What is a disability certificate under the Persons with Disabilities Act?
A disability certificate is a prerequisite for obtaining any entitlements linked to the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, and for seeking enforcement of rights under it before the Commission of Persons with Disabilities.
It identifies the person with disability, indicates the nature and degree of their impairment, and the State which has granted the disability certificate. This certificate is issued by respective medical boards at a state or district level. The impairments which are covered under this are:
• Low vision
• Leprosy cured
• Hearing impairment
• Loco motor disability (includes cerebral palsy)
• Mental retardation
• Mental illness
• Multiple Disabilities
This disability certificate is recognized under the Persons with Disabilities Act. You may be required to get a disability certificate by a medical professional for other purposes – examination concessions etc. for the school or school board. This is not a valid certificate for entitlements under the Persons with Disabilities Act and other poverty alleviation schemes. Educational institutions have no role to play in the issuance of a disability certificate.
Should you get a disability certificate for your child?
The decision as to whether one should obtain a disability certificate or not is a difficult one, particularly if the person is already facing stigma and discrimination. However, it should be kept in mind that the following are important considerations and questions to answer while making this decision:
(i) Would your child benefit from accommodations in education, including admissions, examination concessions?
(ii) Would receiving aids and appliances from the government help you?
(iii) Would you benefit from receiving disability pensions in the name of your child?
(iv) Are you finding it difficult to get your child insured on account of their disability?
(v) Do you apprehend that your child will face discrimination for which you might have to seek remedies before a Court?
(vi) Would you like to explore, in the future, group homes and independent living schemes that are supported by the government?
If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’, it is advisable to complete the formalities for a disability certificate.
How can you get a disability certificate?
A disability certificate can be applied for by or on behalf of any person who has an impairment. For persons applying from Delhi NCT, you must fill out this application form and self attest it before submission. The medical examination will be conducted at the hospital depending upon the nature of the impairment.
If you or your child has an impairment that is not recognized under the Persons with Disabilities Act or the National Trust Act – such as specific learning disabilities or other impairments, you will not be able to get a disability certificate because there is no certification standard or procedure laid down for the same.
Many families have succeeded in getting their children certified as ‘mentally retarded’ in order to avail of benefits. This is a personal choice and also depends on the severity of the impairment.
This table lists the hospitals or institutes in Delhi that can certify a disability:
This table specifies how different disabilities should be assessed by the medical authorities in above hospitals.
What documents do you need to apply for a certificate?
A person applying for a certificate will need:
(i) The completed application form
(ii) A birth certificate
(iii) of residence
(iv) Ration Card to prove three years of residence in Delhi
(v) Two passport size photographs
(vi) An attested photocopy of a medical certificate obtained as above
The application can also be submitted online in Delhi.
Till when and where is your disability certificate valid?
Time: If the nature of the impairment is permanent and if there is certainty that the degree of the impairment will not change over time, a disability certificate of permanent validity can be issued. If there can be changes in the degree of impairment, the certificate will be issued for a limited period to permit for reassessment.
Location: A disability certificate issued by one State authority will be valid throughout the country for the purpose of identification as a person with disability. However, it may not make one eligible for social protection schemes in a State where one is not a permanent resident.
What can you do if your certificate application is rejected?
(i) If you are denied a certificate or if you are given a certificate with an impairment or impairment assessment that you think is incorrect, you can apply for a revision of the same. If the applicant is a minor, the legal guardian can make this application on their behalf
(ii) A copy of the certificate or rejection letter should be attached to the application
(iii) The final appellate authority is the Director General Health Services, Government of India
(iv) The applicant will have an opportunity to be heard by the Committee constituted for the appeals process and then the medical authority will make a decision
(v) Application for review should be addressed within a fortnight, but in certain cases where this is not possible, the maximum duration is a month from the date of receipt