State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities issues directive to Directorate of Social Welfare to enhance Dayanand Social Security Scheme Benefits to PwD’s

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Panaji: In a significant directive to the Directorate of Social Welfare the State Commissioner for persons with Disabilities Shri.Guruprasad R. Pawaskar addressed the urgent need to revise the Dayanand Social Security Scheme. This action comes in response to numerous appeals from persons with disabilities and parents of children with special needs, who have raised concerns about no increment of pension benefits over the past several years.

The Dayanand Social Security Scheme, notified by the Directorate of Social Welfare in 2002 and amended in 2013, currently provides the following pensions:₹2,000 per month for persons with less than 90% disability,₹2,500 per month for children with less than 90% disability and ₹3,500 per month for persons with more than 90% disability.

As per the order passed by the office of the state commissioner for persons with disabilities dated:20th June’2024 it is observed that the cost of living has risen significantly due to inflation, diminishing the real value of the fixed pension amounts. Basic necessities such as housing, healthcare, and food have become more expensive, making it increasingly difficult for people with disabilities to afford a proper standard of living.

Additionally, persons with disabilities often face higher medical and care costs, which are not fully covered by public health systems.

Sections 24 and 38 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 mandate the government to formulate schemes to ensure an adequate standard of living for persons with disabilities.

Furthermore, It is noticed that the following component of the Dayanand Social Security scheme published in the Official Gazette Government of Goa vide Notification No.
50/354/2002-03-HC/PART-1/4247 dated 04th October 2014 is not implemented till date.

Persons with disabilities covered under the Dayanand Social Security Scheme, who require medical aids or appliances as part of their enabling environment and rehabilitation, are eligible for financial assistance up to ₹1,00,000 (Rupees one lakh only) once every five years.

It has also been observed that delays in pension disbursements cause significant hardships and inconvenience to beneficiaries who rely on these funds for their daily needs. The Commission strongly recommends that pension amounts be credited to beneficiaries’ accounts on or before the 5th of every month.

In light of the above, the Commission has strongly recommended the following enhancements to the Dayanand Social Security Scheme:
1. Increase the pension to ₹6,000 for persons with benchmark disabilities (more than 40% disability).
2. Provide a pension of ₹4,000 for persons with disabilities (less than 40% disability).
3. Increase the pension to ₹4,000 for children with disabilities (less than 90% disability).
4. Introduce a new category for persons with high support needs, with a pension of ₹8,000.
5. Implement an annual 4% increase in pensions to account for inflation.
6. Enforce the provision of financial assistance upto ₹1,00,000 for the purchase of aids and appliances, as per the notification dated October 4, 2014.
7. Ensure that pension amounts are credited to beneficiaries on or before the 5th of every month.
8. Raise the annual income limit for pension eligibility from ₹24,000 to ₹8,00,000, aligning with the criteria for Economically Weaker Sections.

“Increasing the pension is a matter of social justice and equality,” stated Shri Guruprasad Pawaskar. “Ensuring that persons with disabilities receive sufficient financial support aligns with the principles of fairness and inclusivity.
Enhanced pensions empower individuals with disabilities to lead independent lives, participate more actively in the economy, and contribute to greater economic inclusivity. Therefore, increasing disability pensions is not only a moral imperative but also a practical measure to foster a more equitable and prosperous society.”

The Commission has directed the Directorate of Social Welfare to submit a compliance report on the above recommendations within three months of receipt of this order.

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