Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana, A Scheme of Wage Relief for Workers who Lost Jobs in Lockdown
The government of India is launching a campaign named - Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY), to help Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) registered workers with the situation of loss of job in this pandemic.
The yojana will ensure that workers who have lost their jobs during the lockdown can claim 50 percent of their wages for up to three months as unemployment relief even if they have resumed work. ESIC is going to deploy its 44,000 crore kitty with a formal notification on Friday.
Earlier, the financial assistance was provided within 90 days of the job loss and it has now been reduced to 30 days. The yojana will be available with original eligibility condition during the period January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021, after December 31, 2020. The scheme has been effective from July 2018 and was implemented on a pilot basis for two years initially.
The move is seen as an outreach to those displaced by the lockdown and blunt the criticism that the government did not take care of migrant and factory workers, who were the worst hit. Sources said that the documents will need to be submitted physically as the beneficiaries are not linked to Aadhaar.
Details about the Yojana:
The scheme originally provided relief in case the Insured Person (IP) lost their job to the extent of 25% of the average per day earning during the previous four contribution periods (total earning during the four contribution period/730) to be paid up to maximum 90 days of unemployment once in the lifetime of the IP on submission of claim in form of an affidavit.
The insured person should have been rendered unemployed during period the relief is claimed in order to avail the scheme.
They should have been in insurable employment for a minimum period of two years immediately before their unemployment. They should have contributed not less than 78 days during each of the preceding four contribution periods, according to government’s notification.
The contribution should have been paid or payable by the employer.
The contingency of unemployment should not have been as a result of any punishment for misconduct or superannuation or voluntary retirement.
Aadhaar and bank account of the insured person should be linked with insured person data base.
The claims can be filed directly by workers. The claim will be due 30 days after the date of unemployment as against 90 days earlier.
The claim can be submitted online in the prescribed claim form after which the payment will be made in the bank account of the IP within 15 days from the receipt of the duly completed claim.
Ministry sources said the scheme has started to receive nearly 400 claims daily since the labour ministry and ESIC decided to extend ABVKY last month, when it also decided to bump up the rate of unemployment relief from the existing 25 percent of wages to 50 percent of wages. While unemployment benefits could only be available following submissions through employers, the labour ministry has now permitted claims to be made directly to designated ESIC branch office. ESIC services nearly 3.4 crore families through medical insurance cover and cash benefits to almost 13.5 crore beneficiaries.