incapacitated worker in the given enterprise or institution, or to the average
actual wage earned by him during the two months immediately prior to
his incapacitation. The Central Insurance Department is, however,
empowered, in the absence of sufficient funds, to decrease the benefits to a
minimum of two-thirds of the full wage. It is further provided that where
a worker enters a hospital the benefit may be reduced, but not below one-
half of the full wage. Medical attendance whether in a hospital, as an
in or out patient, or at home, is in any case free to insured workers.
Representatives of the insurance committees and of the trade unions
take an active part in all the Departments of the Health Commissariat,
under whose administration comes the medical service of the U.S.S.R.
—hospitals, clinics, maternity homes, and so on.
When an insured worker is forced to absent himself from work owing
to the presence of infectious disease at his home, or where he is obliged to
look after a member of his family until such time as the infectious or other
case can be removed to a hospital, such worker receives the same benefits
as for temporary incapacitation, providing he supplies the necessary medical
The special benefits enjoyed by women are described in Chapter VII.
Unemployed benefit must not be less than one-sixth of the actual wage
for the given trade and qualification in the district.
Workers permanently incapacitated receive pensions and are divided
into four groups.
(1) Those totally incapacitated and requiring attendance. These
receive a pension equal to their average wages prior to the accident.
(2) Totally incapacitated, but not requiring attendance. Pension
three-quarters of their average wages.
(3) Permanently incapacitated, but able to do occasional light work.
Pension half of their average wages.
(4) Those who are capable of regular work, either at their own or some
new trade, but in a less skilled class of work. These receive benefits like
the unemployed until they are provided with work; they are also given
special assistance in finding suitable employment.
Similar pensions are granted to dependents on the death of the breadwinner, the amount of the pension being regulated in accordance with the
number of dependents.
In addition, pensions are granted to heroes of labour—those who have
worked for a period of about thirty-five years, and have done something
exceptional to help their industry or enterprise—and heroes of the
revolution who have distinguished themselves for conspicuous services,
and to others who have, done exceptionally fine work in science, art, or
Incapacitated workers and war invalids who are in receipt of benefits
from the Social Insurance Funds, and have no other sources of income,
pay no rent, no taxes, &c. In the R.S.F.S.R. there are about 5,000,000
The pensions granted to the totally incapacitated are certainly very
low. The Soviet authorities and the Trade Union leaders deplore this
fact, but they point out that unfortunately the ruin caused to Russian
industry during the civil wars and the blockade, not to speak of the subse-