The country is dealing with a very challenging situation due to COVID-19 Pandemic. Many establishments are temporarily closed and workers are unable to work. In line with the relief measures being extended by Government to business entities and workers, Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has undertaken following relief measures for its stakeholders specially Employers and Insured Persons, besides strengthening its medical resources to fight COVID-19.
As a relief measure, the period for filing ESI contribution for the month of February and March was earlier extended to 15th April and 15th May, respectively. Now, considering the hardship being faced by employers, the period for filing ESI contribution for the month of February has been further extended from earlier extended period i.e. 15th April to 15th May, 2020. The period for filing contribution for the month of March 2020 is also 15th May, 2020. No penalty or interest or damage will be levied on establishments during the extended period. 3.49 crore Insured Persons (IPs) and 12,11,174 employers will get relief with the extension of period for filing the return.
Besides these, following relief measures have been undertaken for Insured Persons and Beneficiaries.
In order to ease hardship of ESI Beneficiaries, purchase of medicines by ESI beneficiaries from private chemists during the lockdown period and its subsequent reimbursement by ESIC has been permitted.
A provision has also been made for providing medical services to IPs and beneficiaries from Tie-up Hospitals, if an ESIC Hospital is declared as a dedicated Covid-19 Hospital to cater exclusively to Corona suspected/confirmed cases. ESI beneficiaries can be referred to tie-up Hospitals for providing prescribed secondary/SST consultation/admission/ investigation, during the period for which concerned ESIC Hospital functions as dedicated Covid-19 Hospital. ESI Beneficiary may also seek Emergency/non-Emergency medical treatment from tie-up hospital directly without referral letter, in accordance with his entitlement.
Medical Benefit is provided under Rule 60-61 to the Insured persons who cease to be in insurable employment on account of permanent disablement and to the retired Insured Persons, on payment of advance lump-sum contribution for a year at the rate of Rs.10/- per month. Under the prevailing circumstances of lockdown, there may be cases where validity of the medical benefit cards issued to these beneficiaries expire as these beneficiaries are unable to deposit the advance annual lump-sum contribution due to lockdown. Such beneficiaries have been allowed to avail medical benefit under Rule 60 and 61 of ESI (Central Rules) till 30.06.2020.
The payment of Rs.41.00 crore (approx.) in respect of Permanent Disablement Benefit and Dependants' Benefit have been sent to the bank accounts of beneficiaries in the month of March, 2020.