The national social protection systems and legal basis for establishing disability and social protection of persons with disability in the EU countries differ. According to the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled of the Republic of Lithuania, disability means long-term health deterioration, reduced participation in social life and operational possibilities originating from the malfunction of the body structure and functions and interaction of adverse environmental factors.
The Disability and Working Capacity Assessment Office at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour establishes the level of disability for persons under 18, the level of capacity for work and the need for vocational rehabilitation services for persons under 18 who are (were) insured by State social insurance, and for persons aged from 18 to retirement age; it also performs the general initial assessment of special needs for persons irrespective of their age, level of disability and capacity for work. Administrative data on such persons are stored in the information system of the said Office.
In pursuance of Resolution No 1408 of 21 November 2012 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the implementation of the National Programme for the Social Integration of the Disabled for 2013–2019, the Department for the Affairs of the Disabled, together with other institutions within their competence, annually collects interinstitutional information on the social integration of the disabled based on administrative data, summarises it and publishes on the website http://www.ndt.lt/. In these statistics, persons with disabilities are as follows:
- Persons under 18 (with certain exceptions) who were established a level of disability (severe, moderate or mild);
- Persons of working age who were established a level of capacity for work of 55 per cent or less;
- Persons (irrespective of age) who were established a level of special needs (constant care, help, purchase and maintenance of a car, reimbursement of transport costs).
The State Data Agency annually carries out a statistical survey on social services, produces and publishes statistics on the number of persons with disabilities provided social services at home, day centres and inpatient care establishments. In these statistics, the following definitions from the Law on Social Services of the Republic of Lithuania, are used:
- Adult person with disability - a person who has been determined to have a working ability level of 55 per cent or less or a level of special needs in accordance with the procedure established by the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled of the Republic of Lithuania and who, due to disability, has partially or completely lost the ability to independently take care of personal (family) life and participate in public life.
- A child with disability – a child whose level of disability has been determined in accordance with the procedure established by the Law on the Social Integration of the Disabled of the Republic of Lithuania and who, due to disability, has partially or completely not acquired age-appropriate independence, and whose opportunities for education and participation in society are limited.
The State Data Agency produces statistics on children with special educational needs, pupils and students with disability based on the data of the Centre of Information Technologies in Education. Following the Description of Procedures for the Grouping of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Division of Their Special Educational Needs into Levels, special educational needs are established for pupils who, based on the conclusion of the pedagogical/psychological assessment, are entitled to pedagogical, psychological, special pedagogical, social pedagogical and special help, provision with special educational and technical aids.