Know your Disability Pension with Entitlement Rules and Eligibility

rules of disability pension

It is known to all that all armed forces personnel and officers are recruited after strict  medical examination and it is certified by the medical authority that the candidate is fully FIT for joining military service. 

A huge number of armed forces personnel and officers got injured or fall ill and placed in low medical category permanently.  Due to stress and strain of military service, a large number of officers and PBOR retires every year with Low medical category.

Pay Fixation – Not a Dream but Legitimate Rights of Exservicemen

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Now in this article, we will discuss the answer of all these questions :-

(a)     If All LMC personnel are entitled to get disability pension ?
(b)     If less than 20% disability is also eligible to get disability pension ?
(c)     What are the basic criteria to get disability pension ?
(d)     If disability pension is applicable for all type of disease ?
(e)     How much disability pension is applicable to Sepoy to General Rank  ?

All LMC personnel are not entitled to get disability pension.  Medial related pension can be categorized into three different categories  and eleibility is also discussed here :

(a)     Disabuility Pension –  Disability pension is admissible to the officers and personnel irrespective of their length of service and cause of discharge subject to fulfillment of following criteria :-

          (i)      Disability should be attributable or aggravated by military service.

          (ii)     No minimum qualifying service is required as per Regulation 81 & 95 of PRA 2008 Part-I.

          (ii)     Disability should be assessed by RMB/IMB  
                   (aa)  Minimum 20% for regular retirement/discharge after completion of terms of engage or Premature of retirement  and
                   (bb)  Minimum 1% for Medical Invalidment (IMB/RMB)  including discharge due to Unwilling to accept Sheltered Appointment.

Broad banding of disability applicable

In case of discharge at own request or discharge after completion of terms of engagement (coloured Service) Disability is broadbanded as   under :-
20% to 49% = 50%
50% to 75% = 75%
76% to 100% = 100%

In case of invalidment case, disability is broadbanded as under :
Broadbanding Details of disability –
1%-49% = 50%.
50% to 75% = 75%
76% to 100% = 100%

Army Personnel May Get this for Education of their Children

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.

In this rgard provison of Pension regulation related to PBOR who are unwilling to accept Sheltered appointment and thereby discharged from service are as under :-

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.

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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 incapacitated). 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.

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.

Applicability of Invalid Pension to personnel and officers of Indian Armed Forces

Invalid pension are applicable to the officers and PBOR of Indian Armed Forces personnel when disability assessed as Not attributable and Not aggravated by military services (NA  NA ) and  must have rendered qualifying military service 10 years to less than 15 years (for PBOR) and less than 20 Years for Officers.  Invalid pension is not applicable if earning service pension means if have rendered qualifying pensionable service of his rank.  Minimum 10 years’ service criteria has been modified in 2020 vide PCDA circular No 640 and no minimum service limit for those NA NA cases where the indl is fully incapacitated for Civil and Military service.

War Injury  Pension (battle casualty)

War Injury pension is applicable to the Armed Forces personnel if disability caused by Military operations / attributatble to military in war like situations. In this case the amount of war injury element is 60% of basic pay for 100% injury/disability.

Amount of Disability pension, Invalid Pension and War Injury Pension

Disability pension –  Disability pension consists of two element (i) Service element is equal to Service Pension (ii) Disability element is maximum (for 100% disability) is 30% of emolument (Basic pay + MSP) and for lesser disability , proportionate amount applicable.  Calculation – 30% x (Basic pay + MSP) = Basic disability element  (DE)  for 100% disability . For 50% disability, the amount should be ½ of the DE.

Invalid Pension – Invalid pension is equal to service pension i.e 50% of (Basic pay + MSP)

War Injury Pension –  War injury element  is equal to double of disability element (60% of emolument).  This amount is directly double of DE.

DR (equivalent of DA) is applicable on DE/Invalid Pension/War Injury Element

The entire portion above is taken from PRA 2008 Part-I Regulation 58, 81,82  & 95-98.  Which is applicable to all three wings of the Armed Forces.

It is notable that In case of disability is NA NA, no disability pension (obviously SE & DE) is authorized.  But quoting the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Dharamveer Singh Vs UOI & Ors of 2013, one may file a case in AFT and may get disability pension also.

You must have noticed that it does not matter if your disability originated in peac or field to get disability pensionary benefit. Disability pension does not depends on type of dieseas always. The main thing is if it is attributable or aggravated or not.

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 ;

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

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) 

In some cases the medical board opined the disability to be neither attributable to nor aggravated (NANA) by service. In such case, the veteran is not granted any disability pension.  Such retired Armed Forces Personnel/Officers are given opportunity to Appeal the pension disbursing authority facilitate as First Appeal and Second Appeal respectively.

.     In this context it must be noted that at the time of joining/enrolment, the candidates must found mentally and physically fit for service in the Concerned wings of Armed Forces and in 100% of cases there exist no note in the service documents that the candidate was suffering from any disease at the time of enrolment in Army/Navy/Air Force. So, it may be assumed that the disease of such personnel/officers was contacted during the service, hence it is attributable to and/or aggravated by Military Service.

3.     Several cases of rejection of such instances leads to pleading various Benches of Armed Forces Tribunal and higher judiciary system, consequently after 2013, most of them have been granted disability pension as well as arrears thereof. Moreover such veterans are also entitled to get their amount of disability duly broad banding (rounding off) to the nearest higher fixed percentage of 50%, 75% or 100% as the case may be.  

Exact Verdict as mentioned in Supreme Court Order 2013 on Disability Pension for NA NA Case

4.     The law on attributability of a disability has been settled by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Dharamvir Singh Versus Union of India & Others, reported in (2013) vide Supreme Court Cases SLP No  316. In this case the Apex Court took note of the provisions of the Pensions Regulations, Entitlement Rules and the General Rules of Guidance to Medical Officers to sum up the legal position emerging from the same in the following words.

“29.1. Disability pension to be granted to an individual who is invalided from service on account of a disability which is attributable to or aggravated by military service in non-battle casualty and is assessed at 20% or over. The question whether a disability is attributable to or aggravated by military service to be determined under the Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pensionary Awards, 1982 of Appendix II (Regulation 173).

29.2. A member is to be presumed in sound physical and mental condition upon entering service if there is no note or record at the time of entrance. In the event of his subsequently being discharged from service on medical grounds any deterioration in his health is to be presumed due to service [Rule 5 read with Rule 14(b)].

29.3. The onus of proof is not on the claimant (employee), the corollary is that onus of proof that the condition for non-entitlement is with the employer. A claimant has a right to derive benefit of any reasonable doubt and is entitled for pensionary benefit more liberally (Rule 9).

29.4. If a disease is accepted to have been as having arisen in service, it must also be established that the conditions of military service determined or contributed to the onset of the disease and that the conditions were due to the circumstances of duty in military service [Rule 14(c)].

29.5. If no note of any disability or disease was made at the time of individual’s acceptance for military service, a disease which has led to an individual’s discharge or death will be deemed to have arisen in service [Rule 14(b)].

29.7. It is mandatory for the Medical Board to follow the guidelines laid down in Chapter II of the Guide to Medical Officers (Military Pensions), 2002 – “Entitlement: General Principles”, including Paras 7, 8 and 9 as referred to above (para 27).”

How you get benefited with Supreme Court Order 2013 on Disability Pension for NA NA Case

5.     In view of the settled position of law on attributability, it is lawfully established that the RMB should not deny attributability to such claimants only by endorsing the name of disease & ICD code and indicate it as neither attributable to nor aggravated (NANA) by service. Therefore, all such claimants are entitled to get disability pension. Considering the facts and circumstances of such case of Low Medical Category personnel, it may be stated that that this reasoning of Release Medical Board for denying disability pension to claimants is not convincing and doesn’t reflect the complete truth on the matter.

in view of Orders of Supreme Court  in the case of Dharamvir Singh vs Union of India & Ors (supra) disability of such Low Medical Category, disability of such claimants should be considered as attributable/ aggravated by military service.

Law of Broad banding of disability as per Supreme Court Order 2013 on Disability Pension for NA NA Case

8.     The law on the point of rounding off (broadbanding) of disability pension is a new concept in view of Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment in the case of Union of India and Ors vs Ram Avtar & ors (Civil appeal No 418 of 2012 decided on 10th December 2014). In this Judgment the Hon’ble Apex Court nodded in disapproval of the policy of the Government of India in granting the benefit of rounding off (boradbanding) of disability pension only to the personnel who have been invalided out of service and denying the same to the personnel who have retired on attaining the age of superannuation or on completion of their tenure of engagement. The relevant portion of the decision is excerpted below:-

 “4. By the present set of appeals, the appellant (s) raise the question, whether or not, an individual, who has retired on attaining the age of superannuation or on completion of his tenure of engagement, if found to be suffering from some disability which is attributable to or aggravated by the military service, is entitled to be granted the benefit of rounding off of disability pension. The appellant(s) herein would contend that, on the basis of Circular No 1(2)/97/D (Pen-C) issued by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, dated 31.01.2001, the aforesaid benefit is made available only to an Armed Forces Personnel who is invalidated out of service, and not to any other category of Armed Forces Personnel mentioned hereinabove.

5. We have heard Learned Counsel for the parties to the lis.

6. We do not see any error in the impugned judgment (s) and order(s) and therefore, all the appeals which pertain to the concept of rounding off of the disability pension are dismissed, with no order as to costs.

7. The dismissal of these matters will be taken note of by the High Courts as well as by the Tribunals in granting appropriate relief to the pensioners before them, if any, who are getting or are entitled to the disability pension.

8. This Court grants six weeks’ time from today to the appellant(s) to comply with the orders and directions passed by us.”

9. As such, in view of the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Union of India and Ors vs Ram Avtar & ors, we are of the considered view that benefit of rounding off of disability pension @ 40% for life to be rounded off to 50% for life may be extended to the applicant from three preceding years from the date of discharge.”

File your case in suitable forum and get disability pension for NA NA Case

In view of the above, all such claim of disability pension deserves to be allowed. Disability of applicants must be treated at least as aggravated by Army Service.

Thereafter most of the appeal to the Armed Forces Tribunal has been considered with logical order and granted Disability Pension with broadbanding benefits to all eligible claimants.  

All disable ex-servicemen who are not getting disability pension due to treating their disability by the RMB as Not attributable or Not aggravated by military service may approach the Armed Forces Tribunal so that everyone may get their legitimate rights.

If you are getting disability element ,get your full pension exempted from paying Income tax. Read the Income Tax related article in our website.

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