The Aam Admi Bima Yojana is a project initiated by the Union Finance Ministry. This can be described as the combination of two social security programmes operated previously by the central government, namely, Janashree Bima Yojana (JBY) and Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY). The project has been made operational from 1st January 2013.
The eligibility criteria for the scheme
In order to be considered eligible for being benefited by the programme, the applicants should be within the age group of 18 to 59 years. The concerned beneficiary should ideally be the head of a family, classified as being Below Poverty Line (BPL) or a family that is only above the said line. However, this classification has to be done in terms of certain selected landless households and vocational groups of the rural areas of India.
In order to prove their eligibility as beneficiaries of the programme the applicants will need to furnish proper age proof. They could provide their ration card or an extract that has been taken from their birth register or even their school certificate. They could provide their voters identity cards or any other identity card that has been given to them by a governmental department or an employer who is well-known. They could also provide their Aadhar or Unique Identification Card for this purpose.
Role of nodal agency in programme
The nodal agency is the body that is supposed to be responsible for administering the Aam Admi Bima Yojana to its intended beneficiaries. It could be a department of a central ministry or the state government or a union territory. It could also be any other kind of institution-based arrangement such as an NGO. NGOs can get registered with the relevant authorities in order to operate the scheme but it has to be done with rules that have already been set in this regard. However, if the beneficiary is classed as a rural landless household then the nodal agency will have to be appointed by the respective union territory or state government.
How will the premium be paid?
In the initial stages the policyholders will need to pay an amount of Rs 200 per year; this will ensure that they receive a cover of Rs 30,000. Half of the coverage amount will be contributed by the Social Security Fund. If the member belongs to a rural landless family then his or her premium will be paid by the union territory or state government.
If the member comes from a family that has been classed as an 'other occupational group' then the nodal agency that provided the policy shall be responsible for paying 50 per cent of the premium or the government of the state or union territory where the person stays.
The benefits provided by the programme
The benefits available under the Aam Admi Bima Yojana will accrue in several heads such as natural death, accidental death and disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. In case a member passes away owing to natural causes in the time for which this policy is effective then the nominee will receive the sum assured of Rs 30,000. In case a member passes away within the stipulated period owing to an accident then the nominee shall be paid an amount of Rs 75,000. The amount will be the same if the member suffers permanent total disability due to an accident. This includes the loss of one or both the limbs as well as one or both the eyes. In case someone loses a limb or an eye in an accident, the amount provided will be Rs 37,500.
The scheme also provides several scholarship benefits. If the child of a beneficiary is studying between ninth and twelfth standard then he or she will be provided a monthly amount of Rs 100. However, this benefit will be provided as a clubbed amount after 6 months. The two designated dates in this case are 1st January and 1st July. One beneficiary will be able to avail this benefit for a maximum of two children.
Procedure for the payment of benefits
Life Insurance Corporation's P&GS unit will be dealing with the claims procedure of the Aam Admi Bima Yojana. In case of disability or death of the member, the said unit will straightaway transfer the amount to the beneficiary or nominee's account by way of NEFT. In case the NEFT facility is not available, then LIC will seek the permission of a proper authority and then deposit the amount in the bank account of the concerned person. It can also provide the amount through an account payee cheque or any other way it deems fit.
How can claims be made?
If the member dies within the duration of the policy then the concerned nominee will have to make an appeal for claiming the amount along with a proper death certificate to the nodal agency officer who is supposed to handle these procedures. Upon receiving the papers, the concerned officer will check their authenticity. He or she will also certify that the person who passed away was the head of the family or an earning member of the same. The officer will also notify in the same certificate that the concerned family belonged to BPL or an occupational category that is supposed to be covered by the programme.
In addition to the application, the nodal officer will notify the concerned authorities that the claim form has been totally and properly completed. He or she will provide an original version of the death certificate along with a copy that has been properly attested. In case the deceased's nominee is claiming benefits pertaining to accidental death then the nodal officer will have to file additional documents such as copy of the first information report (FIR), police inquest report, post mortem report and police conclusion report, which is also regarded as the final report submitted by the police.
In situations where the nominees are claiming benefits related to permanent total disability, they will need to furnish documents that prove that the accident has taken place. They will need to provide medical certificate that is provided by a qualified orthopaedician or a civil surgeon. This certificate should state the fact that the beneficiary has suffered partial or total disability owing to the accident and limbs lost or affected. However, the limbs in question should be covered by the policy.
It is imperative that the members of this policy appoint a nominee who shall be provided the payment in case of his or her death. The nomination form is provided in the membership application form itself and it needs to be filled up with the details of the individual who is being chosen for this benefit. The form needs to be filled up carefully so that there are no undue complications at the time of transfer of benefits. The nodal agency or concerned panchayat will be entrusted with the responsibility of holding the nomination form and sending it to the LIC when the member passes away.
Scholarships available under this scheme
The eligible children of the nominee will be required to complete an application form after every six months and then hand it over to the nodal agency. Then it is the responsibility of the concerned nodal agency to make a list of the eligible students. The nodal agency will then provide the said list to the relevant P&GS units. In this case they shall also need to provide complete details that may be enumerated as below:
Number of the master policy
Name of the school
Number of the membership
Name of the member
NEFT details that would be used in case of direct payment
Which occupations are covered by the policy?
The Aam Admi Bima Yojana covers a number of sectors that may be mentioned as below:
Foodstuffs such as sugar or khandsari
Wood products making
Paper products making
Leather products making
Coal and rubber products
Chemical products such as candle making
Mineral products such as earthen toys
Tailoring (women will be covered here)
Self-employed people who are specially-abled
Rickshaw and auto
Tendu leaf collection
Women working for self-help groups
Indian workers working outside the country
Women living in hilly areas
Unorganised workers who are covered by the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
The biggest benefit of such a scheme is that it provides the poorer section of Indian population the much-needed breathing space in terms of their financial requirements. One of the major problems plaguing Indian economy is the less than satisfactory condition of the poor people. With this programme, at least an effort has been made at the policymaking level to achieve a significant breakthrough.