The Ministry of Labour and Employment on May 29, 2021, had announced additional benefits for the families of the insured person covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme. The step was taken to provide relief to the workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the latest additional benefits, the dependent families of the industrial workers, who died due to COVID-19, enrolled with the ESIC Scheme will get a pension for two years.
The Ministry mentioned in an official statement that it has announced additional benefits for the workers through the ESIC and EPFO Schemes to address the anxiety and fear of the workers about the well-being of their family members because of the increase in incidences of death due to COVID-19.
The statement added that enhanced social security is sought to be provided to the workers without any additional cost to the employers.
Who will be benefitted from the latest announcement?
The additional social security benefits announced by the Ministry of Labour and Employment will be available for those who have been covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (ESI Act) and the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPF Act).
Those employees whose monthly wages do not exceed Rs. 21,000 are eligible to be covered under the ESI Act and monthly wage not exceeding Rs. 15,000 makes an employee eligible for the coverage under EPFO.
Eligibility criteria to avail COVID-19 pension:
• For the dependent family to become eligible to get the benefits, the deceased ESIC subscriber must have enrolled on the online portal for the social security body at least 90 days before the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection resulting in death.
• The ESIC subscriber must have been employed for wages and ESIC contributions for at least 78 days must have been paid or payable in respect of the deceased IP during a period of one year immediately preceding the diagnosis of COVID-19 resulting in death.
• The COVID-19 pension to the dependents of the IPs, who fulfill the eligibility conditions, will be entitled to receive the monthly payment at 90% of the average daily wages of the IP during their life.
How the dependent families will be benefitted?
The family of the employees covered under ESIC is entitled to a pension at 90% of the average salary of an employee in the event of death or the disablement of the employee. The time period for which the pension will be provided is specified in the provisions.
This benefit is now also being extended to the COVID-19 related deaths as well, thereby entitling the dependent families to pension benefits.
Additionally, the employees who have had a contribution period of 12 months under the Provident Fund Scheme, will be covered under the EDLI- Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme.
A lumpsum payout, in the event of the death of the employee, is envisaged as an insurance payout, with a minimum of Rs. 2.5 lakh and maximum Rs. 7 lakhs. The maximum payout has been enhanced from Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 7 lakh.