Chinese officials sacked for blocking elderly woman’s application for disability allowance
Two local government officials in eastern China have been fired after they harassed a resident into dropping a complaint that they blocked her mother’s disability application.
The Communist Party committee of Zhifu district in Yantai, Shandong province, said in a statement on Monday that it had upheld the woman’s complaint about the officials’ behaviour when she tried to register her mother as disabled, qualifying her for a government allowance and other benefits.
The woman, only identified by her surname Na, said she went to her local residents committee last month to apply for a disability certificate for mother but was told by an official at the front desk that it could only be issued by the line manager, Shandong Television reported.
Na went to the line manager who said his approval was not required and referred her back to the front desk, the report said. She went back to the first official and her application was again refused.
Na had videotaped all of her interactions with officials and posted the footage on her microblog along with an explanation of the incident.
The post was shared widely, prompting the district party committee to open an investigation into the complaint, the report said.
While the investigation was under way, the two officers began pressuring Na to delete the post and withdraw her complaint, the report said.
They claimed Na had invaded their privacy and brought the residents committee into disrepute, according to further recordings Na made of their conversations.
Na agreed to take down the post in return for processing the application but said she had no power to stop the party’s investigation.
The party committee said it would organise for Na’s application to be process and all departments should learn a lesson from the incident.
“I feel so aggrieved. How could it be so difficult just to be registered as disabled?” Na was quoted saying.