Till now unmarried permanently disabled and financially dependent sons of ECHS beneficiaries after attaining the age of 25 years are not considered dependant and hence are not eligible for availing medical facilities under Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). This is as per the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) Rules which are followed by ECHS. However, vide their OM No 4-24/96-C&P/CGHS(P)/EHS dated January 1, 2020, the CGHS has declared such sons of CGHS beneficiaries who have become disabled after attaining the age of 25 years, dependant and hence eligible for availing CGHS benefits subject to fulfillment of conditions laid down in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) Office Memorandum (OM) No 4-24/96-C&P/CGHS(P)/EHS dated May 5, 2018.
It has now been decided by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) to similarly treat unmarried permanently disabled and financially dependent sons of ECHS beneficiaries who have become disabled after attaining the age of 25 years as dependant and hence eligible for availing benefits under ECHS subject to fulfilment of conditions laid down in the MoHFW OM of May 7, 2018.
Meanwhile, as measuring of oxygen saturation level is one of the most important parameters for monitoring the health of COVID-19 patients, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DSEW) has decided to reimburse the cost of pulse oximeter purchased by the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) beneficiaries subject to the following conditions:
(a) The ECHS beneficiaries who have been tested positive for COVID-19 infection are permitted to purchase one pulse oximeter per family. In other words, in case there are more than one COVID positive cases in a family of ECHS beneficiary, they can claim reimbursement only for one pulse oximeter.
(b) The reimbursement shall be claimed as per the actual cost of a pulse oximeter, subject to a ceiling of Rs 1,200.
On the other news update, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval for extending the contribution both 12% employees' share and 12% employers' share under Employees Provident Fund, totaling 24% for another 3 months from June to August 2020, as part of the package announced by the Government under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)/ Aatmanirbhar Bharat in the light of COVID-19, a Pandemic.
This approval is in addition to the existing scheme for the wage months of March to May 2020 approved on 15.04.2020. The total estimated expenditure is of Rs.4,860 crore. Over 72 lakh employees in 3.67 lakh establishments will be benefitted.
The salient features of the proposal are as under:
For the wage months of June, July and August 2020, the scheme will cover all the establishments having up to 100 employees and 90% of such employees earning less than Rs. 15,000 monthly wage.
About 72.22 lakh workers working in 3.67 lakh establishments will be benefited and would likely to continue on their payrolls despite disruptions.
The government will provide Budgetary Support of Rs.4800 crore for the year 2020-21 for this purpose.
The beneficiaries entitled to 12% employers' contribution for the months of June to August 2020 under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) will be excluded to prevent overlapping benefit.
Due to prolonged lockdown, it was felt that businesses continue to face financial crises as they get back to work. Therefore, the Hon'ble FM, as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, announced on 13.5.2020 that the EPF support for business and workers will be extended by another 3 months viz. for the wage months of June, July, and August 2020.