Indian Government schemes and programmes for people with autism and their families in India

Author: Admin, Jun 07, 2019

This post is relevant for parents of children with Autism and Cerebral Palsy. The post contains words like handicapped, disabled etc. We discourage the use of these words however they have been used per the terminology used by Govt and other relevant bodies. Indian government recognized Autism spectrum disorder in 2001. Till 1980s, it was believed that Autism didn't exist in India. India has more than 10 million people with autism (figure may vary as many cases are not diagnosed). Indian Government has a few schemes and programmes for people with autism and their families. It's definitely a positive start towards recognizing the disorder and taking steps to address the challenges involved.

It is mandatory to have a disability certificate in order to avail these schemes. The department of persons with disabilities (DePwD) under social justice and empowerment ministry has notified guidelines to pave the way for constitution of boards and issuing of disability certificates. DePwD joint secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said, “We have notified new guidelines under which disability certificates would be given to autistic children. This is a major initiative which would help in education and jobs.”

The schemes are available under The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999, LIC and others:-

Government Jobs Quota

As per an official order, people with autism, mental illnesses, intellectual disability and victims of acid attacks will now get quota in central government jobs. In case of direct recruitment, 4% of the total number of vacancies, up from the existing 3%, in groups A, B and C shall be reserved for people with benchmark disabilities. 1% posts each shall also be reserved for people suffering from autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness.

Tax Benefits

Differently abled people or those who have taken insurance for a differently abled dependent can claim tax benefit under Section 80DD and Section 80U. Any person certified as partially or severely disabled can seek tax deduction under Section 80U. One does not have to deposit any medical bills or premium receipts while claiming deductions under this section. For AY 2016-17, persons with disability are allowed deductions of Rs. 75,000 under Section 80U. Persons with severe disability will be allowed deductions up to Rs. 1.25 lakhs for AY 2016-17. Under Section 80DD, one can avail deduction for money spent on welfare of a differently abled dependent. This deduction is, however, not allowed if the dependent has already claimed a deduction under section 80U. Under section 80DD, you can get a maximum deduction of Rs 50,000 (raised to 75,000 for AY 2016-17) and Rs 1,00,000 where persons with severe disability are concerned (raised to Rs. 1,25,000 for AY 2016-17).

Policies from Life Insurance Corporation of India

LIC Jeevan Aadhar: This plan may be offered to a person who has a handicap satisfying conditions as specified in Section 80DDA of Income Tax Act, 1961. The plan provides life insurance cover throughout the lifetime of the purchaser. The benefits under the plan are for the handicapped dependant which are partly in lump sum and partly in the form of an annuity. The premiums paid under this plan are eligible for Income Tax relief under Section 80DDA of Income Tax Act. Premiums are payable yearly, half-yearly, quarterly, monthly or through Salary deductions, as opted, within the selected premium paying terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 years or till the earlier death. Alternatively, the premiums may be paid in one lump sum (Single Premium).

LIC Jeevan Vishwas: This is an Endowment Assurance plan designed for the benefit of handicapped dependants. Premiums are payable quarterly, half-yearly or yearly throughout the term of the policy or till the earlier death. Alternatively, the premium may be paid in one lump sum (single premium). The policy provides for the Guaranteed additions at the rate of Rs.60 per thousand Sum Assured for each completed policy year while the policy is in full force. The Guaranteed Additions are payable at the end of the policy term or on earlier death.

The schemes available under The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy

Niramaya, is an affordable health insurance scheme introduced by National Trust for persons with autism, cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities and other diseases/disorders. Health insurance cover of up to Rs. 1 lakh are available. Facilities that can be availed are as follows-OPD treatment including the medicines, pathology, diagnostic tests, etc, Regular Medical checkup for non-ailing disabled, Dental Preventive Dentistry, Surgery to prevent further aggravation of disability, Non- Surgical/ Hospitalization, Corrective Surgeries for existing Disability including congenital disability, Ongoing Therapies to reduce impact of disability and disability related complications, Alternative Medicine. No pre-insurance medical tests required. The scheme will be available in the entire India except J&K

Scheme Description The scheme envisages delivering comprehensive cover which will have a single premium across age band. It will provide same coverage irrespective of the type of disability covered under the National Trust Act Insurance cover upto Rs.1 lakh on reimbursement basis only. All persons with disabilities under the National Trust Act with valid disability certificate will be eligible and included. No pre-insurance medical tests. Treatment can be taken from any hospital.

Asmita: The National Trust, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice, offers a group life insurance policy named Asmita. This policy is for parents and guardians of people with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. The scheme offers coverage for parents or guardians of the differently abled. Only organizations registered with the National Trust can facilitate insurance under the Asmita scheme.

Uddyam Prabha (Financial Incentive) Scheme: The scheme aims at promoting economic income-generating activities for self-employment of persons with Autism and Cerebral Palsy through these incentives. The Scheme provides some financial incentives to people with such disabilities for undertaking economic activities for their self-employment by availing loans from financial institutions, banks etc. An incentive will be provided for availing loan for any income-generating economic activity.

Eligibility Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Age 18 years or above can avail loan for income generating activities from recognized financial institutions, banks etc. there should be no default in repaying the loan incentive. Incentive upto 5% for BPL and 3% for other categories will be given per annum upto 5 year on a loan amount upto Rs.1 lakh. For example, an eligible person below poverty line will get upto 5% of 1 lakh loan amount i.e. Rs. 5000/- pa for 5 years.

ARUNIM stands for Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative of Marketing. Arunim focuses on imparting skills to design products which are possible within the strength of the people and has demand and can be marketed. These products then will be sold both nationally and internationally. This will help the people to earn livelihood and help their families.

Spandan (Special Performance Awards) Spandan is the new name given to the National Trust Awards for special performance in different sectors by people with disabilities. The Awards provide a new vibrancy to the registered NGOs and other stakeholders of the National Trust. The Special Performance Awards for contributing to the National Trust Centric Disabilities (SPANDAN), now, has a fewer number of Awards but bigger prize money. The awardees are selected through a jury of eminent people from scores of nominations from across the country. National Trust recognizes men and women achievers exclusively in the sector.


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