In response to a question about whether the Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to pay compensation to deceased COVID-19 victims, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar stated that in accordance with the court’s judgment on June 30th, the government has issued ‘Guidelines to provide for ex-gratia assistance to the kin of the deceased by COVID-19’ through the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
The NDMA has recommended Rs 50,000 per deceased person, including those involved in relief operations or associated with preparedness activities, subject to the cause of death being certified as COVID-19.
“States will provide ex gratia assistance from State Disaster Response Funds. This assistance must be disbursed within 30 days of the application being submitted to the District Disaster Management Authority/district administration concerned, along with proof of the deceased’s death due to COVID-19 and the cause of death certified as died due to COVID-19.” Pawar elaborated.
Furthermore, all states have been advised to establish grievance redressal mechanisms in the event of a dispute over the payment of ex gratia.
The minister said that the Death certificates indicating COVID-19 deaths, whether issued prior to the implementation of these guidelines or as ratified by a district-level committee, shall be treated as a valid document for considering any death as a death due to COVID-19.
PROCEDURE AND DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION-
According to the statement, the legal heirs of victims must submit the necessary documents in their respective nada kacheris or taluk offices in their respective hoblis after being verified by the taluk health officer or district health officer.
The documents include a positive COVID-19 report from an authorized laboratory. In the case of people who were treated for COVID-19 even after the test came back negative, a report issued by clinical radiologists and other laboratories must be submitted after being verified by the taluk or district health officer.
Other documents required to accompany the application include a copy of the deceased’s Aadhaar card and the death certificate. To receive the compensation, the applicant must include a copy of her or his ration card, a copy of her or his Aadhaar card, a copy of her or his bank passbook, a declaration by the applicant, and a No Objection letter from all members of the family.
Families of victims can contact their local taluk office for more information and clarification. In the statement, the Deputy Commissioner urged the families who had not yet submitted their applications to do so right away.
FACTS TO KNOW-
Furthermore, the Supreme Court has stated that states cannot deny compensation solely because the death certificate does not list Covid-19 as the cause of death.
The Supreme Court stated that upon the production of necessary documents, such as the RTPCR test, the concerned authorities can modify death certificates.
These committees in charge can examine the deceased’s medical records and make a decision within 30 days to order compensation.
It went on to say that if a family member has a complaint about a death certificate that has already been issued; he or she can file a complaint with the grievance redressal committee, which will be formed by the states.
The district disaster management authorities will ensure that the claim, verification, sanction, and disbursement processes are simple, robust, and user-friendly.
The court also ordered that the names of the beneficiaries be published in print media.
Written by: Bhoomika