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ESIC relaxes eligibility criteria, increases unemployment benefit payment
New Delhi, August 22, 2020
The ESI Corporation has announced relaxation in the eligibility criteria and enhancement in the payment of unemployment benefit under the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana.
This was part of several important decision taken by the ESI at its 182nd meeting on Thursday under the chairmanship of Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Labour and Employment.
The decisions include steps to improve its service delivery mechanism and providing relief to workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESIC is implementing the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyna Yojna under which unemployment benefit is paid to the workers covered under ETHE SI Scheme. The Corporation has decided to extend the scheme for one more year up to June 30, 2021.
It has decided to relax the existing conditions and the amount of relief for workers who have lost employment during the pandemic period. The enhanced relief under the relaxed conditions will be payable from March 24 to December 31, 2020.
Thereafter the scheme will be available with original eligibility condition from January 1 to June 30, 2021. Review of these conditions will be done after December 31 this year depending on the need and demand for such relaxed conditions.
The eligibility criteria for availing the relief has also been relaxed. The payment of relief has been enhanced to 50% of the average wages from the earlier 25% of average wages payable up to a maximum of 90 days of unemployment.
Instead of the relief becoming payable 90 days after unemployment, it will be due for payment after 30 days. The Insured person can submit the claim directly to the ESIC Branch Office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer and the payment will be made directly in the bank account of the insured person.
The insured person should have been insurable employment for a minimum period of 2 years before his/her unemployment and should have contributed for not less than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and a minimum of 78 days in one of the remaining three contribution periods in two years before unemployment.
To strengthen ICU/HDU services in ESIC hospitals amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided to establish ICU/HDU services up to 10% of the total commissioned beds in all ESIC Hospitals.
The members of ESI Corporation in meeting appreciated the actions taken by ESIC towards mitigating the effect of COVID-19 on its stakeholders besides providing its infrastructure for medical care to the general public.
So far, 23 ESIC hospitals with around 2600 Isolation Beds and approximately 1350 quarantine beds across India were functioning as COVID-19 Dedicated Hospitals. Also, around 961 COVID Isolation Beds were available in most of the remaining ESIC Hospitals across the country, making a total of 3597 COVID Isolation Beds in various ESIC Hospitals.
Further, a total of 555 ICU/HDU Beds with 213 Ventilators have also been made available in these Hospitals.
ESIC Medical College & Hospitals at Faridabad (Haryana), Sanath Nagar, Hyderabad (Telangana), Gulbarga (Karnataka) and ESIC PGIMSR, Basaidarapur (Delhi) have started ICMR approved in-house COVID-19 lab test service.
Plasma Therapy treatment was being provided at ESIC Medical College Faridabad (Haryana) and Sanath Nagar, Hyderabad (Telangana). Rapid COVID-19 Antigen test has also been started in all major ESIC hospitals of Delhi/NCR regions.
Alternate provisions have been made for providing non-COVID medical services from tie-up hospitals to the insured persons and their family members.
Around 30 other agenda/reporting items, on improvement in services/benefits to insured persons and their beneficiaries and other administrative matters, were deliberated upon and approved during the meeting.
Around 60 members of the Corporation including employers’ representative, employees’ representatives, professional expert and representatives of State Government participated through video conference. Other participants were HeeraLal Samariya, Secretary, Labour & Employment, Ram Kripal Yadav, MP, Dola Sen, MP, Anuradha Prasad, Director General and Sibani Swain, AS&FA, Ministry of Labour and Employment.