Disability Certificates for Ukrainian Students in Poland

Author: Urszula Lis

Students with disabilities from Ukraine who come to Poland for their education often require support and accommodations to effectively and comfortably participate in the educational process. The first step in obtaining such support is acquiring a disability certificate. This document formally confirms an individual’s disabled status and enables them to avail of discounts and benefits granted to disabled individuals. However, this process can be challenging. 

Why aren’t Ukrainian disability certificates recognized in Poland? 

Few people understand why disability certificates from Ukraine and other countries are not recognized in Poland. It is a common misconception that merely translating such a certificate by a sworn translator is enough for it to be recognized on the same terms as one issued in Poland, which misleads Ukrainian citizens. However, the answer is straightforward: Poland is not a party to an international agreement that would enable the mutual recognition of documents confirming disabled status from other countries. 

How to obtain a certificate recognized in Poland? 

Due to the lack of specific legal regulations, Ukrainian citizens receive disability certificates and work incapacity assessments in the same manner as Polish citizens. In Poland, assessments of disability for adults and children are carried out by the Municipal Team for Assessing Disabilities. The following documents are required to apply: 

  • Passport or another valid identification document; 
  • PESEL number (Polish personal identification number); 
  • Ukrainian disability certificate; 
  • Referral from a doctor (issued by a family doctor; it’s valid for one month from the date of issue); 
  • A written confirmation of a permanent place of residence (a personally completed declaration of residence); 
  • A signed statement requesting disabled status. 

Additionally, it is advised to prepare available medical documentation. Documents in the Ukrainian language must be submitted with a translation into Polish, certified by a sworn translator. 

After the application is reviewed, the applicant will be notified in writing of the date and location of the commission meeting, which will issue the disability certificate. On the day of the examination, all the mentioned documents should be provided, as they will assist the doctor in making a decision. 

It is worth emphasizing that students (as they are above the age of 16) will receive a certificate indicating the degree of disability. In Poland, there are three degrees of disability: 

  • Mild disability; 
  • Moderate disability; 
  • Severe disability. 
  • Other forms of assistance 

Additional ways of acquiring help 

If a student left Ukraine after February 24, 2022, has legalized their stay in Poland, and possesses a disability certificate issued by Ukrainian authorities, they can benefit from the “Assistance for Disabled Ukrainian Citizens” program carried out by PFRON for the purchase of certain medical devices. 

In conclusion, obtaining a PESEL number plays a significant role in the entire process of applying for a disability certificate and receiving healthcare. Thanks to this, students from Ukraine can fully access the available support resources in Poland on the same terms as Polish citizens. 


  1. https://www.pfron.org.pl/ 
  1. https://bip.brpo.gov.pl/ 
  1. https://pomagamukrainie.gov.pl/ 
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