IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF DISABILITY PENSION

Eligibility Criteria to get Disability Pension has been discussed several times in this websites which can be rechecked here.  Now in this article, we will discuss about some important aspects of Disability pension for JCOs/OR.  

These important aspects of Disability Pension, which must be known by all personnel who are in the low medical category. 

Income Tax on Disability Pension

(a)   The entire Military Pension (Service Pension + Disability Pension) is exempted from assessment to income tax.  If you are reemployed,in the efiling of ITR, put your only salary income from the present employer in the salary part.  But you should put the Total pension (service element plus disability element) in the exempted income part.  For details please read this article..  

Concept of Disability Pension

(b) Disability pension normally consists of two elements: –
(i) Service element of disability pension and
(ii) Disability element of disability pension

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02 criteria mentioned in Para 3 (a) & (b) above.

(d) For those individuals who are invalided out of service on medical grounds by an IMB and who fulfill the primary conditions for grant of disability pension as per Para 153 of Pension Regulations of IAF or relevant regulation of PRA 2008 part I and Equivalent naval Pension Regulations their disability pension will consist of disability element as well as service element. However those individuals who discharge before 15 years (PBOR) / 20 years (NC(E)) of service but were not invalidated out of service on medical grounds, are not eligible for service element of disability pension and will only get disability element of disability pension.

(e) For those individuals who were initially given Service Pension / Invalid Pension and who subsequently become eligible for disability pension, they will get only Disability Element of disability pension in addition to their SP/IP.

(f) Personnel are entitled to get commuted portion of Service Pension / Invalid Pension /Service Element / Disability Element. However, this provision on disability elements is available only if the disability is accepted first time for life and not through Re-assessment Medical Board (RAMB) at a later date.

(g) The deficiency in service for eligibility to Service Pension/Invalid Pension cannot be condoned, if an individual is invalided out (IMB case).

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(h) A PBOR  who is invalidated out of service by IMB (as distinct from a RMB held a the time of retirement/release/completion of term of engagement/superannuation) which, consequently, result in truncation of the individual’s service on account of a disability, whether attributable or not-attributable to service, will be eligible for disability benefit from AFGIS/ Army GI/ Naval GIS. The maximum amount of benefit will be 50% of the amount of death cover for 100% disability and the amount of this benefit will reduce proportionately depending upon the percentage of disability upto a minimum disability of 20%. The Disability Benefit which is in addition to the accumulated balance of survival benefit on invalidment from service is worked out as follows :

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NOTE- 1. Cases of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Self-inflicted Injury, Disability as a result of attemptedsuicide, any disability arising out of intentional acts resulting in criminal conviction or Invalidment within one year of enrolment or of joining IAF due to disability, which is not attributable to service are not eligible for Disability Benefit from AFGIS/AGI/NGIS irrespective of percentage of their disability.

2. This benefit is not admissible to an individual discharged under clause other than invalided out. It is also not admissible in cases where the PBOR with disability is retained in service till his discharge on completion of term of   gagement/ release/retirement /superannuation/dismissal or in case of release from service consequent to the indl’s refusal to accept a change in Trade/ unwilling to accept sheltered appointment.

3. The increased amount of disability cover under GIS-16 scheme/equivalent scheme of Army and Navy  will be payable in cases of disability claims arising on or after 01 Jul 2016.

ADVISE ON DISABILITY PENSION TO INDIVIDUAL CLAIMANTS

PCDA(P)  is receiving a lot of representations and claims from ex-servicemen on account of disability pension. A large number of representations are sent to VVIPs like President, Prime minister, Defence Minister, COAS, CNS CAS etc. with strong emotional appeal to grant disability pension. A large number of court cases are being fought in the courts of law on the issue of eligibility for disability pension. Since the rejection rate of disability pension is in the range of 70%, therefore, almost all the representations are forwarded by those individuals who feel that they should have got the disability pension but their case for disability pension has been rejected. 

Clarification on Eligibility of Disability Pension by Defence Authority & Court cases

The Defence authority has clarified that eligibility for disability pension is not an emotional issue. The eligibility for disability pension is based on the existing rules and regulations on the matter. Therefore, they have  advised that  the individuals who are expecting to get the disability pension on following lines : –

(a) If you have been invalided out or have been discharged / superannuated with medical category lower than “Cat SHAPE-1” then eligibility for disability pension concerns you.

(b) You must take pains to understand as to what disability pension is and why and how it is given. If the rule position is not clear in the mind of the individual then harping on an emotional issue does not help in getting disability pension.

(c) It must be clearly understood that disability pension is not meant as a compensation for all disabilities acquired by an individual during his service career. It is primarily meant as a compensation for those disabilities only, which are attributable to or aggravated by military service, which are duly recommended by specialist Medical Board based on the guidelines specified in the GMO (Guide to Medical Officers).

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(d) Eligibility for Disability Pension purely depends upon specialist medical opinion of initial Medical Board. Therefore, the findings of COI/Injury Report, in case of injury and the recommendations of IMB/RMB/RAMB in case of disease are very critical.

(e) While travelling on leave (to and from) with FRW / CV, without FRW/CV, on Annual Leave or Casual Leave, if any injury is met during journey period (starting from duty station and reaching upto leave station and vice versa through main route) then the injury is attributable to service. Any injury sustained at the leave station is not (R) not attributable to service. Any leave cannot be treated as ‘duty’. The term ‘duty’ has been defined in detail in the “Entitlement Rules for Pensionary Awards to Defence personnel, 2008”.

However, it has been found that the cases filed at various AFT with regards to prayer for grant of disability pension on NA NA cases, mostly the Tribunal has granted disability pension on the basis of orders of Supreme Court in the Case of Dharamvir Singh Vs UOI and others of 2013.   So, you may read the details of the verdict of the above mentioned case of Supreme Court  and if you consider this is applicable to you, may appeal the Armed Forces Tribunal.  

Contact Number of Advocate of AFT

You may contact Advocate Pradeep Mishra, practising in AFT for further information / assistance, if required  in this matter. WhatsApp / call him on  8135019567  

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