A woman mourns after her husband died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside a mortuary of a COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad. (Image: Reuters)
In a bid to provide relief and support to the kin of those who lost their lives due to COVID-19, the Labour Ministry on May 30 announced a slew of measures.
Families of workers enrolled with Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) who have died due to the pandemic will be eligible to receive a pension for two years.
Dependent family members will get 90 percent of the average daily wage for a period of two years ending March 24, 2022. The scheme will be effective retrospectively from March 24, 2020.
Currently, under ESIC, a pension equivalent to 90 percent of the average daily wage drawn by the worker is available for the spouse and widowed mother for life long and for children till they attain the age of 25 years. For the female child, the benefit is available until her marriage.
As for the eligibility criteria under the benefit extended due to COVID pandemic, Labour Ministry said that the insured person must have been registered on the ESIC online portal 3 months prior to the diagnosis of COVID and the insured person must have been employed for wages and contributions for at least 78 days and should have been paid or payable in respect of deceased IP during a period of one year immediately preceding the diagnosis of COVID resulting in death.
Besides pension benefits, insurance benefits under the Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme also have been extended to support families.
The amount of maximum insurance benefit (under EDLI) has also been increased from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh and the provision for minimum insurance benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh has been restored and will apply retrospectively from February 15, 2020, for the next 3 years.
"In coming 3 years, the actuary has estimated that eligible family members will get an additional benefit of Rs 2,185 crore from EDLI fund in the years 2021-22 to 2023-24," the ministry said.
"Number of claims on account of death under the scheme has been estimated to be about 50,000 families per year including an increase in claims taking into account estimated death of about 10,000 workers, which may occur due to COVID," it added.