Grant of Disability Pension/Element/Special Family Pension in case of death of ESM due to COVID-19: DESW Clarification OM dated 16.08.2022
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
Sena Bhawan, New Delhi,
Dated, the 16th August, 2022
The Chief of Defence Staff
The Chief of Army Staff
The Chief of Naval Staff
The Chief of Air Staff
Subject: Grant of Disability Pension/Element/Special Family Pension in case of death of ESM due to COVID-19-clarification thereon.
The undersigned is directed to say that references have been received from all the three services for want of clarification regarding grant of Disability Pension/ Special Family Pension in cases of disability/death of ESM due to COVID-19. The three Services have reported that during processing of such cases, Principal Integrated Financial Advisor (PIFA) of the concerned services have desired clarification from this Ministry on grant of SFP in case of death due to COVID-19.
2. The matter has been examined in this Ministry in consultation with its stakeholders. The competent authority has decided to clarify the following in this regard: –
(i) All cases of infection due to any cause do not get attributability as per existing rules and regulations, as every case is different and the rules and regulations are robust. Similarly, all cases of disability/death due to COVID-19 will not qualify for award of attributability as being explained by the Release Medical Boards or the competent medical or the competent medical authorities.
(ii) It will be difficult to bring out such a direct causal connection between the Government Service and the disease (COVID-19) since contraction of infection from other sources beyond office hours cannot be ruled out, except in cases of frontline workers where Government has made other provisions.
(iii) For award of Disability Pension/Element/Special Family pension, a causal connection between disability or death and Military Service has to be established by appropriate authority. Thus, policy for grant of SFP in case of disability or death due to a particular infection /disease already exists. But the concerned competent authority has to establish causal connection between infection/disease and Military Service. This is equally applicable in the case of COVID-19 infections.
3. This issues with the concurrence of Finance Division of this Ministry vide their ID Note No. 10(04)/2022/FIN/PEN dated 16.06.2022.
4. Hindi version will follow.
(Ajay Kumar Agrawal)
Deputy Secretary to the Govt. of India