Divyang children of deceased government servants and pensioners will get a "major hike" in the family pension, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday. He said the landmark decision is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special emphasis on the dignity and care of such children.
He said the decision seeks ease of living and better economic conditions for the Divyang or disabled survivors, who require greater medical care and financial assistance.
Singh, the minister of state for personnel, said that instructions have been issued to liberalise the income criteria for eligibility of a child or sibling of a deceased government servant and pensioner for grant of family pension under CCS (Pension) Rules 1972.
Singh said that the government is of the view that the income criteria for eligibility for family pension, applicable in the case of other family members, may not be applied in the case of a child or sibling suffering from a disability.
Accordingly, said Singh, the government has reviewed the income criteria for eligibility for family pension in respect of a child or sibling suffering from a disability and has decided that it shall be commensurate with the amount of the entitled family pension in their case.
The Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare, said the minister, has issued instructions that a child or sibling of a deceased government servant and pensioner, who is suffering from a mental or physical disability, shall be eligible for family pension for life.
Provided, his or her overall income, other than family pension, is less than the entitled family pension at ordinary rate i.e. 30 per cent of the last pay drawn by the deceased government servant or pensioner plus the dearness relief admissible thereon, he said.
As per Rule 54(6) of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, a child or sibling of a deceased government servant or pensioner, suffering from a mental or physical disability, is eligible for family pension for life if he or she is suffering a disability which renders him unable to earn a livelihood, according to a Personnel Ministry statement issued on Sunday.
Presently, a member of the family, including a child or sibling suffering from a disability, is deemed to be earning his livelihood, if his income from sources other than family pension, is equal to or more than the minimum family pension i.e. Rs 9,000 and the dearness relief admissible thereon, it said.
In the case of a child or sibling, suffering from a mental or physical disability, who is presently not in receipt of a family pension due to non-fulfilment of the earlier income criteria, family pension shall be granted to him, if he fulfils the new income criteria and also fulfilled the other conditions for grant of family pension at the time of death of government servant or pensioner or previous family pensioner, the statement said.
"The financial benefits, in such cases, shall, however, accrue prospectively and no arrears for the period from the date of death of government servant/ pensioner/previous family pensioner shall be admissible," it said.
(With PTI inputs)