NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday announced that dependants of workers who have died due to Covid-19 since March 23 last year will be eligible for pension under the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme for two years. As part of fresh social security benefits for workers, the government also said it has “enhanced and liberalised” insurance benefits under the Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) managed by the pension fund, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said these steps will help mitigate financial difficulties faced by these families. “Family Pension under ESIC and EPFOEmployees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme will provide a financial cushion to those families who have lost their earning member due to Covid-19. GOI stands in solidarity with these families,” he tweeted.
Dependant family members will be entitled to the benefit of pension equivalent to 90 per cent of the average daily wage drawn by the worker as per the existing norms. This benefit will be available retrospectively with effect from March 24 last year and for all such cases till March 24, 2022.
The amount of maximum insurance benefit has been increased from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7 lakh, and the provision of minimum insurance benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh has been restored and will apply retrospectively from February 15, 2020 for the next three years.
The labour ministry said benefits will be applicable to dependant families provided the worker was registered on the ESIC online portal at least three months prior to being diagnosed with coronavirus and his subsequent death.
Additionally, for contractual and casual workers, the government liberalised the condition of continuous employment in only one establishment and said the benefit of EDLI will be extended to families of all employees who may have changed jobs in the one year preceding their death.