Impoverished Bulgarian family gets 28 000 leva from social services in ‘technical error’

A family in Bulgaria’s Veliko Turnovo has been ordered to repay thousands of leva after being paid 28 000 leva (about 14 000 euro) in what social assistance officials described as a technical error.

The family, whose only household income is the father’s disability pension of less than 200 leva a month, was transformed from one of the poorest to one of the richest in the region after the sudden windfall.

According to a report by Nova Televizia, the family received the money at the end of September 2013 and decided to keep quiet about the turnabout in their fortunes. In four months, they spent 6000 leva.

However, at the end of the year they found their bank account blocked and were told that they had to return the overpaid sum – to the last stotinka.

The Regional Directorate of Social Assistance in Veliko Turnovo said that a “technical error” in the preparation of payment orders was to blame for the unintended boon.

Legal action was lodged against the family and they have been ordered to pay back the excess. Six thousand leva remains to be returned. So far, the family has returned 700 leva.



The Sofia Globe staff

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