THE ESM CORNER

FINANCIAL HELP FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT OF NON-PENSIONER ESM/WIDOWS

ESM-CORNER-ESM

While retired soldiers (ESMs) often receive a pension and ECHS medical scheme, those who leave service early or voluntarily, without a pension, face financial challenges, particularly with medical expenses. To aid these individuals, the government initiated a scheme under RMEWF in 1981, revised in August 2023, providing an annual grant of up to Rs 50,000 for medical treatment to non-pensioner ESMs and their widows.

This one-time grant, paid directly to the beneficiary’s bank account via ECS or cheque, covers expenses incurred at government hospitals at CGHS/ECHS-approved rates. However, it does not cover serious diseases. The scheme is funded by the AFFD Fund, collected from voluntary contributions of citizens and corporations on Armed Forces Flag Day (Dec 7). A separate RMEWF scheme assists with costs of treating serious illnesses like cancer, heart, and kidney issues.

ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS FOR ESM

The eligibility conditions for availing the financial assistance under this scheme are as follows:

  • The applicant must be a non-pensioner ESM or his widow, and the ESM should be of the rank of Havildar/equivalent from the Navy/AF and below.
  • The applicant must apply within 180 days from the date of discharge from the hospital or the last prescription, and submit the required documents, attested by the Zila Sainik Welfare Officer (ZSWO).
  • The applicant must be recommended by the respective Zila Sainik Board (ZSB) and Rajya Sainik Board (RSB), which are the nodal agencies for the welfare of ESM and their families at the district and state level respectively.
  • The applicant should not have received any reimbursement or medical allowance for the same purpose from the State/Service.

APPLICATION

The application for financial assistance under this scheme must be submitted online on the web portal of Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), which is the apex body for the welfare of ESM and their families at the national level. The application must be accompanied by the following documents, scanned and uploaded on the portal:

  • Service document/discharge book of ESM, showing the rank, service number, name and date of birth of the ESM and the widow.
  • Identity card of ESM/widow, issued by the ZSB.
  • Original medical bills, showing the name of the patient, the name of the hospital, the date of admission and discharge, the diagnosis, the treatment, and the amount charged.
  • Hospital discharge summary, showing the details of the treatment and the outcome.
  • A self-declaration certificate from the applicant, stating that he/she has not received any reimbursement or medical allowance for the same purpose from State/Service.
  • Bank passbook and a cancelled cheque, showing the bank account number, IFSC code and personal details of the beneficiary.

CHANNEL OF APPLICATION

The application must be submitted online on the web portal of Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) through the respective ZSB, which will scrutinize the application and forward it to the respective RSB with its recommendation. The RSB will then forward the application to the KSB Secretariat for approval and payment.

SUBSEQUENT GRANT

An applicant may apply for the medical grant again during the same year, subject to the ceiling of Rs. 30,000 maximum in a financial year. The procedure for applying for subsequent grants is the same as for the first grant, except that the applicant must also submit a copy of the sanction letter of the previous grant along with the application form and the documents.

CONCLUSION

The scheme of RMEWF-Financial Assistance for Medical Treatment of Non-Pensioner ESM/Widows is a healthcare scheme for veterans who have served the nation with honour and devotion. The scheme provides a financial grant to the non-pensioner ESM/widows up to the rank of Havildar and equivalent for the medical treatment of various ailments at recognized government hospitals. The scheme is funded by the AFFD Fund, which is a symbol of the solidarity and support of the citizens and the corporate sector for the armed forces. The scheme is a tribute to the ESM and their families, who are the pride of the nation.

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