Impairment Relief is a new and unfortunate term introduced in the Indian Armed Forces to Cut down the compensation on account of disability to soldiers who sacrifice their life to protect the nation.
As per the Entitlement Rules and GMO 2008 and extended govt orders on the relevant issues, disability pension is applicable to all disabled soldiers in the event of disability is attributable to or aggravated by military service.
After introduction of Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pension and Disability Compensation Awards to Armed Forces Personnel 2023, disability pension is not applicable to the soldiers even after his disability is accepted as attributable and aggravated by military service except invalided out cases. Disability pension is now applicable to the soldiers if invalided out of service/ deemed to be invalided out of service and disability is attributable or aggravated by military service.
On the other hand, Impairment relief is applicable to the remaining case – i.e soldiers retired after completion of terms of engagement or discharged at their own request.
Definition of Impairment relief as per ER 2023
Impairment Relief. impairment Relief is a monthly disability compensation, calculated as a defined percentage of the last reckonable emoluments,awarded to Armed Forces personnel who are retired or discharged from service voluntarily or otherwise with a disability sustained under circumstances accepted as Category ‘B’ or ‘C’ and assessed not less than 20 per cent ‘Impairment Relief shall hereinafter replace the term ‘Disability Element in as far as disability compensation to Armed Forces personnel who are retired or discharged from service. This is not a pension and shall cease upon the demise of the recipient.
Science the disability compensation for retired or discharged persons is Impairment relief, it is questionable if Dearness relief will be applicable or not. Moreover, it is not counted as a pension. So, it can be assumed that in the OROP table, this component of pension will no longer be continued. Ultimately our Govt will save the DR component (@42%) of the expenditure on account of disability pension from 21.09.2023.
It is notable that all the existing pensioners who have been retired/released on or before 21.09.2023 will not be affected. Their status of disability pension will be unchanged.
Sheltered appointment system is available in the Army mainly. In aAnother wings of the Armed Forces, change of trade is allowed/ ordered. As per new ER & GMO 2023, a board will be formed as soon as one is placed in permit LMC and his retention or discontinuation in service will be decided by the board only. It may be possible that the term Unwillingness in sheltered appointments may not exist. It has been observed that, except some trade/rank where highly extraneous /physical labour is required, sheltered appointment is maintained only in documents.
Provision of retention in service despite disability as per new ER 2023 is as under –
Retention in Service Despite Disability.
(a) Armed Forces personnel who are not invalided out but retained in service despite a Disability or a War injury,shall be eligible to be considered by the Competent Appellate Authority for the award of a ‘Capitalized Impairment Relief on the basis of a Retention cum Impairment Assessment Board,to be held immediately after the decision to retain the individual in service is taken,subject to the disability or war injury being assessed at 20 per cent or more ‘For Life’.
(b) The percentage of impairment for the purpose of calculating the ‘Capitalized Impairment Relief,shall be the actual percentage of impairment assessed by the Retention cum impairment Assessment Board and the provision or Broad Banding of assessment shall not apply to such cases.
(c) Capitalized Impairment Relief once paid shall be treated as full and final settlement of all service liabilities with respect to that disability or war injury and the individuals have no further claim for any disability compensation for the same disability or war injury or an option to return the lump-sum so paid to him/ her. Such disability or war injury shall also not qualify for the award of any pensionary benefit or relief subsequently.
(d) The medical classification awarded by a Retention cum Impairment Assessment Board shall also be ‘For Life’ and cannot be reviewed.
(e) Armed Forces personnel who forgo the ‘Capitalized Impairment Relief offered to them, at the time of their retention in service despite a disability, shall be eligible to be considered by the Competent! Appellate Authority for the award of Impairment Relief/ Liberalized Impairment Relief/ War Injury Relief for that disability or war injury in respect of which the ‘Capitalized Impairment Relief was originally offered.
Retention in service order will be a mandatory document either to admit Capitalized Impairment Relief at the time of retention in service or Impairment Relief. Liberalised Impairment Relief /WarInjury Relief in lieu of that at the time of discharge/retirement on completion of terms of engagement.
(f) Such Impairment Relief/ Liberalized Impairment Relief / War injury Relief shall be paid in addition to their Retiring Pension/ Retiring Gratuity or Service Pension/ Service Gratuity , at the time of their retirement. release or discharge on fulfilling their terms of engagement, completion of tenure,attaining the age for retirement!discharge or on taking Premature Retirement or discharge on own request.
(g) The entitlement and assessment having already been settled by the Competent! Appellate Authority based on the Retention cum Impairment Assessment Board. Impairment Relief/ Liberalized Impairment Relief/ War injury Relief shall be paid on the basis of the same.
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