Karnataka: For Covid compensation, kin need to submit positive report or hospital papers

According to the guidelines, the families where deaths occurred at homes without the patients getting a Covid-19 test done or being admitted in hospitals will not be eligible for compensation.

The Karnataka government will disburse its Covid-19 compensation for the kin of deceased breadwinners on the basis of either a positive test report or documentation certifying treatment for Covid-like syndromes at a hospital.

The state had earlier announced that below-poverty line families that have lost their earning member will be eligible for the Rs 1 lakh compensation.

The Karnataka government issued the guidelines for disbursement of the Covid 19 death compensation amounts of Rs one lakh each to BPL families – which was announced on June 14 by chief minister B S Yediyurappa – through the state social welfare department on July 8.

As many as 35,040 official Covid-19 deaths were recorded in Karnataka till June 30 even as the state civil registration system recorded excess deaths to the tune of 91,328 in the January to June period for the year 2021 (compared to 2020) when the severe second wave occurred.

According to the guidelines issued by the Karnataka government the families where deaths occurred at homes without the patients getting a Covid-19 test done or being admitted in hospitals for Covid like symptoms will not be eligible for compensation.

To claim the compensation, beneficiaries will have to provide a “COVID 19 positive report from a recognized laboratory” which should have been uploaded in the ICMR portal, they should have a patient number and should be certified by a qualified medical practitioner.

If the victims were treated symptomatically without a RT-PCR positive report but with “clinical, radiological evidence and other laboratory values suggestive of COVID 19 cases” then the families should provide the patient number and certification by a qualified doctor.

The guidelines have used a definition of a Covid 19 death prescribed by the state technical advisory committee on Covid 19 to prescribe the eligibility for the compensation among BPL families.

Funds have been allocated for the payment of the compensation under the Sandhya Suraksha or new social security scheme of the social welfare department for the year 2021-22. The compensation will be available only for one person in every BPL family even if multiple deaths have occurred, says the July 8 guidelines.

Deputy commissioners in the districts have been authorised to collect details of all Covid 19 deaths from the district health officers to identify beneficiaries and to obtain documents for compensation – like identification details, bank details – before informing the social welfare department. The compensation is to be transferred directly to the beneficiaries through RTGS.

According to the July 8 order from the secretary of the department of social welfare N Manjunath Prasad the social security and pension unit of the social welfare department has been directed to disburse the compensation amount to the BPL families that have lost breadwinners to Covid 19.

State officials said they expect a lot of disputes to arise on account of many deaths suspected to have been linked to Covid 19 not being captured in the official reporting system as Covid 19 deaths, especially home deaths with Covid like symptoms where no Covid 19 testing was done .

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