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Parkinson’s - A Recognised Disability by the Indian Law

Updated: Jan 26

Background 


India signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and sometime in 2007. India subsequently fine tuned  and made many amendments to the Persons with Disability Act, 1995 (PWD Act 1995) and replaced it with The Rights of PWD Act, 2016 (RPWD Act 2016). The purpose was not just to comply with the UNCRPD, but also to consider the socio-cultural setup of the Indian society and the resources available. The preamble of this act clearly states that it aims to uphold the dignity of every Person with Disability (PwD) in the society and prevent any form of discrimination. 



Recognition of PD as a disability


The new law lists 21 different conditions that are considered as disability as compared to 7 in the earlier law. In this expanded list, chronic neurological disorder based on the fact that a person with a chronic neurological condition (such as PD among others) would experience a variety of symptoms that impact their abilities to lead an independent life and would require long term healthcare and possibly assisted living.  With PD, it is also recognised that it affects movement at the minimum, also speech and cognitive functioning and it will get worse with time, and thus will require more care, as it is progressive disease. 


Benefits available to Person with PD:


There are several benefits and provisions available through the  central and state governments to a person having PD.  A disability certificate is mandatory for availing these. 


Some of the main benefits are:

  • Railway - the person is allowed to travel in compartment reserved for the divyanjan

  • Air travel concession

  • Bus travel concession

  • Income tax deduction benefits - under section 80U of the IT act, A deduction of Rs. 75,000 is allowed for people with disabilities, and Rs. 1,25,000 deduction for people with severe disability. One is not required to submit any proof of medical expense to avail this deduction.  If a nex of kin is paying insurance premium for a person with disability, he/she can claim deduction under section 80DD. 


Note that each of the above may be subject to specific policies of central or state government prevalent at the time of availing the concession. 


A disability certificate can only be issued by a state government hospital. This is specified for each district.  


Eligibility criteria for the certificate:

  • Person must be an Indian citizen

  • Written diagnosis by a neurologist

  • Doctor’s prescription/s

  • CT or MRI scan with reports, if applicable

  • Detailed note about the disability, from a qualified doctor


To be issued a Disability Certificate, the individual must be assessed to have a minimum of 40% degree of disability. This assessment is done by the neurologist in the state government hospital. 


References:






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