Many struggling to get papers for relief

Burning pyres of COVID-19 victims at the Manglapuri crematorium in Palam.   | Photo Credit: KRISHNAN VV

Many people complained that they are still facing difficulties to acquire a ‘surviving member certificate (SMC)’ that is needed to apply for compensations given to people, if a family member has died of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, officials said that they are “working overtime” to help citizens get the certificate and even taking them to offices to get an affidavit that is needed to apply for the certificate.

Mandatory documents

The SMC is one of the mandatory documents to be submitted online to apply for a compensation of ₹50,000, if a family member has died due to COVID-19. It is also needed to apply for a monthly assistance of ₹2,500 to certain categories of people, who have lost a family member to COVID-19.

A person has to first apply online for the SMC and then physically go and submit affidavits to the Tahsildar office. The Tahsildar office issues the SMC after verification.

The SMC states who all are survived by the deceased. To get it, all children of the deceased person have to submit their identity proofs and affidavits.

“My grandmother had four children — my dad and three of my aunts. On August 24, we submitted the affidavits and Aadhaar cards of all four at the Tahsildar office. On August 29, I got a message on the portal that it has been rejected. No one told us anything,” said Himanshu, whose grandmother Rashmi Devi, 84, died due to COVID-19.

“Then I went to the Tahsildar office and found out that it was rejected as my aunt had her husband’s name in the Aadhaar card and not her father’s name. They have asked us to get her father’s name in the Aadhaar card. We have not applied after it,” he said. He said that he had to make three visits to the Tahsildar office, but in vain.

A government official said that they are doing everything possible for help people get the certificate and the scheme is being monitored at the “highest level”.

‘Topmost priority’

“If the deceased’s spouse is alive, we have to give the compensation to the spouse. But if the spouse is not alive, then we have to give the money equally to all the children. So, to know who all the children are, we need them to submit an affidavit and then issue the SMC based on it,” a District Magistrate said.

“In our district, we have told people where to go to make the affidavits and even taking them to the vendor to get the affidavit to apply for the SMC. This scheme is our topmost priority at this point,” the DM said.

On August 25, Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam had said that people are facing issues while applying for the compensation and a “major problem” is the issuance of SMC. “These certificates are not issued on time, which is creating pendency in approving these cases. As directed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the application process should be hassle-free,” he had said.

Kunal Malik, 24, said his grandfather Bhim Sen Sethi, 83, died of COVID-19 and they had applied for the SMC about a month ago, but they are yet to get it.

“We had submitted the documents near the SDM office, but don’t know what happened after it. We called the office once, but they said they are very busy. The government should be helping us, right? I doubt whether we will get the compensation,” Mr. Malik said.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 3:15:16 PM |

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