A social security card that can be used for benefits such as a monthly pension or the death benefit could soon become a reality in India, with the government announcing that a pilot programme will begin in January.
The social security scheme was first introduced in the country in 2014, and was subsequently expanded in 2015.
Now, the number of beneficiaries of the scheme is set to reach 100 million by 2020.
The card will have an expiration date of around two years, and a person can choose to pay the entire amount or have a small percentage.
In other words, a small amount can be paid if the beneficiary is aged 50 years or older.
The pilot programme has been launched in collaboration with various organisations in the state of Andhra Pradesh and will last for two years.
The first beneficiaries will receive a card on March 1, 2019, and the second beneficiaries on May 1, 2020.
According to the programme, the card will be issued in a format similar to a driver’s licence, with an identification number on the front and a photograph on the back.
The card will also have a signature on it.
Benefits that can apply to the cardThe beneficiary can choose from benefits such a monthly retirement pension or a death benefit.
A person can be eligible for these benefits if they are over the age of 50 and live in the district where the card is issued.
The benefits can include up to Rs 1,500 per month, a monthly life insurance premium of Rs 20,000 and a lump sum payment of Rs 2,000 per month.
The beneficiary will also get a letter from the State Bank of India (SBI) and a letter confirming that the beneficiary has been registered with the card.
The beneficiary will have to present a photocopy of the letter to the bank.
The SBI has already started the process of verifying the beneficiary’s identity.
Benefit payments have been made out to beneficiaries by direct deposit through the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries have to deposit the money into their account on a daily basis, the government said.
According the programme’s website, the beneficiary will receive Rs 1.50 per day, Rs 2.50 on the first day of the month, Rs 4.50 each day thereafter, Rs 5.50 after six months and Rs 6.50 thereafter.
In other words: a beneficiary would get Rs 2 for every day they have to pay for a benefit, Rs. 6 for every month, and Rs 8 for every year.
According for the benefit, a beneficiary will get Rs 500 and a benefit will be payable for every five days for the first four months, Rs 1 per day thereafter and Rs 2 per day afterwards.
A beneficiary will be paid Rs 5 per day for every week, Rs 7 per week thereafter and so on.
Benefitting from the scheme, beneficiaries can opt for a monthly benefit of up to 10,000 rupees (Rs 1,200).
The maximum benefit is Rs 50,000, which is Rs 7,500 if the monthly benefit is less than Rs 10,0000.
A beneficiary can also opt for death benefit of Rs 50 per day and get Rs 5,000 for every death.
In case of a death, the death beneficiary will not be entitled to a monthly payment but will get a lump-sum payment of up from Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000 depending on the death’s cause.
The government has also said that the card can also be used to provide medical insurance to beneficiaries.
According, the SBI will not pay out any benefit beyond the amount that a beneficiary has deposited in the account.
The bank will also not transfer any funds from a beneficiary to another person.
Beneficiary can also withdraw benefitsThe beneficiary may also withdraw the benefit from the SBS and use the money to buy property, including homes, automobiles, jewellery and other items.
The government said that beneficiaries can also use the benefit to purchase property with the help of a bank or other lender.
The benefit can be withdrawn from the account at any time.
According one of the beneficiaries, Naveen, a farmer in Jharkhand, the benefits can help him to earn a living.
He is a member of a cooperative society and was in need of financial support to survive.
He has been using the benefit on the card for two months now.
“I have been saving Rs 5 lakh every month.
The benefits have helped me immensely,” he said.