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Disability Certificate: An Aadhar Card for Persons with Mental Illness!

Disability Certificate, issued by a competent medical authority, authorized by the Government, is a certificate issued to a person with specified disability who has applied for it and on assessment is found to be, indeed, a person with disability. Disability Certificate is required by persons with disabilities to avail themselves of various benefits / facilities / rights that they are entitled to, from the Central and State Governments and other agencies under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (RPwD 2016) and other legislations and schemes.


A person with disability is defined in the RPWD 2016 as a person with long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment, which, in interaction with barriers, hinders his full and effective participation in society equally with others (2.s)



A person with a bench mark disability, is a person with a specified disability as given in the schedule to the Act, which is certified by the certifying authority as not less than forty per cent. (Section 2.r)

A person with bench mark disability having high support needs is a person needing high support and it has been certified so. (Section 2.t with 56)


Eligibility for a disability certificate

Any person with a specified disability is eligible to receive a disability certificate and may apply to a certifying authority having jurisdiction, for issuing of a disability certificate. (58.1 read with Rule 17.1)


Specified disability

Specified disability means any of the 21 disabilities including Mental Illness as specified in the schedule attached to the Act (Annexure 1)


Form for applying

Application for disability certificate shall be made vide Rule 17 in Form -IV (Annexure 2).


Authority to whom the application is to be submitted

Application shall be submitted to –  

(a) A medical authority or any other notified authority competent to issue such a certificate in the district of  residence of the applicant as mentioned in the proof of residence in the application (Rule 17.1.a) or

(b) Concerned medical authority in a government hospital where the applicant may be undergoing or may have undergone treatment in connection with his disability (Rule 17.1.b)   


Application on behalf of a minor

Where a person with disability is a minor or has any other disability which renders him unfit or unable to make such an application himself, the application on his behalf may be made by his legal guardian or by any organisation registered under the Act having the minor under its care. (Rule 17, proviso)


Documents required along with the application

(2) The application shall be accompanied by – (a) proof of residence, (b) two recent passport size photographs, and (c) aadhaar number or aadhaar enrollment number (Rule 17.2)


No other proof of residence shall be demanded from the applicant who has aadhaar or aadhaar enrollment number.


Certifying procedure for the disability certificate

(1) The Government shall designate persons, having requisite qualifications and experience, as certifying authorities, who shall be competent to issue the certificate of disability. (Act 57.1)


(2) The Government shall also notify the jurisdiction within which and the terms and conditions subject to which, the certifying authority shall perform its certification functions. (Act 57.2)


(3)  On receipt of an application, the medical authority or any other notified competent authority shall, verify the information as provided by the applicant and shall assess the disability and after satisfying  that the applicant is a person with disability, issue a certificate of disability in his favour. (Section 58.2 with Rule 18.1)


(4) The medical authority shall, after due examination – (i) issue a permanent certificate of disability in cases where there are no chances of variation of disability over time in the degree of disability; or (ii) issue a certificate of disability indicating the period of validity, in cases where there is any chance of variation over time in the degree of disability. (Rule 18.3)


(5) The medical authority shall issue the certificate of disability within a month from the date of receipt of the application. (Rule 18.2)


(6) If an applicant is found ineligible for issue of certificate of disability, the medical authority shall convey the reasons to him in writing under Form VIII within a period of one month from the date of receipt of the application. (Rule 18.4)


(7) The State Government and the Union Territory Administration shall grant Disability Certificate on online platform from such date as may be notified by the Central Government. (18.5) 

  In Maharashtra a Medical Board of three doctors including one specialist from Medical Department examines the disabled person and issues the disability certificate in case of 40% or more percentage disability. The Medical Board after due examination gives a permanent disability certificate in cases of such permanent disabilities where there are no chances of variation in the degree of disability. In Maharashtra, the issuance of Disability Certificates is the responsibility of PHD (Public Health Department) and DMER (Department of Medical Education and Research). Disability on account of mental illness is measured using IDEAS Scale (Annexure 3)   

Validity of the Certificate


  • The certificate of disability issued shall be valid across the country. (Act 58.3)
  • Certificate issued shall be generally valid for all purposes. (Rule 19)
  • A person to whom the certificate is issued shall be entitled to apply for facilities, concessions and benefits admissible for persons with disabilities under schemes of the Government and of non-Governmental organizations funded by the Government. (Rule 19)



Appeal against denial of Disability Certificate 

Any person aggrieved with a decision of the certifying authority, may appeal against such decision, within such time and in such manner as prescribed by the State Government, to such appellate authority as the State Government may designate. (Section 59.1)


On receipt of an appeal, the appellate authority shall decide the appeal in a manner prescribed by the State Government. (Section 59.2)


U.D.I.D. Card

Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, (MSJE), has started issuing online a Unique Disability ID (U.D.I.D.) to any disabled person in India who applies for it. U.D.I.D. is in the form of a card, named Swavlamban Card which will eventually replace Disability Certificate. State Governments, now issue different formats for Disability Certificates to disabled persons and keep record of certificates issued in paper form or in incompatible computer systems, making it difficult to access, share or collate the information on an all India basis. A person with disability having a U.D.I.D. Card will not need to make and carry copies of multiple documents as the card will capture all the required information, which can be decoded in no time with the help of a reader. The UDID card will become the single instrument for identification and verification of the disabled person for availing various benefits.


Persons with disabilities will fill online application and attach scanned copies of required documents. Those, already having Disability Certificate, whose data have been migrated in UDID Portal, may apply online and click “Already having Disability Certificate” and provide Beneficiary ID/State ID or Aadhaar Number (if linked), search their details, fill up application and submit.


Persons with disabilities already having Disability Certificate, whose data has not been migrated in UDID Portal, may fill up application as fresh and select “Yes” option to “Have Disability Certificate?. In Disability Details Tab, fill up other details and submit application.


Persons not having Disability Certificate may apply and choose option “No” to “Have Disability Certificate?” in Disability Details Tab while filling up application and submit application.



All inclusive list of benefits available on acquiring a disability certificate, under Disability Act 2016, Rules, other acts and various Government schemes


While most of the benefits and services are common and available all over India, some are disability related and some are state specific and are extended by the State Governments to disabled persons in their respective states.


  • In seeking guardianship (Section 14.1)
  • Facility of community centres (Section 24.3.a)
  • Free of cost aids and appliances, medicines, diagnostic services, and corrective surgery (Section 24.3.f)
  • Disability Pension (Section 24.3.g)
  • Unemployment Allowance (Section 24.3.h)
  • Free Health Care in the vicinity, especially in rural areas (Section 25.1.a)
  • Priority in treatment (Section 25.1.c)
  • Comprehensive Insurance Scheme (Section 24.3.j)
  • Free education till the age of 18 (Section 31.1)
  • Reservation of seats and age relaxation for higher education in government institutions and government aided institutions (Section 32.1 & 2)
  • Job reservations in Government establishments (Section 34.1)
  • Employment in Private Sector: Incentives to employers (Section 35)
  • Registration in Special Employment Exchange (Section 36)
  • Income tax benefits for persons with disabilities and their caregivers (Annexure 4)
  • Family pension (Annexure 5)
  • Help under Legal Services Authorities Act 1987 (Annexure 6)
  • Scholarships for professional courses
  • Financial assistance for self-employment
  • Vocational training at Vocational Rehabilitation Centres
  • Swavlamban: Group Mediclaim Policy (Annexure 7)
  • Concessional loans for self-employment (NHFDC & ADHARA)
  • Rail Travel Concessions
  • Free bus passes for travel in state transport buses
  • Reservations in allotment of agricultural land, housing, land for housing, occupation, business, production centres (Section 37.c)


  • Special access facilities at bus stops, railway stations, airports, parking spaces, toilets, ticketing counters
  • Incentives for marriage between disabled and normal persons.
  • Grant of fuel subsidy for motorized vehicle.
  • Financial assistance to totally disabled persons
  • Supply of sarees and dhoties to disabled persons
  • Annual tours for disabled persons
  • Group insurance for disabled government employees (S)
  • Group insurance for disabled other than government employees
  • Financial assistance towards funeral expenses




Application for Obtaining Certificate of Disability by Persons with Disabilities

(See Rule 17.1)


  1. Proof of Residence

(a) Ration Card

(b) Voter Identity Card

(c) Driving license

(d) Bank Passbook

(e) PAN Card

(f) Passport


(g) Telephone, Electricity, Water or any other utility bill indicating the address of the applicant

(h) A certificate of residence issued by a panchayat, municipality, cantonment board, any gazetted officer, or the concerned patwari or head master of a Government school


(i) in case of an inmate of a residential institution for persons with disabilities, destitute, mentally ill, and other disability, a certificate of residence from head of such institution.


  1. Two recent passport size photographs ———————————————————————————————-


Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS) is a scale for measuring and quantifying disability in mental disorders. With regard to assessment of disability related to mental illness, the Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS) developed by the Rehabilitation Committee of the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) through a Task Force has been recognised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India as the recommended instrument to measure psychiatric disability. It is used by most of the states for granting Disability Certificate and extending various welfare benefits.


IDEAS is used for measuring and quantifying disability in mental disorders. It is well suited for measuring mental disability in India. It has four items: Self Care, Interpersonal Activities (Social Relationships), Communication and Understanding, and Work. IDEAS is mainly used for evaluation of four mental illnesses: 1. Schizophrenia 2. Bipolar Affective Disorder 3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 4. Dementia. For various welfare measures, 40% is the cut-off point. The scores above 40% are categorized as moderate, severe and profound based on Global Disability Score.

Information to assess the scale of mental disability is obtained from all possible sources including interview of patient, the care given and case notes.


Tax benefits for family care givers

Under section 80DD of Income Tax Act, deduction from income can be claimed by a tax payer family caregiver, towards expenditure incurred for the maintenance of a disabled dependent. The disabilities considered for this purpose are those which are specified in the Persons with Disabilities Act and include mental illness. A Disability Certificate issued as provided in the Person with Disabilities Rules will be required to claim the deduction


The existing provisions of section 80DD, provide for a deduction to a tax payer family caregiver, who has incurred expenditure for the medical treatment (including nursing), training and rehabilitation of a dependent, being a person with disability and for any premium to Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) or any other insurer in respect of a scheme for the maintenance of a disabled dependent. With effect from 1st April 2016, a deduction of seventy five thousand rupees (raised from Rs. 50,000) is allowed, if the dependant is suffering from disability which is 40% to 79% and rupees one lakh fifty thousand (raised from Rs. 1 lakh) if the dependent is suffering from severe disability of 80% and above, from the gross total income in respect of the previous year.Monday, February 11, 2013


Family Pension for a son/daughter with mental illness beyond the prescribed age limit

In terms of CCS (Pension) Rules 1972, If the son or the unmarried daughter of an employee is suffering from any physical disability or disability of mind so as to render him or her unable to earn a living even after attaining the age of 25 years, the family pension is payable to such son or daughter for life subject to certain conditions.


–   Amrit Bakhshy

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