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Overview of Costa Rica’s Disability Law 7600

by Nicole P

Costa Rica adopted legislation in 1996 to address the needs of persons with disabilities. This landmark initiative officially titled “Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities,” Law 9600 signaled a significant commitment to accessibility for those with disabilities in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has made significant strides in becoming a disability-friendly country, offering opportunities and facilities that cater to the needs of all individuals, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities.  There is certainly alot of more work to accomplish since many areas of the country still lack the required infrastructure.  However, there are projects aimed at improving accessibility in public spaces, transportation, and buildings. Sidewalks with ramps, designated parking spots for people with disabilities, and wheelchair-accessible facilities are becoming increasingly common. Moreover, many public buildings, including government offices, schools, and hospitals, have undergone renovations to ensure compliance with accessibility standards, such as the installation of elevators, ramps, and accessible restrooms.

Costa Rica’s tourism industry has also tried to make it easier  for travelers with disabilities to explore and enjoy the country’s attractions. Many hotels, resorts, and tourist destinations now offer accessible accommodations and facilities, such as wheelchair-accessible rooms, ramps, and adapted transportation options. Additionally, tour operators and adventure companies have introduced specialized tours and activities designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, allowing them to experience the country’s natural environment.

Social Security System and Disability Benefits

Costa Rica operates its social security system through the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), known locally as the “Caja.” This system provides various benefits, including disability benefits, to individuals who contribute to the system through payroll taxes. Foreigners who are legally employed in Costa Rica and make contributions to the social security system are eligible for disability benefits on the same basis as Costa Rican citizens.


Costa Rica has made significant strides in promoting accessibility, however there is still work to be done to ensure that all individuals can fully participate in society, with continuing investment in accessible infrastructure, education, employment opportunities and Costa Rica’s commitment to becoming a disability-friendly country.

By Nicole Preinfalk

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