Online system to weed out false disability claims

The precise number of false claims in the past has been difficult to determine, as no survey figures exist.

The all-digital system, which will be fully implemented in the state over the course of the next two weeks, demands that applicants list their disabilities online on a centralised portal, which health officials said would eliminate false claims.

Under the old system, Dr Rajani P of the department of mental health said, there was a chance that applicants would make false claims by obtaining disability certificates from multiple doctors, to cross baseline limit of 40%, for benefits.

The precise number of false claims in the past has been difficult to determine, as no survey figures exist over the years, said Jayavibhava Swamy, director of the department for the empowerment of differently abled and senior citizens. 

Swamy, however, said the number was probably small and described the new system as being infallible because details of all applicants and relevant review data would be centrally located in a database and accessible to health officials across the country.

“Under the new system, all disabled persons who wish to claim benefits, including those with cards issued under the old system, must reapply online. No duplicate claims are allowed,” Swamy said. Once a person applies for disability status on the portal, his or her information is immediately sent to the old issuing health centre for verification, he said.

The applicant is subsequently given an appointment time and venue for a physical review by a medical committee, made up of five medical experts, depending on the nature of the applicant’s condition.

Unique number

“If the case is approved and the person is judged as having disabilities over 40%, they are issued a new disability card with a unique number, like an Aadhaar card,” Swamy said. “If the person fails to show up, the application is cancelled.”

While financial benefits available to persons qualifying for disability are relatively low, Swamy said the payout is not intended as a “pension” and should be considered solely for purchase of medical aids.

 

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