Covid: Some good news for ESI subscribers

ESI subscribers to get Covid unemployment allowance within 15 days of claim. Payment will be made into bank account of the insured and Aadhaar will be used for identification.

Formal sector workers registered under the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scheme will receive Covid-19-related unemployment cash allowance within 15 days of filing the claim.

The ESI Corporation on Wednesday released the revised unemployment allowance scheme, Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY), for workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The payment shall be made in the bank account of the IP (insured person) within 15 days from the receipt of the claim. Aadhaar shall be used for identification,” the ESIC said in its circular dated September 16.

The decision to revise the guidelines under the ABVKY scheme was taken in a meeting of the ESIC chaired by labour and employment minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar in August to enable more workers to get benefits of the scheme.

Workers unemployed during the Covid-19 pandemic are set to receive cash to the extent of 50 per cent of the wage (as against 25 per cent meant for ESI subscribers affected during the pre-Covid times).

It will be paid for a maximum of 90 days.

The relief will be paid directly into the bank account of workers, who will be eligible to file the claim after 30 days of getting unemployed.

The benefit can be availed by workers who became unemployed from March 24 till December 31, 2020.

The Union government had enforced a three-month national lockdown from March 25 in a bid to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Under the existing guidelines, claim for the unemployment benefit was required to be submitted through the employer. Gangwar said that in a significant relaxation, claim can now be submitted directly (by workers) to the designated ESIC branch office,” a statement issued by the labour ministry on Thursday said.

Workers will also be able to file the unemployment allowance claim online, according to the ESIC circular.

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