Disability Pension and Invalid Pension is Different – Know the Eligibility Criteria

It has been noticed that Some defence authority have communicated wrong concept on eligibility criteria for disability pension. According to those authorities, one of the eligibility criteria to get disability pension for the PBOR with less than 10 years of service is that the individual should be fully Unfit for Military and Civil Service (fully incapaciated). Whereas PCDA (P) Allahabad Circular No 640 clearly instructed that the provision is applicable for grant of Invalid pension only. As you must know that invalid pension is applicable to the medically invalided out personnel with disability which is Not attributable and Not aggravated by military service. Whereas disability pension is applicable where disability must be either aggravated or attributable to military service. According to PRA 2008 Part -I, There is no minimum qualifying service prescribed for grant of disability pension. So, the authority should understand that invalid pension and disability pension is different and eligibility criteria is also different.

In 2008, the Pension regulations has been amended and provisions regarding treatment of pensionary benefit  in respect of personnel who placed permanent LMC and discharged due to (i) Non availability of alternative appointment/sheltered appointment in the regiment (ii) Unwilling to accept alternative appointment/sheltered appointment cases.

As per Pension Regulations for the Army 2008 Part-I, Sub-Section-II, Regulations 95, Individual who is placed in a low medical category (other than E) permanently and who is discharged because no alternative employment in his own trade/category suitable to his low medical category could be provided or who is unwilling to accept the alternative employment or who having been retained in alternative appointment is discharged before completion of the engagement, shall be deemed to have been invalided out of service.

As per Regulation 81. (a) Service personnel who are invalided out from service on account of a disability which is attributable to or aggravated by such service may, be granted a disability pension consisting of service element and disability element in accordance with the Regulations in this section. It has been also clarified that there shall be no condition of minimum qualifying service for earning service element.

In view of the above it is clear that a disabled soldier with less than 15 years of service whose disability is attributable or aggravated (or both) by military service (with minimum 1% disability which is broadbanded to 50%) and has been discharged from Service on the grounds of Unwilling to accept sheltered appointment is to be treated as invalidated out of service (as per Regulation 95 of PRA 2008 Pt 1). As per Regulation 81(a) of PRA 2008 Pt 1, such disabled soldier may be granted disability pension consisting two elements i.e service element and disability element.

Cases have been noticed that where the permanent LMC personnel who are unable to perform their duties in combatant units due to their medical problems are unwilling to accept alterative appointment.  Such cases should be treated as per provisions of disability pension regulated in the PRA 2008 but the defence authority treated such release as “Discharge at Own Request” and no service element is granted to the PBOR with less than 15 years of service.

Rules mentioned in Handbook of pension for PBOR issued by PCDA (Pension) available in public Domain

Procedure for Adjudication of Disability Pension Claim

Para 15. (i)  Invalidation from service with disablement caused by service factors is a condition precedent for grant of disability pension. However, disability element will also be admissible to personnel who retire or are discharged on completion of terms of engagement in low medical category on account of disability attributable to or aggravated by military service, provided the disability is accepted as not less than 20%.

  • (ii) An individual who is boarded out of service on medical grounds before completion of terms of engagement shall be treated as invalided from service.
  • (iii) PBOR and equivalent ranks in other services who are placed permanently in a medical category other than SHAPE 1 or equivalent and are discharged because (1) no alternative employment suitable to their low medical category can be provided, or, (2) they are unwilling to accept alternative employment, or, (3) they having been retained in alternative employment are discharged before the completion or their engagement, shall be deemed to have been invalided out of service.

In view of the above context, we may come into a conclusion that the Defence Pension authority specially the Record offices are confused and created contradiction with their own Rules.  So the matter need to be disposed and come into a concrete decision by the appropriate authority so that the confusion ends and a clear picture of admissibility of service element of the specific category of personnel as discussed in this article is brought as specified in the eyes of law.

To know more kindly refer the following ;

Fo Following Regulations of Pension Regulations for the Army Part -I :
Invalid Pension – Regulation 58 to 61
Disability Pension – Regulation 81 to 83 & 95

Read the PRA 2008 part -I

Pension Regulations

S.No.Name of the Pension RegulationsDescription
1.Pension Regulations for the Army Part-I, 30-06-2008Download(733 KB) 
2.Pension Regulations for the Army Part-II, 30-06-2008Download(849 KB)
3.Pension Regulations for the Air Force Part-I, 31-08-1960Download (238 KB) 
4.Pension Regulations for the Air Force Part-II, 31-08-1960Download (6,388 KB) 
5.Navy (Pension) Regulations, 1964Download(30,093 KB) 
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