The Centre on Saturday announced some measures to financially help families who lost earning members to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). These measures are meant “to help families maintain a good standard of living” the government said in a statement. The Centre also liberalised and enhanced existing schemes to cover families of contractual and casual workers.
Here are some highlights from Saturday’s announcement:
1. The central government is extending the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme, meant for employment-related deaths, to those who died due to Covid-19.
2. Dependent family members of the deceased are entitled to pension benefits, which would be 90% of the average daily wage drawn by the employee as per the existing norms.
3. This scheme will be applied retrospectively to cover deaths of those who succumbed to the disease in the first wave of the pandemic ie from March 24, 2020, and for all such cases till March 24, 2022. Hence, it will cover all Covid-related fatalities for a period of two years.
4. The insurance benefits provided under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) has been enhanced by increasing the maximum benefit from ₹700,000 to ₹700,000, the government said on Saturday.
5. The insurance scheme has also been liberalised to include in its purview the families of those who changed jobs in the 12 months preceding their death. Earlier, the deceased needed to be continuously employed in one establishment prior to their death for the insurance scheme to kick in. This move is expected to benefit the families of contractual and casual workers.
6. The provision of a minimum benefit of ₹250,000 has been restored by the government and will be applied retrospectively to cover the families of those who succumbed to the viral disease as early as February 15 of 2020 and will cover all Covid-19 fatalities for the next three years.