Department of Personnel and Training, Establishment (Allowance) Section has released a set of FAQs (Frequently Answered Questions) and replies for the same relating to Children Education Allowance payable to Central Government Employees as reimbursement for educational expenses incurred for two children. Also DOPT has issued various clarifications regarding this allowance from time to time.
We have compiled those Queries and Answers for convenience of readers.
1. Whether Reimbursement of Children Education Allowance (CEA) for 3rd child is permissible if CEA has not been claimed for 1st and or 2nd child. As per OM dated 2.9.2008 CEA is admissible for two school going children. Does it mean any two school going children?
Answer: As per OM No. 12011/03/2008- Estt.(AL) dated 11 .11.2008, Children Education Allowance would be admissible for more than two children in case the number of children exceeds two as a result of the second child birth resulting in twins or multiple birth. This implies that the CEA will be admissible only in the cases of two eldest surviving children and CEA for third or subsequent child will only be permissible if there is a case of multiple birth at the time of second child birth. Further, reimbursement of CEA for the 3rd child is admissible in case of failure of sterilization operation.
2. What are the fee that are reimbursable? Whether Development Fees, Annual Charges, Transportation fees are reimbursable? Reimbursement towards purchase of school bag, water bottle, uniform, shoes and stationary is admissible?
Answer: As per OM No.12011/03/2008-Estt (AL) dated 2.9.2008, tuition fee, admission fee, laboratory fee, special fee charged for agriculture, electronics, music or any other subject, fee charged for practical work, fee paid for the use of any aid or appliances by the child, library fee, games/sports fee and fee for extra-curricular activities are reimbursable subject to the condition that the aforementioned fee are charged by the school directly from the student. Besides, reimbursement for purchase of one set of text books and notebooks, two sets of uniforms prescribed by the school in which the child is studying, one pair of shoes, in an academic year are reimbursable. Uniform include all items of clothing prescribed for a day, as uniform by the school, irrespective of colours/winter/summer/PT uniforms.
3. Whether CEA has been increased by 25% as a result of enhancement of Dearness Allowances beyond 50%?
Answer: This Department’s OM No. 12011/03/2008-Esn.(AL) dated 2.9.2008 clearly indicates that the limits “would be automatically raised by 25% every time the Dearness Allowance on the revised pay structure goes up by 50%. There is no need for any separate order from this Department to effect enhancement of CEA as a result of increase in DA by 50%. However, O.M. NO. 12011/01/2011-Estt.(Allowance) dated 4th May, 2011, has been issued to clarify this further.
4. Whether CEA can be claimed for the child for the same class twice?
Answer: The reimbursement of CEA is not linked to the performance of the child in his class. Even if a child fails in a particular class, the reimbursement is permissible. However, if the child is admitted in the same class in another school, although the child has passed out of the same class in previous school or in the mid-session, CEA shall not be reimbursable.
5. Whether Hostel subsidy is reimbursable irrespective of transfer liability?
Answer: Hostel Subsidy is reimbursable to all Central Govt, employees for keeping their ward in the Hostel of a residential school away from the station in which the employee is posted or residing irrespective of any transfer liability
6. Whether the admissible amount on account of CEA can be reimbursed in full to a Govt. servant in the first quarter of the financial /academic year itself ?
Answer: A Govt. servant is allowed to get 50% of the total amount subject to the overall annual ceiling in the first quarter and the remaining amount in third and or fourth quarter. Front-loading of the entire amount in the first and second quarters is not allowed.
7. Whether any age limit has been prescribed for reimbursement of CEA in respect of children studying in nursery classes?
Answer: There is no minimum age prescribed for reimbursement of CEA in respect ol children admitted in nursery classes. However, with regard to physically challenged children the minimum age of 5 (five) years has been prescribed. The maximum age for normal child is 20 years and for physically challenged children the maximum age is 22 years.
8. Whether the school/Institution should be recognized?
Answer: The school/Institution has to be recognized by the Central or State Government or U’T administration or by University or a recognized educational authority having jurisdiction over the area where the institution is situated.
9. Whether CEA is payable for the children of Central Government employees and studying abroad, including children of citizens of Nepal/Bhutan but working in Government of India, and the children are studying in the schools in their native place, i.e., Nepal/Bhutan?
Answer: The CEA is payable for the children of all Central Government employees including citizens of Nepal and Bhutan, who are employees of Government of India, and whose children are studying abroad. However, a certificate may be obtained from the Indian Mission abroad that the school is recognized by the educational authority having jurisdiction over the area where the institution is situated.
10. Whether CEA is admissible to Government Servant who ceases to be in Service due to retirement, discharge, dismissal or removal from service in the course of academic year?
Answer: CEA/hostel subsidy shall be admissible till the end of the academic year in which the Government Servant ceases to be in service due to retirement, discharge, dismissal or removal from service in the course of an academic year. The payment shall be made by the office in which the Government Servant worked prior to these events and will be regulated by the other conditions laid down under CEA Scheme.
11. Whether Children of a Government Servant who dies while in service are still eligible for reimbursement under new CEA Scheme?
Answer: If a Government servant dies while in service the children education allowance or hostel subsidy shall be admissible in respect of his/her children subject to observance of other conditions for its grant provided the wife/husband of the deceased is not employed in service of the Central Government, State Government, Autonomous body, PSU, Semi government organization such Municipality, Port Trust authority or any other organization partly or fully funded by the Central government/State governments. In such cases the CEA/Hostel Subsidy shall be payable to the Children till such time the employee would have actually received the same, subject to the condition that other terms and conditions are fulfilled. The payment shall be made by the office in which the Government Servant was working prior to his death and will be regulated by the other conditions laid down under CEA Scheme.
12. Whether upper age limit of children has been prescribed for claiming CEA?
Answer: The upper age limit for disabled children has been set at the age of 22 years. In the case of other children the age limit will be 20 years or till the time of passing 12th class which ever is earlier. Cases where reimbursement have been already made in respect of children above this age may not be reopened.
13. Whether CEA can be allowed in case of Children studying through Correspondence or distance learning?
Answer: It has also been decided that CEA may henceforth be allowed in case of children studying through “Correspondence or Distance Learning” subject to other condition prescribed.
14. What is definition of the terms “two sets of uniform”?
Answer: “Two sets of Uniform” would mean two sets of uniform prescribed by the School in which the child is studying. As set of uniform will include all items of clothing prescribed for a day, as uniform by the School. Reimbursement may be allowed for two sets of such uniform irrespective of the colors/winter/summer/PT uniform.
15. What is definition of “One set of Shoes”?
Answer: “One set of shoes” would mean one pair of shoes.
16. What is definition of station for the purpose of hostel subsidy?
Answer: It is clarified that for the purpose of hostel subsidy, station would be demarcated by the first three digits of pin code of the area where the Government Servant is posted and/or residing. The first three digits of the PIN code indicate a Revenue District.
17. Whether fee paid to organisations/Institutions other than the school or fees paid to private tutors is reimbursable?
Answer: No. It is clarified that the term ‘fee’ contained in the para 1(e) of the OM dated 2.9.2008 would mean the fee charged by the School directly from the student.
The following is the compilation of Office Memorandums issued by DOPT relating to Children Education Allowance