Each Covid Death Will Be Compensated With ₹50,000 By States

The ex gratia claims for relatives of Covid victims must be resolved within 30 days of receipt of all requisite papers.

Each Covid Death Will Be Compensated With ₹50,000 By States
Each Covid Death Will Be Compensated With ₹50,000 By States

The state governments will pay 50,000 ex gratia to the families of individuals who die from Covid, the Centre notified the Supreme Court today. Significantly, the court was informed that compensation will be paid not just for deaths that have already occurred, but also for those that will occur in the future.

The payments will be paid by state governments and channelled through the District Disaster Management Authority or district administrations, according to the government's affidavit submitted with the Supreme Court today. 

Since the pandemic began in January 2020, India has documented approximately 4.45 lakh Covid-related deaths. Families who have lost members due to Covid have already been compensated in some states. Bihar (Rs 4 lakh per household), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 1 lakh), and Delhi are among them (Rs 50,000).

"The ex gratia assistance...will continue to be provided for deaths that may occur in the future phases of the COVID-19 pandemic as well, or until further notification," the Centre's affidavit said today. "Families of those who died while participating in Covid relief operations or assisting with preparatory activities will be compensated... In accordance with Health Ministry requirements, the cause of death must be certified as COVID-19." 

The grieving families will file their claims using a form provided by the state, along with certain papers, such as death certificates. The district disaster management authority will guarantee that the claim, verification, sanction, and disbursement processes are straightforward, reliable, and user-friendly.

The Centre's affidavit stated that "all claims must be paid within 30 days of submission of the relevant documentation, and disbursed using the Aadhaar-linked direct benefit transfer procedures." If there are any complaints, they will be handled by district-level committees made up of the Additional District Collector, the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), the Additional CMOH or the Principal or Head of Department of Medicine at a Medical College (if one exists in the district), and a subject expert. 

After verifying the facts, the committee will recommend required corrective actions, including the release of updated official documents. "In case the decision of the committee is not in favour of the claimant, a clear reason for the same shall be recorded," the affidavit said.

In June the Supreme Court had ruled that families of those who died from Covid should get financial compensation, and gave the National Disaster Management Authority six weeks to decide on the amount and frame the required guidelines. It had also said death certificates for those who died of COVID-19 must include the date and cause of death, besides the mechanism to correct it if the family was not satisfied.