable of working shall become entitled to the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work, provided on the day of rating him as incapable or partially capable of working he has the minimum period of state social pension insurance for the pension for lost capacity to work (Paragraph 1); the person not entitled to the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work under the condition indicated in Paragraph 1 of this article shall become entitled to it where he has the minimum period of state social pension insurance for the pension for lost capacity to work on the day of rating him as incapable or partially capable of working after a repeated examination or on the day of application for the pension (Paragraph 2).

Article 31 “Minimum and Obligatory Period of State Social Pension Insurance for the Pension for Lost Capacity to Work” of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) establishes, inter alia, the minimum state social pension insurance period in order to become entitled to the pension for lost capacity to work, which should be attained by the persons who are rated as incapable or partially capable of working. According to Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 31 of this law, the minimum period of 2 months of the state social pension insurance period in order to become eligible for the pension for lost capacity to work is established to the persons up to 22 years of age who are rated as incapable or partially capable of working.

Thus, the person is entitled to the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work in case the following conditions are in place: 1) the established (under the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities) level of person’s capacity to work is such that the person is rated as incapable or partially capable of working; 2) the person has attained the state social pension insurance period as defined by law (in certain cases the minimum period of 2 months).

13. Having consolidated the model of establishing the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work) (since 1 July 2005), the laws consolidate (consolidated) also a notion of the level of capacity to work and the minimum level of lost capacity to work which is necessary in order to become eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work.

According to Article 2 (wording of 11 May 2004) of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, the level of capacity to work is “the person’s ability to carry out the previously obtained vocational competence and to acquire new vocational competence, or to do the work that needs lower vocational competence” (Paragraph 3); the person with incapacities is “the person to whom, upon the procedure established in this law, the level of incapacity or the level of capacity to work of lower than 55 percent, and/or the necessity of meeting the special needs is established” (Paragraph 8); special support measures are “the measures of meeting the special need, which are intended to ensure equal training, vocational and social possibilities, as well as a possibility of a fully-fledged integration into society, to the person with incapacities—the recipient of such measures” (Paragraph 11).

14. After the model of establishment of the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work) was consolidated, the capacity to work under Paragraph 4 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities is established upon assessing the state of health of the person and his possibilities of doing the work under the held qualification, of acquiring new qualification or doing the work that does not require vocational qualification after all possible measures of medicinal and vocational rehabilitation as well as the special measures were applied.

Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 “Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work” of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities provides:

Capacity to work is assessed in percentage and its level is established by intervals of 5 points, i.e.:

1) if the established capacity to work of the person is 0–25 percent, the person is rated as incapable of working;

2) if the established capacity to work of the person is 30–55 percent, the person is rated as partially incapable of working;

3) if the established capacity to work of the person is 60–100 percent, the person is rated as capable of working.”

Thus, in the aforementioned law it is established how the level of capacity to work is linked with the percentage of the lost capacity to work, moreover, the law prescribes that the person enjoys the right to the pension for lost capacity to work, if he has acquired the state social pension insurance period as defined in the law, and the level of capacity to work established to him does not exceed 55 percent (i.e. the person has lost at least 45 percent of the capacity to work), and special needs may be established for the person in order to ensure equal rights in all spheres of life, inter alia, his vocational activity.

15. Paragraph 8 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities provides that the criteria and procedure for establishing the level of capacity to work is defined by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour together with the Ministry of Health.

When vocational rehabilitation is not possible due to severe functional disorders of the person’s organism or is not reasonable due to the person’s age, the level of capacity to work is established according to medicinal criteria (Paragraph 5 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities).

16. Thus, when establishing the level of capacity to work of the person who has the state social pensions insurance period as provided for in the law, one assesses the state of health of the person and his possibilities of doing the work under his current or other vocational qualification, as well as of doing other work that does not require vocational qualification. It should be noted that the aforementioned assessment is carried out when the measures of medicinal and vocational rehabilitation, as well as special assistance have been applied, save the cases where vocational rehabilitation is not possible due to severe functional disorders of the person’s organism or is not reasonable due to the person’s age.

17. On 21 March 2005, the Minister of Social Security and Labour and the Minister of Health issued the Order (No. A1-78/V179) “On the Approval of the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work and the Description of the Procedure for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work” (which came into force on 1 July 2005), by Item 1 of which the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work and the Description of the Procedure for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work were approved.

Item 3 (wording of 21 March 2005) of the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work provides:

3. The level of a person’s capacity to work is established upon assessing the following criteria:

3.1. medicinal, i.e. persons basic capacity to work (Annex 1);

3.2. functional (Annex 2);

3.3. vocational and other criteria that affect the person’s capacity to work and possibilities of getting a job (Annex 2).”

Annex 1 to the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work submits a list of illnesses with respectively assigned percentage of the basic capacity to work. This list indicates the percent of the basic capacity to work (quite often—in a certain interval) that are assigned to particular illnesses (health disorders) (for example, Item 15.2 (wording of 16 June 2005) of Annex 1 of the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work): “Illnesses of peripheral nervous system, neuromuscular copula and muscles: <…> 15.2. average functional disorder 80–50%.”).

It is obvious from the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work that, when deciding upon the establishment of the level of capacity to work, one assesses first of all the person’s basic capacity to work (medicinal criteria), by taking into account the state of health of the person and all illnesses or traumas that affect his capacity to work, as well as functional disorders related thereto (Item 4 (wording of 21 March 2005)). The basic capacity to work is assessed in percentage: from 0 to 25 percent, from 30 to 55 percent, from 60 to 100 percent (Item 9 (wording of 2 May 2006)).

It should be noted that the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work prescribes that one must assess all illnesses or traumas that affect a person’s capacity to work, as well as functional disorders related thereto (Items 5 and 6 (wording of 21 March 2005 as amended on 22 May 2009).

The functional criteria (related to the respective number of hours that the person is capable of working) (Item 11 (wording of 21 March 2005)), vocational and other criteria that affect the person’s capacity to work and his possibilities of getting a job (education, vocational qualification, work experience and skills that may be applied by the person in his place of work, age, adjustment of physical, vocational and informational environment of the person) (Item 12 (wording of 2 May 2006)).

Functional, vocational and other criteria that affect the person’s capacity to work and his possibilities of getting a job are treated as circumstances of average favour to the work, not favourable to work and favourable to work (Items 13–15 (wording of 21 March 2005 as amended on 2 May 2009). Where, in the course of the assessment of the level of person’s capacity to work, the circumstances unfavourable to work comprise the majority and the conditions unfavourable for work are established to the person, the percentage of his basic capacity to work is multiplied by coefficient 0.7 (Item 17 (wording of 21 march 2005)). Where, in the course of the assessment of the level of a person’s capacity to work, the circumstances of average favour for work comprise the majority and the circumstances of average favour for work are established to the person, the percentage of his basic capacity to work are multiplied by coefficient 1 (Item 18 (wording of 21 March 2005)). Where, in the course of the assessment of the level of a person’s capacity to work, the favourable circumstances for work comprise the majority and the favourable conditions for work are established to the person, the percentage of his basic capacity to work are multiplied by coefficient 1.3 (Item 19 (wording of 21 March 2005)).

Alongside, it should be noted that in the course of assessing the level of capacity to work of the person who successfully completed the programme of vocational rehabilitation, one condition favourable for work is added (Item 21 (wording of 2 May 2006)).

The level of capacity to work is assessed only according to the medicinal criteria, irrespective of the functional, vocational and other criteria (unless the person himself requests doing so), in cases where the person’s basic capacity to work amounts from 0 to 15 percent (Item 24 (wording of 21 March 2005)).

Thus, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, one should note that pursuant to the legal regulation established in the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work (wording of 21 March 2005 with subsequent amendments), the level of the person’s capacity to work is established by assessing not only the state of organism of the person (medicinal criteria), but other factors (criteria), too (save one reservation—when the person’s basic capacity to work amounts from 0 to 15 percent).

18. Item 1 of the Description of the Procedure for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work (wording of 21 March 2005) indicates that this description regulates, inter alia, the establishment of the period of the level of capacity to work. Item 31 of this description (wording of 21 March 2005 as amended on 2 May 2006) provides, inter alia, that the level of capacity to work may be established for an unlimited period in cases where the level of capacity to work is set due to accident (mutilation) at work or occupational disease (Item 31.6).

The level of capacity to work is set for a limited period: 1) for the period of 6 months; 2) for the period of one year; 3) for the period of two years; 4) until the end of the programme of vocational rehabilitation; 5) until the date of attaining the age of eligibility to the old-age pension, save the cases where the level of capacity to work is established due to accident (mutilation) at work or occupational disease (Items 31.1.–31.5.).

The periods of setting the level of capacity to work, which are established for 6 months, one or two years, may be extended for the periods not exceeding 6 years, and after 6 years the period of the set level of capacity to work is indicated to be until the age of eligibility to the old-age pension (Item 33 (wording of 21 March 2005)).

It should be noted that there exist no criteria which should be followed by the Disability and Work Capacity Assessment Office when it decides during the primary inspection on setting an unlimited or limited period of the level of capacity to work; as well as there exist no criteria which would define the cases where the level of capacity to work is set for a limited period of six months, and where it should be one or two years; one does separately regulate the extension (repeated establishment) of the previously established period of validity of the level of capacity to work to the persons to whom the disability reason “since childhood” was established before they reached the age of 18 years.

Alongside, it should be emphasised that neither the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004), nor the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) includes provisions regulating the establishment of the periods of the level of capacity to work, inter alia, the criteria, according to which these periods are differentiated.

19. It should be noted that Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities provides that the level of capacity to work due to accident at work or occupational disease is established for the persons irrespective of their age upon the procedure defined by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania or its authorised institution. The Minister of Social Security and Labour and the Minister of Health, on 3 January 2005, by the Order (No. A1-1/V-2) “On the Approval of the Rules for Establishing the Level of Capacity to Work Related to Accidents at Work or Consequences of Occupational Diseases” (which came into force on 1 July 2005) approved the Rules for Establishing the Level of Capacity to Work Related to Accidents at Work or Consequences of Occupational Diseases. Item 11 of these rules provides that the Disability and Work Capacity Assessment Office, upon establishing to the person the level of capacity to work related with an accident at work or consequences of occupational disease, establishes alongside the level of lost capacity to work, which is calculated by deducting the percentage of the level of capacity to work established to the person from 100 percent.

Thus, in the event of accident at work and occupational disease, the level of capacity to work is established to the persons who are insured under the social insurance against accidents at work (i.e. the person’s capacity to work under his current vocational competence, to acquire the new vocational competence or to do the work that requires lower vocational competence are assessed) and the level of the lost capacity to work, irrespective of their age, is defined. The degree (size) of the lost vocational capacity to work is not established under the model of establishing the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work).

20. As mentioned before, the person becomes eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work if he has lost at least 45 percent of the capacity to work. The Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) and other legal acts contain no provisions establishing other minimum level of lost capacity to work that is necessary in order to become eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work.

It should be held that, according to the valid legal regulation, in order to become eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work the minimum level of the lost capacity to work (at least 45 percent of the lost capacity to work) is necessary, which is applicable also to the persons to whom the level of capacity to work is established due to accidents at work or consequences of occupational disease, inter alia, to the persons to whom, according to the legal regulation that was valid by 1 July 2005, the minimum level of lost vocational capacity to work of 30 percent was established and they were rated as the disabled of Group III and assigned a disability pension.

21. Summing up the legal regulation established in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) and the Order of the Minister of Social Security and Labour and the Minister of Health of 21 March 2005 (No. A1-78/V179) “On the Approval of the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work and the Description of the Procedure for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work”, it should be noted that upon consolidation of the model of establishing the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work), the person acquires the right to the pension for lost capacity to work, when he has the minimum state social pensions insurance period as defined in the law and the level of capacity to work not exceeding 55 percent is established to him (when the person has lost at least 45 percent of capacity to work). The level of the person’s capacity to work, its reason, time period and percentage of the person’s lost capacity to work are defined by the Disability and Work Capacity Assessment Office. In the course of establishing the level of the person’s capacity to work one assesses the state of health of the person in percentage, which is indicated in the substatutory legal act (basic capacity to work), as well as other factors (functional, vocational and other criteria) that affect the person’s capacity to work and his ability to get a job. The level of capacity to work is established for a limited or unlimited period. The level of capacity to work is established to the persons due to accident at work or occupational disease, irrespective of their age. The level of capacity to work due to accident at work or occupational disease is established to the person and then the level of lost capacity to work is calculated by deducting the percentage of the level of capacity to work established to the person from 100 percent.

22. Having compared the legal regulation that is established in the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) and the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), which came into force on 1 July 2005, with the one that is set forth in the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled (wordings of 28 November 1991 and 22 October 1998 with subsequent amendments and supplements made by 4 November 2004) and the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 18 July 1994 with subsequent amendments and/or supplements made by 15 February 2005), which was valid by 1 July 2005, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, in the aspects of, inter alia, the establishment of disability (lost capacity to work) and appearance of the right to receive the disability (lost capacity to work) pension, it is obvious that:

according to the legal regulation that came into force as from 1 July 2005, the laws consolidated the pension for lost capacity to work instead of the previous disability pension;

according to the legal regulation that came into force as from 1 July 2005, the person becomes entitled to the pension for lost capacity to work, where the level of capacity to work established to him does not exceed 55 percent, as entrenched in the law. According to the previous legal regulation that was valid by 1 July 2005, neither the law, nor substatutory legal acts established the minimum level of lost capacity to work, in the event of which the person could become eligible to the disability pension, save the cases where the reason of disability was the occupational disease, reduction of vocational qualification (the degree of lost vocational capacity to work was entrenched only in the order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour);

the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) prescribed that the level of capacity to work is related to the percentage of the lost capacity to work, according to the previous legal regulation that was valid by 1 July 2005, these relations were not regulated by law: they were regulated only by the order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour, which indicated that the level of lost vocational capacity to work is linked to the disability, inter alia, as follows: the loss of vocational capacity to work of 30–60 percent—Group III;

according to the legal regulation that came into force on 1 July 2005, the level of capacity to work is established according to the criteria and upon the procedure that are consolidated in the legal acts of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour, first of all, according to the established medicinal criteria (a person’s basic capacity to work as assessed in the percentage of the basic capacity to work, which is adjusted upon the assessment of other factors (functional, vocational and other criteria)); pursuant to the legal regulation that was valid by 1 July 2005, the disability groups were established only according to the medicinal and social criteria that were set by substatutory legal act without defining which criteria are medicinal and which—social, whereas in the course of establishing the disability of Group III (when no account is taken of the vocational factor), one provided only a list of states of a person’s organism, which are the reason for establishing the disability of Group III, and did not indicate a single social criterion;

according to the legal regulation that came into force on 1 July 2005, the level of capacity to work and the pension for lost capacity to work is granted to the persons (if they are ensured under the state social insurance) until they reach the age of becoming entitled to the old-age pension; pursuant to the previous legal regulation that was valid by 1 July 2005, the disability pension could also be granted to the persons who reached the age of becoming entitled to the old-age pension.

It should be held that, upon reorganisation of the fundamentals of the social integration of the disabled, the system of disability pensions and the establishment of the disability, the model of establishing the disability (having consolidated it in the legal acts as the model of establishment of the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work)) acquired new characteristics.

23. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that the person who suffered from an accident at work or occupational disease (if it results in the loss of capacity to work), in certain cases becomes entitled also to damage compensation as per the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on Damage Compensation in Accident at Work or Occupational Disease Cases (wording of 1 July 1997), which came into force on 1 September 1997.

Paragraph 8 (wording of 1 July 1997) of Article 2 of this law established, inter alia, that loss of the capacity to work denotes temporary or total loss of occupational capacity to work due to an accident at work or becoming ill with an occupational disease. The lost capacity to work is expressed in percentage.

Paragraph 1 (wording of 1 July 1997) of Article 12 “Single Compensation for Loss of Capacity to Work” of this law provides: “If the victim has sustained the loss of up to 20 percent (inclusively) of his capacity to work, he shall be paid 10 percent of the amount of his 24-month work pay, subject to compensation, in a single compensation payment; if the victim has sustained the loss of more than 20 percent, but less than 30 percent of his capacity to work, he shall be paid a 20 percent of the amount of his 24-month work pay, subject to compensation, in a single compensation payment.”

Paragraph 1 (wording of 1 July 1997) of Article 13 “Periodic Compensation for Loss of the Capacity to Work” of this law provides: “In the event it is prescribed that the victim has suffered a loss of 30 percent or more in his capacity to work, he shall be paid periodic compensation for loss of the capacity to work.”

The periodic compensation for the lost capacity to work is paid until the end of the time period of loss of the capacity to work, established by the SCMSE (Article 15 (wording of 1 July 1997)); the periodic compensation for the lost capacity to work is paid until the end of the period of loss of the capacity to work as established by the Disability and Work Capacity Assessment Office (Article 15 (wording of 19 May 2005)).

On 19 May 2005, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, the Law on Accident at Work and Occupational Diseases Social Insurance, the Provisional Law on Damage Compensation in Accident at Work or Occupational Disease Cases, as well as the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on State Social Insurance, which came into force on 1 July 2005.

Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 12 of the Provisional Law on Damage Compensation in Accident at Work or Occupational Disease Cases provides: “Should any changes occur in the percentage of the lost capacity to work of the victim, who has been paid a single compensation payment for loss of the capacity to work, but they do not exceed the amounts indicated in this law, and the newly calculated single compensation payment for the loss of the capacity to work is bigger than the previously received one, the difference between the calculated and already paid compensation for the lost capacity to work shall be paid.”

Thus, according to the Provisional Law on Damage Compensation in Accident at Work or Occupational Disease Cases (wording of 1 July 1997 with subsequent amendments and/or supplements), the persons who were recognised as those with lost capacity to work due to accident at work or becoming ill with an occupational disease, are entitled to the single compensation payment for the loss of the capacity to work, if they lost less than 30 percent of the capacity to work, or to the periodic compensation payment for the loss of the capacity to work, if they lost 30 and more percent of the capacity to work.

24. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that, in the course of reorganisation of the system of disability pensions, certain guarantees to the persons who, according to the previous legal regulation, were granted and paid the state social insurance disability pensions, were established both in of the Law on State Social insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), which was set forth in a new wording, and in the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004).

Paragraph 2 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 30 “Preservation of Rights of Persons under 18 Years of Age” of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities provides: “The persons under 18 years of age, who were rated as the disabled according to the procedure that was applied before the date of coming into force of this Law, shall be paid benefits (pensions, allowances and compensations) that are not smaller than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005, until the moment that the incapacity level becomes established to them, and they are entitled to not lower guarantees and concessions than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005.”

Article 31 “Preservation of Rights of the Persons who Attained the Age of Becoming Eligible to Old-Age Pension” (wording of 11 May 2004) of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities provides:

1. The persons who attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension prior of the date of coming into force of this Law and who were rated as the disabled upon the procedure that was valid prior to the date of coming into force of this Law, until the expiry of the established period of disability shall be paid benefits (pensions, allowances and compensations) that are not smaller than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005, until the moment that the disability becomes established to them, and they are entitled to not lower guarantees and concessions than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005.

2. The persons who attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension prior of the date of coming into force of this Law and who were rated as the disabled for an unlimited period upon the procedure that was valid prior to the date of coming into force of this Law, shall be paid benefits (pensions, allowances and compensations) that are not smaller than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005, and they are entitled to not lower guarantees and concessions than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005.”

Article 32 “Preservation of Rights of the Persons who have not Attained the Age of Becoming Eligible to Old-Age Pension” (wording of 11 May 2004) of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities provides:

1. In order to preserve the rights of the persons, who have not attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension prior of the date of coming into force of this Law and to whom a group of disability was established, a transitional period is set from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2007.

2. Upon the procedure established by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, until 30 June 2007 the level of capacity to work must be established to all persons of the age from 18 years to the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension, who were rated as the disabled upon the procedure that was valid prior to the date of coming into force of this Law.

3. The persons who have not attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension and who were rated as the disabled of Group I, II or III, during the transitional period, until the moment that the level of capacity to work becomes established to them, are treated equal to the persons who, upon the procedure defined in this Law, are rated as incapable or partially capable of working on the basis of the certificates of disability that were issued upon the procedure that was valid prior to the date of coming into force of this Law.

4. The persons who have not attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension and who were rated as the disabled upon the procedure that was valid prior to the date of coming into force of this Law, during the transitional period, until the moment that the level of capacity to work becomes established to them, shall be paid benefits (pensions, allowances and compensations) that are not smaller than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005, and they are entitled to not lower guarantees and concessions than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005.

5. The persons who have not attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension and who were rated as the disabled for an unlimited period, the level of capacity to work shall be established on the basis of the certificates of disability that were issued upon the procedure that was valid prior to the date of coming into force of this Law and the provisions of Article 3 of this chapter, save the cases where the person with disabilities applies to the Office on his own with the request to establish the level of capacity to work.”

Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 53 “Payment, Increase and Indexation of the State Social Insurance Disability Pensions” of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides:

The state social insurance disability pensions shall be further paid as from 1 July 2005 until the period of granting and paying these pensions expires or until they are replaced upon the procedure defined in this Law by the state social insurance old-age pension or pension for lost capacity to work. Upon approving a new, higher level of the basic state social insurance pension or a new, bigger insured income of the current year, the further paid disability pensions for Group I shall be increased just as the pension for lost capacity to work that are granted to the persons who have lost 75–100 percent of capacity to work, disability pensions for Group II—just as the pension for lost capacity to work that are granted to the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of capacity to work, disability pensions for Group III—just as the pension for lost capacity to work that are granted to the persons who have lost 45–55 percent of capacity to work. The disability pensions that have not been re-calculated according to this Law since 1 January 1995 shall be further indexed upon the procedure as per Article 52 of this Law.”

Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Law on Amending the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions that was adopted by the Seimas on 19 May 2005 provides: “The persons who acquired the right to receive the state social insurance disability pensions prior to 1 July 2005 but applied for their granting within 12 months from the indicated date, shall be granted these pensions upon the procedure that was valid by 1 July 2005.”

Thus, summing up the legal regulation that was established in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) and the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004), it should be held that: 1) to the persons under 18 years of age and the persons who have attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension, who, according to the previous legal regulation, were rated as disabled for a limited period, these pensions are paid in not smaller amount than established in the legal acts that were valid prior to 30 June 2005 until the expiry of the established period of disability (Paragraph 2 of Article 30 and Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004)); 2) the persons who have attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension and who were rated as disabled for an unlimited period, shall be continued to be paid the disability pension (Paragraph 2 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 31 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities); 3) the persons who have not attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension shall be paid until the disability pensions the expiry of the transitional period as defined in the law (30 June 2007), until which the level of capacity to work must be established (Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 32 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities); 4) the disability pensions shall be paid until the expiry of the period of granting and paying these pensions (Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 53 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions).

This means that the payment of the disability pensions that were granted and paid for the limited period was guaranteed under this legal regulation until the expiry of the disability period established to the person. The law indicates the end of the so-called transitional period—30 June 2007.

III

1. It has been mentioned that in this case the petitioner impugns the compliance (to the indicated extent) of the provision “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work for the persons who have lost 45–55 percent of their capacity to work shall be calculated in the same manner as for the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of their capacity to work <…>” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. Article 52 of the Constitution provides: “The State shall guarantee to citizens the right to receive old age and disability pensions as well as social support in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, loss of the breadwinner, and in other cases provided for by law.”

3. In its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the Constitution is an integral act; the norms and principles of the Constitution constitute a harmonious system; it is not permitted to construe any provision of the Constitution only literally, it is not permitted to construe any provision of the Constitution so that the content of any other constitutional provision might be distorted or denied, since, thus, the essence of the entire constitutional regulation would be distorted and the balance of the constitutional values would be disturbed.

4. When construing Article 52 of the Constitution, in its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the State of Lithuania is socially oriented and every citizen has the right to social security; the social maintenance, i.e. contribution of society to maintenance of such its members who are incapable of providing themselves from work or other means or who are not sufficiently provided, is recognised as having the status of a constitutional value; the measures of social protection express the idea of social solidarity, they help a person to protect himself from possible social hazards.

5. The content of legal regulation of the relations of social security, social maintenance, and social support are affected by various factors, inter alia, resources of the state and society, as well as material and financial possibilities. In the course of regulation of the aforementioned relations the legislature, while paying heed to the Constitution, has a wide discretion.

The Constitutional Court has held that the legislature has a wide discretion to choose and consolidate in laws a model of provision of social support, inter alia, various forms thereof (state, private, mixed, etc.) (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 7 February 2005 and 29 April 2008), as well as discretion to choose a system of pensions (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 26 September 2007).

6. The Constitutional Court has held in its rulings more than once that the constitutional right of a person to receive a pension is one of the most important social rights (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 October 2007 and 24 December 2008).

The old-age and disability pensions are the types of pensions that are expressis verbis indicated in Article 52 of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that under the Constitution, other provisions or social support than those expressis verbis specified in Article 52 of the Constitution may also be established by law.

7. The legislature, when adopting laws on the pensionary maintenance is bound by the rules and principles of the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, 22 October 2007, and 24 December 2008). According to the Constitution, the bases of pensionary maintenance, the persons who are granted and paid the pensions, the conditions of granting and paying the pensions, as well as the amounts of the pensions are established only by law.

In its ruling of 5 March 2004, the Constitutional Court held that separate types of social support, the persons who are granted social support, the grounds, conditions of granting and paying the social support, amounts thereof, according to the Constitution, may be set solely by law.

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that the principle of social solidarity in the civil society does not deny personal responsibility for one’s own fate, therefore, the legal regulation of social security should be such as to create preconditions for each member of society to take care of one’s own welfare, but not to rely solely on the social security guaranteed by the state. In its ruling of 5 March 2004, the Constitutional Court held that the social support should not create preconditions for a person not to strive for a higher income, not to search for possibilities of ensuring the living conditions for oneself and one’s family by one’s own effort that are in line with human dignity, and social support should not become a privilege.

8. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution guaranteeing the right to social maintenance obligate the state to establish sufficient measures for implementation and legal protection of the said right.

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that the provision “the state shall guarantee” of Article 52 of the Constitution means, inter alia, that, upon establishing by law certain pensionary maintenance, the state is obligated to guarantee it to the indicated persons on such grounds and by such amounts which have been established by law, while the persons who meet the conditions provided by law have the right to require that the state grant and pay this pension to them. In order to ensure the actual payment of the granted pension to the persons who meet the conditions established by law, the legislature has the duty to establish the accumulation of funds necessary for pensions and social support.

9. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that after the types of pensions, the persons entitled to the pension, the bases of granting and payment of pensions, their amounts, and the conditions have been established by law, a duty arises for the state to follow the constitutional principles of protection of legitimate expectations and legal certainty in the area of pensionary maintenance relations.

The persons who have been granted and paid a pension established by law or the Constitution, under Article 23 of the Constitution have the right to demand that the payments be paid further to them in the amounts which were granted and paid previously (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 3 December 2003).

10. It has been mentioned that Article 52 of the Constitution expressis verbis provides for the old-age pension and disability pension.

In the context of the case at issue, Article 52 of the Constitution, which sets the bases of pensionary maintenance and social support, should be construed together with Article 53 of the Constitution, which establishes, inter alia, the duty of the state to take care of people’s health, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 21 of the Constitution, which consolidates protection of human dignity, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, according to which each human being may freely choose a job or business, and has the right to have proper, safe and healthy conditions at work, to receive, inter alia, social security in the event of unemployment; Article 52 of the Constitution is also to be construed with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as with other norms and principles of the Constitution.

11. Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution provides:

The State shall take care of people’s health and shall guarantee medical aid and services for the human being in the event of sickness. The procedure for providing medical aid to citizens free of charge at State medical establishments shall be established by law.”

When construing these provisions of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has held that the health of a human being and of society is one of the most important values of society (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 11 July 2002 and 29 September 2005), that protection of people’s health is a constitutionally important objective, a public interest, whereas looking after people’s health should be treated as a state function (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 14 January 2002, 26 January 2004, and 29 September 2005)

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the state has the duty to protect human beings from threats to health (to reduce dangers to health and in certain cases, as far as possible, to prevent them), to improve ability of a person and society to overcome dangers to health, and to ensure availability of medical services in case of illness.

It should be noted that the right of a person to healthy environment is a necessary condition of dignified life and enjoyment of many other constitutional rights.

12. The Constitution consolidates the duty of the state to ensure protection and defence of human dignity. When construing Article 21 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has held: dignity is an integral characteristic of a human being as the greatest social value; each member of society enjoys innate dignity (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 December 2004); the inborn human rights are inborn opportunities of an individual which ensure his human dignity in the spheres of social life (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 9 December 1998, 29 December 2004, and 19 August 2006). The fact that the legislature, while regulating relations linked with implementation of human rights and freedoms, must guarantee their proper protection constitutes one of the conditions of ensuring human dignity as a constitutional value. State institutions and officials have a duty to respect human dignity as a special value; violation of human rights and freedoms can infringe human dignity as well (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 December 2004).

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that the state must create such system of social maintenance (inter alia, consolidate such model of granting and paying disability pensions), which would assist in maintaining conditions of living in line with human dignity, and, if necessary, provide a person with the necessary social security.

13. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, each human being has the right, inter alia, to have proper, safe and healthy conditions at work, and to receive social security in the event of unemployment.

The constitutional right to proper, safe and healthy working conditions means, inter alia, that every employee has the right to such working conditions (work environment, work character, the time of work and rest, tools of work, etc., should be regarded as working conditions) which would not exert negative influence on his life, health, and which would be in line with the requirements of safety and hygiene (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 9 April 2002 and 29 April 2008). The provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, under which each human being shall have the right to have proper, safe and healthy conditions at work, implies also the duty of the state to establish the legal regulation, under which the legal preconditions for implementing this right would be created; while doing so, the state must also establish the effective mechanisms of the implementation control of this right (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 April 2008).

At the same time, this constitutional right implies the duty of the employer to ensure the suitability, safety and healthiness of working conditions. A human right to proper, safe and healthy conditions at work, which stems from the Constitution, inter alia, Paragraph 1 of Article 48, does not deny also the duty of every employee to follow the requirements of safety at work (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 April 2008).

14. The constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as noted many times by the Constitutional Court, implies various requirements to the legislature, other legislating subjects, inter alia, that the legal regulation established in laws and other legal acts should be clear, harmonious, comprehensible, non-contradictory, the formulations of the legal acts must be precise.

15. The legislature, by assisting a person to protect himself from various social hazards and at the same time creating preconditions for each member of society to take care of his own welfare (and not to rely solely on the state social security), must establish by law a clear, harmonious legal regulation, according to which the conditions would be created to implement, inter alia, the right to receive disability pension, which is expressis verbis indicated in Article 52 of the Constitution.

The right to disability pension is one of the forms of social protection. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that, as already held by the Constitutional Court, the Constitution does not prevent usage of other words or formulas in laws and other legal acts than those used in the text of the Constitution. Treating the requirement to describe the same phenomena in laws and other legal acts always in the same words and formulas unreservedly would mean not only seeking to artificially restrict and stop the development of language, inter alia, legal terminology, when not only words (formulas) describing the same phenomena, which are different from the text of the Constitution, are used in the laws and other legal acts, but new terms (formulas) in general, which had not been created yet at the time of drawing the text of the Constitution, but it might also provoke to correct the text of the Constitution according to the terminology (words, formulas) entrenched in the laws and other legal acts also in such cases, when the intervention into the text of the Constitution, which as the supreme law must be a permanent act, is not legally necessary (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 16 January 2006, 19 August 2006 and 5 July 2007).

Thus, what is expressis verbis consolidated in Article 52 of the Constitution as the term (formula) “disability pension”, which the persons are entitled to, may be referred to in laws in another term (formula), if only this term (formula) does not deny (distort) the constitutional notion of this pension.

16. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, when construing Article 52 of the Constitution together with the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution, according to which the state, inter alia, takes care of people’s health, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 21 of the Constitution, which consolidates the protection of human dignity, as well as with Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, according to which each person may freely choose a job or business, and has the right to have proper, safe and healthy conditions at work, to receive social security in the event of unemployment, and taking account of the constitutional principles of proportionality and equality of persons, as well as the imperative of social harmony that is entrenched in the Constitution, it should be held that the state has a constitutional duty to ensure the creation of such social protection system (inter alia, a system of social support and disability pension) so that a person who, due to health disorders (caused by illness, accident, occupational disease, innate health disorders, etc.), permanently or temporarily did not acquire or lost a possibility of earning a living from work or business income, or where such possibilities significantly diminished, in the cases provided by law would receive social support and/or disability pension.

17. The legislature, by taking account of various factors, inter alia, resources of the state and society, the material and financial possibilities, has a wide discretion also to regulate the relations linked to granting the social support and/or disability pension to a person who, due to health disorders (caused by illness, accident, occupational disease, innate health disorders, etc.), permanently or temporarily did not acquire or lost a possibility of earning a living from work or business income, or where such possibilities significantly diminished.

At the same time it should be noted that when the legislature regulates relations linked to granting the social support and/or disability pension to a person who, due to health disorders (caused by illness, accident, occupational disease, innate health disorders, etc.), permanently or temporarily did not acquire or lost a possibility of earning a living from work or business income, or where such possibilities significantly diminished, the legislature must pay heed to the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the duty of the state to ensure the citizens’ right to receive disability pension or social support in case of illness, which is entrenched in Article 52 of the Constitution, the duty of the state to take care of people’s health, which is entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 52 of the Constitution, the requirement to protect human dignity, which is entrenched in Paragraph 2 of Article 21, the duty of the state to ensure proper, safe and healthy conditions at work, to receive social security in the event of unemployment, which is entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 48, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the constitutional principle of equal rights of the persons and that of proportionality), as well as other norms and principles of the Constitution.

18. Alongside, it should be noted that the legislature may not establish any such legal regulation that would create preconditions for a situation, where a person who, due to health disorders (caused by illness, accident, occupational disease, innate health disorders, etc.), permanently or temporarily did not acquire or lost a possibility of earning a living from work or business income, or where such possibilities significantly diminished, would not receive the respective social support and/or disability pension.

It has been mentioned that the human right (which is entrenched in the Constitution) to get a pension implies a duty to the legislature to regulate the legal relations of social protection so that preconditions and incentives are created for every member of society to take care of his own welfare, and not to solely rely on the state social security.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that one may not establish also any such legal regulation, where acquisition of the right to receive disability pension or maintaining such right, which is guaranteed under the Constitution to the person who, due to health disorders (caused by illness, accident, occupational disease, innate health disorders, etc.), permanently or temporarily did not acquire or lost a possibility of earning a living from work or business income, or where such possibilities significantly diminished, would be associated with the constitutionally unreasoned conditions, subjective decisions of any institutions or officials, or other circumstances that do not induce the persons to take care of their health.

19. It has been mentioned that, under Article 52 of the Constitution, the right to disability pension is guaranteed to such persons and on such bases that are provided for by law. The regulation (which is set by law) of social support relations, is one of the most important guarantees of the constitutional right to disability pension.

The law must establish the age upon reaching which a person has the right to receive the old age pension, the grounds for granting and payment of this pension, its conditions and sizes, while in the case of the disability pension—what should be considered as disability, as well as the grounds for granting and payment of this pension, its conditions and sizes (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 3 December 2003 and 22 October 2007).

The substatutory legal regulation of relations of social protection and social assistance may comprise the establishment of respective procedures, as well as the legal regulation based on laws, where the need to provide more details about and particularise the legal regulation in substatutory legal acts is objectively caused by the necessity in the law-making process to lean upon special knowledge and special (professional) competence in a certain area (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 7 February 2005 and 5 May 2007). However, as the Constitutional Court has held more than once in its rulings, it is not allowed to establish the conditions of appearance of the right of a person to social support, as well as to limit the extent of this right, by means of a substatutory legal regulation.

20. It has been held in this ruling that the person’s right to get a disability pension, which is expressis verbis entrenched in Article 52 of the Constitution, may be described by another term (formula), if only by such term (formula) one does not deny (distort) the constitutional concept of this pension. Disability should be associated first of all with such changes (temporal or permanent) of state of the person’s health, due to which the person temporarily or permanently did not acquire or lost a possibility of earning a living from work or business income, or where such possibilities significantly diminished.

It should be noted that disability is associated also with such health disorders (which last for a longer period), due to which the person temporarily or permanently did not acquire or lost possibility of earning a living from work or business income, or where such possibilities significantly diminished. This means that in the course of regulation of relations linked to granting the disability pension to a person, having taken account of the grounds established in the law and various factors, first of all of the type of the person’s health impairment (disorder), the disability pension may be granted and paid temporarily (for a certain period) or permanently. The period of paying the disability pension that is granted to the person (inter alia, the minimum and the maximum periods, the criteria differentiating these periods) is one of the conditions of payment of the disability pension, therefore, it must be established by law.

The legislature may differentiate the conditions of granting and paying the disability pension (including the time periods of disability and of payment of the disability pension) and their amounts on various grounds, by taking into account, inter alia, the state of health of a person, other factors, and in the event of pension amount—the participation of the person in the insurance against respective social hazards.

The constitutional requirements of legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations imply that conditions of granting and paying the disability pension (including the period (term) of payment of the pensions that is granted to the person), which must be established by law, must be clear, non-discriminatory, whereas the established period (term) of paying the disability pension, during which the granted pension is paid, must be neither unreasonably short, nor changed too often. Otherwise, human dignity and human health may become undermined and the imperatives that originate from Paragraph 1 of Article 53 and Article 21 of the Constitution may be disregarded.

In the course of the regulation of pensionary relations, certain requirements originate from Article 52 of the Constitution (when construed together with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and in the context of other provisions of the Constitution) not only to the legislature but to other law-making subjects as well, where the disregard thereof may cause a situation where respective legal regulation (legal acts and/or parts thereof) may be (and must be) recognised to be in violation of the Constitution. The constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law implies various requirements for the legislature and other law-making subjects, inter alia, the requirements that the law-making subjects pass legal acts only without exceeding their powers (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004 and 16 January 2006).

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that all subjects of law-making should heed the hierarchy of legal acts, which stem from the Constitution; the Constitution prohibits the regulation of those legal relations by means of legal acts of lower legal force, which should be regulated only by means of legal acts of higher legal force.

Government resolutions, substatutory legal acts of ministries (ministers) or other state institutions (their heads) may not replace or distort the legal regulation, which is established in laws.

The Constitutional Court has held in its rulings that substatutory legal acts may only set the procedure of implementation of the laws that regulate social protection and social assistance relations (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 5 March 2004 and 7 February 2005).

21. It has been mentioned that the Constitutional Court has held more than once that provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution that guarantee the right to social maintenance, obligate a state to establish sufficient measures of implementation and legal protection of this right.

It has been mentioned that, as already held by the Constitutional Court more than once, after the types of pensions have been established in laws, the persons who are entitled to a pension, grounds for granting and paying pensions, the conditions, and amounts of pensions, a duty arises for the state to follow the constitutional principles of protection of legitimate expectations and legal certainty in the sphere of pensionary maintenance relations.

The principle of protection of legitimate expectations implies the duty of the state, of the institutions implementing state authority, as well as of other state institutions to follow the obligations undertaken by the state.

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that this principle also means the protection of acquired rights, i.e. persons have the right reasonably to expect that the rights acquired by them under valid laws or other legal acts that are not in conflict with the Constitution will be maintained for the established period and could be implemented in reality.

At the same time it should be noted that the Constitutional Court has held more than once that one of the elements of the principle of protection of legitimate expectations is the protection of rights that were acquired under the Constitution, as well as the laws and other legal acts that are not in conflict with the Constitution. It has also been held in rulings of the Constitutional Court that the imperative of the balance among the constitutional values, the constitutional requirements of legal certainty and legal security, the protection of the acquired rights, which is enshrined in the Constitution, and the presumption of constitutionality and legitimacy of legal acts determine, inter alia, the fact that the Constitution generally does not prevent from protecting and defending in certain special cases also such acquired rights of the person, which arise out of the legal acts which were later recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution (substatutory legal acts—as being in conflict with the Constitution and/or laws), which, if not defended or protected, would result in greater harm to the person, other persons, society or the state, than the harm inflicted in case of total non-defence or non-protection or partial defence or protection of the said rights (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004, 20 February 2008, and 24 December 2008).

When deciding whether the acquired rights of persons which originated during the period of validity of the legal act, which was later recognised to be in conflict with the Constitution (substatutory legal acts—as being in conflict with the Constitution and/or laws), must be defended and protected, and if so—to what extent, in each case one must ascertain whether the failure to defend and protect such acquired rights would result in violation of other values that are protected by the Constitution, whether the balance among the values that are enshrined in, as well as protected and defended by the Constitution, becomes not violated.

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that having not ensured the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security of a person, one would not guarantee the person’s trust in the state and law.

While regulating the implementation of the rights and freedoms of the person entrenched in the Constitution, the legislature cannot deny legitimate expectations of the person, as the principles of legal regulation and, first of all, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, which are entrenched in the Constitution, prohibit unreasonable aggravation of the legal situation of a person, as well as denial of the acquired rights and ignoring of legitimate interests of a person (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 4 March 2003).

It has been mentioned that the Constitutional Court has held more than once that after establishment in laws the types of pensions, persons who are entitled to a pension, grounds for granting and paying pensions, conditions, and amounts of pensions, a duty arises for the state to follow the constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations and legal certainty in the sphere of pensionary maintenance relations.

It should be held that if the disability pension was granted and paid to a person under the law, it must be continued to be paid. The persons who meet the conditions that are established in the law have the right to demand that the state grant and pay this pension to them.

22. The constitutional protection of acquired rights and legitimate expectations does not mean that the system of pensionary maintenance established by law may not be reorganised (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, and 24 December 2008).

In the course of reorganising the system of pensionary maintenance, the Constitution must be heeded in every case: the system of pensionary maintenance established by law may be reorganised only if this is done by law and while guaranteeing, inter alia, the old age and disability pensions provided for by the Constitution, as well as heeding the obligations undertaken by the state, which are not in conflict with the Constitution, to pay corresponding monetary payments to persons, who meet the requirements established by law (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, 13 December 2004, and 24 December 2008).

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be held that dynamism of labour (economic) activity, progress of work technologies and medicine imply that the legal regulation that sets the grounds and conditions of origination of this pension, granting the disability pensions, inter alia, the establishment of disability, is subject to change, however, while reorganising the conditions of granting and paying disability pensions, one may not deny the person’s right to social security (inter alia, the disability pension).

It is held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 November 2007: “<…> the Constitution protects and defends the acquired rights, therefore, the correction of the social policy, the reorganisation of the system of social guarantees or of individual social guarantees of the state should be constitutionally grounded; if in the course of reorganisation of the system of social guarantees or the structure of individual social guarantees the extent of social guarantees is reduced, let alone certain social guarantees disappear, a mechanism of just compensation of incurred losses should be established to the individuals to whom those social guarantees were reasonably established, and if <…> the necessity to establish a respective social guarantee arises out of the Constitution, such social guarantee generally may not be subject to cancellation prior to the consolidation of the other one instead.”

According to the Constitution, the legislature has the right to reorganise the established system of disability pensionary maintenance by changing the grounds of the pensionary maintenance, the persons to whom the pension is granted and paid, the conditions of granting and paying the pension, if one follows the requirements arising out of Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the constitutional principles of protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security).

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that the persons who have acquired certain rights under the law, have the right to reasonable expect that these rights shall be maintained and implemented for the established period, therefore, when changing the legal regulation one must follow the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the principle lex retro non agit.

IV

1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that certain relations linked to social support to the person, protection of human health, and human disability are regulated in international documents as well.

For example, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) provides that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control (Paragraph 1 of Article 25); everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realisation, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organisation and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality (Article 22).

Article 12 of the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), which became valid for Lithuania on 20 February 1992, consolidates the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (Paragraph 1); whereas the states must take steps to achieve the creation of conditions which would assure to all medicinal service and medicinal attention in the event of sickness (Item d of Paragraph 2); the States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance (Article 9).

Part I of the European Social Charter (revised) (hereinafter referred to as the Charter), which became valid for Lithuania (with certain exceptions) on 1 August 2001, inter alia, consolidates that everyone has the right to benefit from any measures enabling him to enjoy the highest possible standard of health attainable (Item 11); anyone without adequate resources has the right to social and medical assistance (Item 13); all workers have the right to safe and healthy working conditions (Item 3). Article 11 “The right to protection of health” of Part II of the Charter enshrines, inter alia, the obligations of the Parties to take appropriate measures designed to remove as far as possible the causes of ill-health (Item 1); to prevent as far as possible epidemic, endemic and other diseases, as well as accidents (Item 3). Article 12 “The right to social security” of the Charter sets forth that with a view to ensuring the effective exercise of the right to social security, the Parties of the Charter undertake, inter alia, to establish or maintain a system of social security, to endeavour to raise progressively the system of social security to a higher level.

The aforementioned legal acts do not indicate as to what particular measures should be taken by the states to implement the requirements on social support to a person and protection of person’s health that are consolidated in these documents. By its own legal acts every state sets forth the measures that implement the above-mentioned requirements.

2. In certain aspects relations linked to social protection, inter alia, disability pensions, are subject to regulation by EU law.

According to Article 137 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, the Community shall support and complement the activities of the Member States, inter alia, in the field of social security and social protection of workers (Paragraph 1), however, the provisions adopted by the Community shall not affect the right of Member States to define the fundamental principles of their social security systems and must not significantly affect the financial equilibrium thereof (Paragraph 4).

According to Article 42 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, the Council shall adopt such measures in the field of social security as are necessary to provide freedom of movement for workers, and to this end it shall make arrangements to secure for migrant workers and their dependants: a) aggregation, for the purpose of acquiring and retaining the right to benefit and of calculating the amount of benefit, of all periods taken into account under the laws of the several countries; b) payment of benefits to persons resident in the territories of Member States.

On 14 June 1971, the Council adopted Regulation (EEC) No. 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community, which applies to all legislation concerning various branches of social security, inter alia, invalidity benefits, including those intended for the maintenance or improvement of earning capacity (Paragraph 1 of Article 4).

On 29 April 2004, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Regulation, it shall apply to all legislation concerning various branches of social security, inter alia, invalidity benefits. This Regulation sets forth that it is necessary to subject persons moving within the Community to the social security scheme of only one single Member State in order to avoid overlapping of the applicable provisions of national legislation and the complications which could result therefrom; for invalidity benefits, a system of coordination should be drawn up which respects the specific characteristics of national legislation, in particular as regards recognition of invalidity and aggravation thereof.

The Court of Justice of the European Communities has held more than once that even if it is obvious that the Community law does not withdraw a competence of the Member States to manage their social security systems, and, in the event that legal norms are not harmonised at the Community level, conditions of granting benefits under the social security system must be established in legal acts of each Member State, however, this does not deny the fact that while enjoying this competence the Member States must heed the Community law (inter alia, Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Communities of 23 October 2003 in the case C-56/01 Patricia Inizan v. Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie des Hauts-de-Seine, Judgment of 18 March 2004 in the case C-8/02 Ludwig Leichtle v. Bundesanstalt für Arbeit, Judgment of 16 May 2006 in the case C-372/04 Yvonne Watts v. Bedford Primary Care Trust and Secretary of State for Health).

3. To sum up, it should be noted that the Member States, while following the Community law, must themselves establish the principles and structure of the social security system, inter alia, the conditions of granting benefits under social security system, however, in order to ensure the free movement of persons within the Community, the Community takes measures to co-ordinate the national systems of social security.

It should be mentioned that social security systems of European countries are of great variety and in the European countries’ law one may note the following types of disability: disability due to sickness that results in the incapacity to work for a longer period; disability due to partial or total loss of capacity to work; disability due to partial or total loss of vocational capacity to work. There exist also mixed types of these disabilities.

V

On the compliance of Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. It has been mentioned that, pursuant to the petition of the petitioner, the Constitutional Court will investigate whether the provision “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work to the persons, who lost 45–55 percent of capacity to work, shall be calculated in the same manner as to the persons, who lost 60–70 percent of capacity to work <…>” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that it prescribes that the pension for lost capacity to work is calculated to the persons, when they have lost at least 45 percent of capacity to work, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of the state under the rule of law.

2. Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 “Calculation and Amount of the State Social Insurance Pension in Case of Lost Capacity to Work” of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides: “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work for the persons who have lost 45–55 percent of their capacity to work shall be calculated in the same manner as for the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of their capacity to work and shall then be reduced by 50 percent.”

3. Article 32 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions is aimed at regulating the relations that are linked to the calculation of the pension for lost capacity to work and establishment of amount of this pension to the persons who are entitled to this pension, rather than setting the conditions of becoming eligible to such pension.

4. It has been mentioned in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the right to receive the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work is enshrined in Article 28 “Entitlement to the State Social Insurance Pension for Lost Capacity to Work” (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, which provides: “The persons who, in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, have been established a level of capacity to work and who are rated as incapable or partially capable of working <…> shall be entitled to the social insurance pension for lost capacity to work where these persons fulfil the conditions established in Articles 30 and 31 of this Law.”

Thus, Article 28 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides for two conditions for receiving the pension for lost capacity to work: the person, in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, must be established such level of capacity to work that results in rating him as incapable or partially capable of working, and this person must fulfil the conditions established in Articles 30 and 31 of this law.

5. It has been mentioned that Article 30 “Conditions of the Granting of the Pension for Lost Capacity to Work” (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides:

1. The person for whom a level of capacity to work is established for the first time and who is rated as incapable or partially capable of working shall become entitled to the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work, provided on the day of rating him as incapable or partially capable of working he has the minimum period of state social pension insurance for the pension for lost capacity to work.

2. The person not entitled to the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work under the condition indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article shall become entitled to it where he has the minimum period of state social pension insurance for the pension for lost capacity to work on the day of rating him as incapable or partially capable of working after a repeated examination or on the day of application for the pension.”

Thus, this article provides only for two conditions of receiving the pension for lost capacity to work: 1) the level of capacity to work is established to the person and he is rated as incapable or partially capable of working; 2) the person must have the minimum period of state social pension insurance for the pension for lost capacity to work.

6. In has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that in the course of regulation of relation that are linked to the disability pension, the law must establish as to what should be considered as disability, as well as the grounds for granting and payment of this pension, its conditions and sizes, as well as that the period (term) of paying the disability pension that was granted to the person, is one of the conditions of payment of the disability pension.

It has been also held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that pursuant to Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the period (term) of payment the disability pension should be established solely by law, as well.

It has been mentioned that the formula “period of payment of pension” is used in Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 41 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, which provides, inter alia, that “state social insurance pensions shall be granted for lifetime or for a period during which the recipient of the pension remains entitled, under this Law, to the pension granted”, however, the period for which the person, under this law, remains entitled to receive one of the granted pensions of state social insurance—the pension for lost capacity to work—is not defined in this law.

In this context it should be noted that Article 30 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions is aimed at defining the conditions for granting the pension for lost capacity to work, however, it does not consolidate the period (term) for which the person is paid the pension for lost capacity to work.

Thus, neither Article 30 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, nor other articles of this law contain any provisions consolidating the period (term) for which pensions for lost capacity to work are paid.

Having taken into account the fact that Article 30 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions is aimed at defining the conditions of granting the pension for lost capacity to work, the legislature should have established the period of payment of the pension for lost capacity to work as one of the conditions of payment of this pension namely in this article. If the period of payment of disability (lost capacity to work) pension were established by substatutory act, one would violate the requirements that stem from Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Having failed to entrench the period (term) for which the person is paid the pension for lost capacity to work in Article 30 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, one violates the imperatives that originate from Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

It should be noted that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, does not request an investigation into the compliance of Article 30 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions with the Constitution, still the legal regulation established in this article interferes in the impugned legal regulation. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that having established the fact that provisions of a law, the compliance of which with the Constitution is not impugned by the petitioner, are in conflict with the Constitution, where such provisions interfere in the relations regulated by the impugned law, the Court must state this fact.

7. Having taken into account the said arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 30 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that it does not consolidate the period of payment of the pension for lost capacity to work, is in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

8. It has been mentioned that Articles 28 and 30 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) provide for two conditions for receiving the pension for lost capacity to work. According to Article 28 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, a level of capacity to work must be established to the person upon the procedure laid down by the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, due to which he is rated as incapable or partially capable of working, and this person must fulfil the conditions established in Articles 30 and 31 of this law. It has been mentioned that Article 31 “Minimum and Obligatory Period of State Social Pension Insurance for the Pension for Lost Capacity to Work” (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions establishes, inter alia, the minimum state social pension insurance period in order to become entitled to the pension for lost capacity to work, which should be attained by the persons who are rated as incapable or partially capable of working; the minimum period of 2 months of the state social pension insurance period in order to become eligible for the lost capacity to work is established to the persons up to 22 years of age who are rated as incapable or partially capable of working.

It should be noted that from the case that was considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, in which the decision was made to apply to the Constitutional Court, it becomes clear that the doubts of the petitioner should be associated solely with one condition of origination of the right to receive the pension for lost capacity to work, namely the establishment of the minimum level capacity to work, due to which the person becomes rated as partially capable of working under the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities.

9. It has been mentioned that the level of capacity to work is regulated by Article 20 “Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work” (wording of 11 May 2004) of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities.

Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of this article provides:

Capacity to work is assessed in percentage and its level is established by intervals of 5 points, i.e.:

1) if the established capacity to work of the person is 0–25 percent, the person is rated as incapable of working;

2) if the established capacity to work of the person is 30–55 percent, the person is rated as partially incapable of working;

3) if the established capacity to work of the person is 60–100 percent, the person is rated as capable of working.”

It should be held that, according to Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, the person is rated as partially capable of working and has the right to the pension for lost capacity to work if the capacity to work established to him does not exceed 55 percent (i.e. he must lose at least 45 percent of his capacity to work).

10. It has been mentioned that the impugned Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides: “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work for the persons who have lost 45–55 percent of their capacity to work shall be calculated in the same manner as for the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of their capacity to work and shall then be reduced by 50 percent.”

It has been held in this ruling that, according to Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the pension of lost capacity to work is calculated to the person if he has lost at least 45 percent of his capacity to work (i.e. not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him).

Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities consolidates the requirement to have the capacity to work that does not exceed 55 percent (i.e. the lost capacity to work must comprise at least 45 percent), in the event of establishment of which the person becomes eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work, and according to Article 32 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the pension for lost capacity to work is calculated to the person who has lost at least 45 percent of his capacity to work (i.e. not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him).

Thus, the legal regulation that is defined in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions and impugned in this case is inseparable from the provisions of Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities.

Therefore, in the course of the investigation whether by the legal regulation which is established in Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (to a certain extent) one did not violate Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one must also asses the legal regulation which is established in Article 20 (wording of 11 May 2004) of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities in the aspect of its compliance with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, namely, one must assess the fact whether the provision “Capacity to work is assessed in percentage and its level is established by intervals of 5 points, i.e. <...> 2) if the established capacity to work of the person is 30–55 percent, the person is rated as partially incapable of working; <...>” of Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of this article to the extent that it prescribes that the person is rated partially capable of working if not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

11. When deciding whether the provision “Capacity to work is assessed in percentage and its level is established by intervals of 5 points, i.e. <...> 2) if the established capacity to work of the person is 30–55 percent, the person is rated as partially incapable of working; <...>” of Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities to the extent that it prescribes that the person is rated partially capable of working if not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it should be noted that, as already held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the legislature enjoys a wide discretion, while heeding the Constitution, to choose the model of providing social assistance and enshrine it in laws (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 7 February 2005 and 29 April 2008), as well as discretion to choose the pensions system (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 26 September 2007).

12. It has been mentioned that before consolidating the model of establishing the lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work) in the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004), which came into force on 1 July 2005, the level of vocational capacity to work was consolidated solely in the Procedure for Establishing the Disability as approved by the order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments), which prescribed that the level of vocational capacity to work and its size are associated with disability, inter alia, as follows: loss of vocational capacity to work of 30–60 percent—Group III.

It has been mentioned in this ruling that, as already held by the Constitutional Court more than once, one of the elements of the principle of protection of legitimate expectations is the protection of rights that were acquired under the Constitution, as well as laws and other legal acts that are not in conflict with the Constitution; it has also been held that the imperative of the balance among the constitutional values, the constitutional requirements of legal certainty and legal security, the protection of the acquired rights, which is enshrined in the Constitution, and the presumption of constitutionality and legitimacy of legal acts determine, inter alia, the fact that the Constitution generally does not prevent from protecting and defending in certain special cases also such acquired rights of the person arising out of the legal acts recognised later as being in conflict with the Constitution (substatutory legal acts—as being in conflict with the Constitution and/or laws), which, if not defended or protected, would result in greater harm to the person, other persons, society or the state, than the harm inflicted in case of total non-defence or non-protection or partial defence or protection of the said rights (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004, 20 February 2008, and 24 December 2008).

It has been mentioned that in the Procedure for Establishing the Disability as approved by the order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) one consolidated the requirement to have the minimum level of lost vocational capacity to work of 33 percent in the event of establishing of which the person could become eligible to the disability pension.

It should be held that the acquired rights of the person who had gained the right to the disability pension under the substatutory legal act must be protected and defended.

It has been mentioned that the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) consolidates the level of 45 percent of lost capacity to work, in the event of establishing of which the person may become eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work.

It has been held in this ruling that the minimum level of lost capacity to work, which is established according to the valid legal regulation, in order to become eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work (45 percent of lost capacity to work) is applicable also to the persons to whom the level of capacity to work is established due to accidents at work or consequences of occupational diseases, inter alia, to the persons to whom the disability pension was granted and paid on the basis of establishment of the minimum level of the lost capacity to work—30 percent—by 1 July 2005.

It should be mentioned that, according to the Provisional Law on Damage Compensation in Accident at Work or Occupational Disease Cases (wording of 1 July 1997 with subsequent amendments and/or supplements), the persons to whom the loss of capacity to work was established due to accident at work or becoming ill with an occupational disease, in certain cases are entitled to the periodic compensation for the lost capacity to work, if they have lost 30 or more percent of the capacity to work.

13. It has been mentioned that while reorganising the system of pensionary maintenance, the Constitution must be observed in every case: the system of pensions may be reorganised, if it is done only by law, and only guaranteeing, inter alia, the disability pensions provided for by the Constitution, as well as observing the obligations undertaken by the state, which are not in conflict with the Constitution, to pay corresponding payments to persons who meet the requirements established by law.

It has been mentioned that during the reorganisation of the disability pensions system, which took place in 2005, the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) which was set forth in a new wording, as well as the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) established certain guarantees to the persons to whom the state social insurance disability pensions were granted and paid according to the previous legal regulation.

14. The following has been held in this ruling: 1) to the persons who have attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension and who were rated as disabled for an unlimited period, the disability pension shall continue to be paid (Paragraph 2 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 31 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities); 2) the persons under 18 years of age, the persons who were rated as disabled according to the procedure that was applied before the date of coming into force of this law, shall be paid pensions that are not smaller than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005 until the end of the period (Paragraph 2 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 30 and Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities); 3) to the persons who have not attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension the disability pensions shall be paid until the expiry of the transitional period as defined in the law (30 June 2007), until which the level of capacity to work must be established (Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 32 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities); 4) the disability pensions shall be paid until the expiry of the period of granting and paying these pensions (Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 53 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions).

It has been mentioned that the purpose of the disability pension, as consolidated in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 18 July 1994), was a respective compensation to the person for the income lost due to the loss of his capacity to work.

It has been mentioned that, according to the legal regulation that came into force as from 1 July 2005, the level of capacity to work is established according to the criteria and upon the procedure that are consolidated in the legal acts of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour, first of all, according to the established medicinal criteria (the basic person’s capacity to work as assessed in the percentage of the basic capacity to work, which is adjusted upon the assessment of other factors (functional, vocational and other criteria)); it is also prescribed that one must assess all illnesses or traumas that affect his capacity to work, as well as functional disorders related thereto.

It should be mentioned in this context that, as it is obvious from the material collected in the case, having reorganised the model of establishing the disability (lost capacity to work), the number of recipients of the pension—210.7 thousand at the end of the year 2006—increased to 213.8 thousand (at the end of the year 2007) (data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, www.stat.gov.lt).

15. It has been mentioned that, according to the Constitution, the legislature has the right to reorganise the established system of disability pensionary maintenance by changing the grounds of pensionary maintenance, the persons to whom the pension is granted and paid, the conditions for granting and paying the pension, provided one follows the requirements arising out of Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security).

It has been mentioned that the Constitution protects the acquired rights; the principle of protection of legitimate expectations means the protection of acquired rights, i.e. persons have the right to reasonably expect that the rights acquired by them will be preserved for the established period and could be implemented in reality under valid laws or other legal acts which are not in conflict with the Constitution, and in certain special cases—under legal acts (inter alia, substatutory legal acts) that are later recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution and/or laws, as well.

It has been held in this ruling that if the disability pension was granted and paid to the person under the law, it must be continued to be paid, i.e. one may not terminate its payment during the established period. The persons who fulfil the conditions defined in the law have the right to demand that the state grant and pay this pension to them.

It has been mentioned that, according to the legal regulation that was valid by 1 July 2005, disability pensions were granted and paid for a limited and unlimited periods.

The person to whom the disability pension was granted and paid for an unlimited period, acquired the legitimate expectation that the pension which was granted to him would be paid for unlimited period all the time. It has been mentioned that to the persons who have attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension and who were rated as disabled for an unlimited period, according to Paragraph 2 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 31 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities that came into force on 1 July 2005, the disability pension shall continue to be paid.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be mentioned that the person to whom the disability pension was granted for a limited period, acquired the legitimate expectation that the pension which was granted to him would be paid until the expiry of the established period. Such person may not have legitimate expectation to receive the disability pension upon the expiry of the established period of payment of the pension, he may not reasonably expect that if the disability pension was granted and paid to him for a specific period, it would continue to be granted and paid upon the expiry of the established period of payment of this pension. Such expectations may not be considered legitimate and, under the Constitution, they are not protected and defended by the state.

It has also been mentioned that during the reorganisation of the disability pensions system that took place on 1 July 2005, the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) and the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) prescribed that the persons to whom, according to the previous legal regulation, disability was established for a limited period, shall be paid the disability pensions until the expiry of that period: the disability pensions to the persons who have not attained the age of becoming eligible to the old-age pension shall be paid until expiry of the transitional period as defined in the law (30 June 2007)—the date, when the level of capacity to work must be established to them (Paragraphs 2 and 4 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 32 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities); the persons under 18 years of age and the persons who have attained the age of becoming eligible to the old age pension, to whom the disability was established under the previous legal regulation for a limited period, until the expiry of this period shall be paid these pensions in no smaller amount than those established in the legal acts that were valid by 30 June 2005 (Paragraph 2 of Article 30 and Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004)).

It has also been mentioned that the Procedure for Establishing the Disability (wording of 28 April 2000 with subsequent amendments) prescribed that the term of disability, which is established for a limited period, is 6 months, one year, and two years. Therefore, the conclusion should be drawn that according to the legal regulation, which was valid by 1 July 2005, for the disability pensions the maximum period of validity of disability group could be 2 years. Thus, the disability pensions that were granted for a limited period could be granted for the period not exceeding 2 years. Thus, the person to whom the disability pension was granted for the period of 2 years acquired the legal expectation that the pension which was granted to him would be paid until the expiry of the period of the validity of the disability group, which could not exceed 2 years.

16. Therefore, by establishing the transitional period, the legislature related it to objective criteria—the expiry of the term of validity of the disability group, establishment of the level of capacity to work, which could be established only upon the expiry of validity of the disability group (payment of the disability pension)—as well as with a certain period which did not exceed the maximum period of validity of the established disability group (payment of the disability pension) as established upon the procedure that was valid by 1 July 2005. In such case the persons to whom disability was established for the limited period till 1 July 2005 according to the previous legal regulation and to whom the state social insurance disability pensions were granted and paid, retained the acquired rights (inter alia, the right to the disability pension) during the entire period of payment of the disability pension granted to them.

Taken into account the fact that the payment of the disability pensions that were granted and paid to these persons for a limited period was guaranteed until the very end of the period of validity of the established disability group, it should be held that in respect of these persons the rights acquired by them to receive the disability pension granted to them for the specified period, were retained, and their legitimate expectation that the pension granted to them would be paid until the expiry of the period of validity of the established group of disability was not violated.

17. Thus, the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, according to which one establishes (established) that the level of capacity to work not exceeding 55 percent entitles to the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work, may not be assessed as violating the imperatives that stem from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, or as denying the right of a person that stems from the Constitution, inter alia, its Article 52, to receive the disability pension.

Taking account of the aforementioned arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “Capacity to work is assessed in percentage and its level is established by intervals of 5 points, i.e. <...> 2) if the established capacity to work of the person is 30–55 percent, the person is rated as partially incapable of working; <...>” of Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities to the extent that it is prescribed that a person is rated as partially capable of working if not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

18. It has been mentioned that Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions provides: “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work for the persons who have lost 45–55 percent of their capacity to work shall be calculated in the same manner as for the persons who have lost 60–70 percent of their capacity to work and shall then be reduced by 50 percent.”

19. It has also been mentioned that Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, which is impugned by the petitioner, regulated (and regulates) the calculation of the state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work. This paragraph of Article 32 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions specifies concrete levels (expressed in percentage) of lost capacity to work, upon establishing which and upon recognising the person as incapable or partially capable of working as per procedure defined in the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities the pension for lost capacity to work is calculated.

It has been mentioned that, according to Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities, the pension for lost capacity to work is calculated to the person if he has lost at least 45 percent of his capacity to work (i.e. not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him), and Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities consolidates the requirement to have the capacity to work that does not exceed 55 percent (i.e. the lost capacity to work must comprise at least 45 percent), in the event of establishment of which the person becomes eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work.

Thus, these laws entrench the same level of capacity to work—not exceeding 55 percent—and the same level of lost capacity to work—at least 45 percent, in the event of establishment of which the person becomes eligible to the pension for lost capacity to work.

20. It has been held in this ruling that the provision “Capacity to work is assessed in percentage and its level is established by intervals of 5 points, i.e. <...> 2) if the established capacity to work of the person is 30–55 percent, the person is rated as partially incapable of working; <...>” of Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities to the extent that it prescribes that the person is rated partially capable of working if not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

21. Therefore, having held in this ruling that the provision “Capacity to work is assessed in percentage and its level is established by intervals of 5 points, i.e. <...> 2) if the established capacity to work of the person is 30–55 percent, the person is rated as partially incapable of working; <...>” of Paragraph 7 (wording of 11 May 2004) of Article 20 of the Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities to the extent that it prescribes that the person is rated partially capable of working if not more than 55 percent of capacity to work are established to him, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one should hold also that the provision “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work to the persons, who lost 45–55 percent of capacity to work, shall be calculated in the same manner as to the persons, who lost 60–70 percent of capacity to work <…>” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 32 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that it prescribes that the pension for lost capacity to work is calculated to the persons, when they have lost at least 45 percent of capacity to work, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

22. It has been mentioned that the establishment of a long-term and permanent loss of capacity to work (disability) was regulated by the Procedure for Establishing the Disability, which was approved by Item 1.1 of the Order of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Security and Labour (No. 226/49) “On the Approval of the Procedure for Establishing the Long-Term and Permanent Loss of Capacity to Work (Disability)” of 28 April 2000.

The criteria for establishing the level of capacity to work are regulated by the Order of the Minister of Social Security and Labour and the Minister of Health (No. A1-78/V179) “On the Approval of the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work and the Description of the Procedure for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work” of 21 March 2005, by Item 1 of which the Description of Criteria for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work and the Description of the Procedure for Establishment of the Level of Capacity to Work were approved.

According to Article 105 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court considers and adopts a decision whether the laws and other acts adopted by the Seimas are not in conflict with the Constitution (Paragraph 1), and whether acts of the President of the Republic and acts of the Government are not in conflict with the Constitution and laws (Paragraph 2).

Assessing the compliance of legal acts of the ministers, in which one entrenches the procedure for establishing the disability and lost capacity to work (level of capacity to work), as well as of any other legal acts adopted by ministers, with the Constitution and/or laws is not subject to the Constitutional Court competence.

However, in its decision of 20 September 2005 the Constitutional Court held that, under the Constitution, such legal situations are impermissible where it would not be possible to verify in a court whether legal acts (parts thereof), inter alia, legal acts issued by ministers, other legal acts of lower legal force, as well as legal acts issued by municipalities, whose control as regards their compliance with the Constitution does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, are not in conflict with the Constitution and laws.

In its ruling of 24 October 2007, the Constitutional Court held that at present the legal regulation is established by the Law on the Proceedings of Administrative Cases and other laws whereby decisions on the compliance of the legal acts passed by other subjects of law-making (thus, those passed not by the Seimas, the President of the Republic or the Government and not adopted by referendum) with legal acts of higher legal force, inter alia (and, first of all), with the Constitution, are categorised as belonging to the jurisdiction of administrative courts; if the administrative court rules such a legal act in conflict with the Constitution (other legal act of higher legal force), then, under the Constitution and laws, such a decision of the said court has erga omnes impact on the whole practice of the application of corresponding legal acts (parts thereof).

Thus, an assessment of the compliance of legal acts issued by ministers with the Constitution and/or laws is the competence of a respective (competent) administrative court. This court is bound by the doctrinal provisions of the Constitutional Court, inter alia, the fact that, by means of a substatutory act, one may not establish conditions of the appearance of a person’s right to the disability pension, and limit or expand the scope of this right (in comparison to the one established by law).

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 54, 55 and 56 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania gives the following

ruling:

1. To recognise that the provision “The state social insurance pension for lost capacity to work to the persons who lost 45–55 percent of capacity to work shall be calculated in the same manner as to the persons who lost 60–70 percent of capacity to work <…>” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 19 May 2005, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 71-2555) of Article 32 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that it prescribes that the pension for lost capacity to work, is calculated to the persons, when they have lost at least 45 percent of capacity to work is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that Article 30 (wording of 19 May 2005, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 71-2555) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Insurance Pensions to the extent that it does not establish the periods of payment of the pension for lost capacity to work, is in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

This ruling of the Constitutional Court is final and not subject to appeal.

The ruling is pronounced in the name of Republic of Lithuania.

Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius
                                                                      Toma Birmontienė
                                                                      Pranas Kuconis
                                                                      Kęstutis Lapinskas
                                                                      Zenonas Namavičius
                                                                      Ramutė Ruškytė
                                                                      Egidijus Šileikis
                                                                      Algirdas Taminskas
                                                                      Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis