Parents and grandparents can sue their children for not providing food and shelter
The Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES) reminded older Ecuadorians that the law allows them to sue their children if they lack food and other basic necessities.
The Organic Act of Older Adults, passed in 2019, guarantees elders living in extreme poverty a food pension provided by their children and grandchildren. It also guarantees “living necessities” including shelter and medical care.
MIES released the 2022 Minimum Food Pensions Table Wednesday, outlining the basic food needs for the elderly. “Under Article 27 of the law, this must be guaranteed by the offspring of the elderly who cannot afford the purchases on their own,” says MEIS director Esteban Bernal. “The law entitles those living in poverty to dignity in old age and this includes access to a sufficient and healthy diet provided by their children, if necessary. If there are no children and grandchildren, the government assumes the responsibility.”
In cases where poor elderly persons are forced to file suit, all children will be required to share equally in the cost of food or other provisions, Bernal said. “Fortunately, there have been very few suits filed since children understand their moral responsibility to their parents,” he said. “Unfortunately, there have been a few legal actions since the law was enacted and elders should understand their rights if they are neglected.”
The amount of the food pension is based on the Unified Basic Salary, Bernal said. In 2022, the child or children of a poor parent will be required to commit 35 percent of a $425 basic salary to the pension. In the case of a law suit, a judge will also be required to ensure that allowance is made for housing, treatment of physical disabilities and other health care needs.
Bernal said MEIS has reached an agreement with several universities to offer free legal consultations to the elderly.