Guide to government schemes for the mentally disabled

Table of Content

Mental illnesses (MI) are very common and cause significant disability. Persons with disability (PWD) should be treated equally and their rights should be respected. Governments have formulated specific social welfare measures for Persons with MI (PwMI). 

This article informs you about social welfare measures available for persons disabled due to Mental Illness (MI). In this article, I have provided the details of  Karnataka as well as the Central Government. You are entitled to avail the benefits only if the person has a disability certificate.

Disability  Certificate is issued by competent authorities who assess the level of disability that a person has. It enables a person with MI to avail various welfare benefits which help the person to optimize the resources to enhance functioning and dignified life.

This certificate can be issued by any authorized government hospital.  Disability certificate is issued for psychiatric conditions [like MI] severe enough to disable them. The certificate is issued to only those who have a disability percentage of 40 and above. Kindly discuss with your treating Doctor to know if you are eligible for the same. 

Social Welfare Measures for PwMI

Disability Pension: PwMI with BPL card or annual family income within prescribed limit can avail it. For those with 40% to 75% disability, the pension is Rs 500/ month; for those with ≥75% disability it is Rs 1,200 /month.

Travel Concessions: Bus pass at concessional rate of Rs. 660/-(both BMTC & KSRTC) for travel in all non-AC buses. You can avail this benefit of free bus travel within 100 Kms.

Rail concession maximum of 75% depending on class traveled is available for PwMI and accompanying person.  Kindly refer to the Government of India, Ministry of Railways circular No. 2011/TG-1/10/E-ticketing for disabled / Part II dated 29/06/2016.

Swavlamban Health Insurance scheme: It is a family floater policy that covers PwD (excluding cerebral palsy, autism and multiple disabilities), their spouse and up to two children. PwD between 18-65 years of age with annual family income < Rs 3 lakhs can avail annual insurance of Rs 2 lakhs per annum subject to sub-limits. Uniform premium contribution of Rs. 355 per person/family. For persons with MR and MI, OPD cover is Rs. 3000 per annum. 

Employment benefits: Central govt all category jobs reserved 3%, Karnataka state followed A & B 3%, C & D 5%. An employee who acquires a disability during his service cannot be dispensed with nor can his/her rank be reduced. Promotion cannot be denied on the basis of disability.

Pension transfer: A Government of India employee/ pensioner/ family pensioner can transfer pension, at any time before or after retirement / death of employee for life to disabled dependent in the family. For more details, kindly visit website: Central Pension Accounting Office; Ref. No. 1/27/2011-P&PW(E).

Exemption from routine transfers for caregivers of dependent PwMI: A Government of India servant who is also a caregiver of differently-abled dependents may be exempted from the routine exercise of transfer/rotational transfer subject to the administrative constraints. For more details, kindly refer to No. 42011/3/2014-Estt. (Res.) dated 6th June 2014.

Income Tax Exemption (any one of the below): Under section 80U, Persons with ≥40% disability can avail a deduction of  Rs 75,000/- and those with ≥ 80% disability can avail a deduction of  Rs 1,25,000/- from their annual income. Under section 80DD, caregivers can avail a deduction of Rs 75,000/- (≥ 40% disability) and Rs 1,25,000/- (≥ 80% disability) from annual income for medical treatment, training and rehabilitation of dependent PwD.

Under Section 80DDA of IT Act (1961), a deduction of up to Rs 20,000 per annum can be availed by caregivers of dependent persons with disabilities from annual income by paying or depositing money in designated schemes of LIC or UTI.

Under section 80DDB, an individual can claim a deduction for expenditure incurred on the treatment of specified ailments this for expenses on themselves or dependants.

National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) offers various schemes for vocational education and training for PwDs, financing to enhance employability of PwD and self -employment schemes. For more details, kindly visit www.nhfdc.nic.in.

Housing Scheme:  5% reservation is applicable to PwD in all housing schemes. Preferential site allotment is given for PwMI. Free Legal Aid Service is available in all district courts for PwMI and family members. 



  1. Does Ayushman Bharat cover mental illness?

Ans. Mental Health disorders are frequent and can occur to anyone. There are multiple government programs for mental illness. These are aimed at helping individuals with disabilities live a more comfortable life. Ayusman Bharat is part of the many Indian government schemes for mental health. It covers Mental Health under the national insurance scheme and offers several benefits to the beneficiaries. 

2.What is IEC related to national mental health Programme?

3.What are the rights of a person that is mentally ill?

4.What is National Mental Health Program?

Ans. National Mental Health Program was launched in 1982. It is one of the many government programs for mental illness. This includes schemes like pensions for disabled individuals and much more. The national mental health program acknowledges the severe constraints on mental health infrastructure within the country and tries to change the scenario a little bit. 


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