In Past few years cost of medical treatment has shoot up very sharply and has made medical treatment almost out of reach of Lower and Middle class families in India. Government of India has in order to provide some relief to those who have a dependent with disability or sever disability provided some relief’s from Income tax under section 80DD of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
⇒ For individuals, your spouse, son / daughter (any child), parents and brother / sister (siblings) can be your handicapped dependants.
⇒For HUFs, any member of the HUF can be a disabled dependant.
⇒The disabled person should be wholly or mainly dependant on you for his / her support and maintenance, and should not have claimed deduction under section 80U.
Some considerations for the insurance premium
♣ Life Insurance Corporation of India offers Jeevan Vishwas policy for the benefits of parents or guardian of person with physical disabilities which qualify for tax benefit under Section 80DD.
This policy ensure that the dependant person with physical handicap does not have to depend on anybody for financial support in case something happens to his parent or guardian. Jeevan Vishwas is a policy which participates in profits.
Under this insurance policy, the life of the person, on whom the handicapped person is dependant, is insured. In case the dependant dies before the guardian/parent, the parent/guardian will have the option to either keep the policy for a reduced paid-up sum assured or entitled to receive the refund of premiums paid.
However if the parent/guardian dies before the dependant, 20% of the lump sum assured becomes payable for the benefit of the dependant. Moreover the balance is paid by way of monthly annuity for 15 years for sure and thereafter for life on the life of dependant.
♣ The health insurance cover provided by National Trust needs special mention. The trust has introduced “Niramaya” health Insurance Scheme for persons with disabilities like Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Mental Retardation etc. Under this scheme, for those who have family income of less than Rs. 15,000 per month, you need to make a payment of Rs. 250 per year. For the person having family income of more than Rs. 15,000 per month is required to pay an amount of Rs.500 per year. For the families which are Below Poverty Line (BPL) this scheme is free, provided the applicant holds the BPL card. This scheme covers health expenses up to a limit of Rs. 100,000 per year for the person suffering from these disabilities. The scheme is administered by National Trust in collaboration with ICICI Lombard. Under this scheme even existing disease are covered without any medical check up. Moreover this plan covers routine expenses like medical check up, transportation and corrective surgery etc. which are not covered under regular health insurance products.
Disability would be as defined under clause (i) of section 2 by the “Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” and will also include disabilities referred to in clauses (a), (c) and (h) of section 2 of National Trust for welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.
It includes the following:
A person with disability means a person suffering from not less than 40% of any of the above disabilities.
Severe disability means 80% or more of one or more of the above disabilities.
In case your disabled dependant predeceases you (that is, dies before you); the amount in the policy is returned to you. This would be treated as your income for the year in which you receive it, and would be fully taxable in your hands.
Please Note –
a) Individuals would need to produce a copy of the disability certificate as issued by the central or state government medical board to claim deduction.
b) Insurance policy obtained must be in your name and should be a policy for life. It could pay either an annuity or a lump sum amount for the benefit of the dependent on your death.
c) If the disabled dependent predeceases you, the policy amount is returned to you, and treated as income for the year in which you receive it, thus fully taxable in your hands.
Conclusion:- The physical and mental agony experienced by the parents/ guardian of such dependants cannot be taken away but Government of India, National Trust, LIC and other charitable institutions are doing commendable job by reducing the financial agony of such families. It is important for all of us to look for such benefits available and talk these about in various media to take it across as many people as possible. This is a bit of social work which can give relief to handicapped persons and their parents.
Question – I am a salaried person who had a son with hearing impairment. My son underwent an operation for cochlear implantation and I spent around Rs 6 lakh for it. Can I get any tax benefit for the treatment expenses?
Answer:- Section 80DD allows a deduction to an individual or HUF if the person has incurred in the previous year any expenditure on medical treatment (including nursing), training and rehabilitation of a dependant with a disability or paid or deposited any amount under a scheme framed in this behalf by an insurer for the maintenance of a dependant with a disability.
A person with a disability is one suffering from not less than 40 per cent of a disability (as certified by a medical authority working in a hospital or institution notified by the Government), which could be blindness, low vision, leprosy – cured, hearing impairment, locomotor disability, mental retardation, mental illness.
Hearing impairment, for this purpose, means a loss of 60 decibels or more in the better ear in the conversational range of frequencies.
A person with disability also includes the one suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation or a combination of any two or more. Section 80DD allows a deduction of up to Rs 75,000 a year and if the disability is severe, up to Rs 1,25,000 a year. Severe disability means a person with 80 per cent or more of the disability. You can claim deduction if your fits into these categories.
Question:- My father is a pensioner and his pension is less than my salary. My sister is a disabled dependant with 85% disability. She is dependant on me. Can I get rebate under section 80DD? My Assessing Officer says that your father is alive and is getting pension; so you cannot claim deduction. Is it true?
Answer:- Your Assessing Officer is not correct. The deduction u/s 80DD is for dependant of an individual tax payer and dependant includes brother and sister of Individual. You can furnish to Your Assessing officer an undertaking from your father that your sister is dependant on you and not on your father.
Question:- I have a handicapped dependant who is my cousin ( Daughter of my mother’s sister). She is completely dependant on me and every month I spend Rs 10,000. She is suffering from 85 % Blindness and mental problem. I wanted to know whether I can claim tax benefit under 80DD?
Answer U/s. 80DD dependant means in the case of an individual, the spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters of the individual or any of them;
It is clear that section 80DD is applicable only if the person on whom you are spending are any one of following
The Daughter of your mother’s sister is, clearly, not coming under the definition of dependant for the purpose of claim of deduction u/s 80DD. So, you can not claim deduction u/s. 80DD in respect of expenses incurred for her maintenance and medical treatment.
Question– Brother of Mr. Raja (a resident) is totally blind and is dependent on Mr. Raja. During the Assessment year 2016-17, Mr. Raja has incurred expenditure of Rs. 10,000 on training and rehabilitation of his brother. Can Mr. Raja claim any deduction in respect of expenditure incurred by him on maintenance of his physically handicapped brother?
Answer- In this case, all the criteria of section 80DD are satisfied and hence, Mr. Raja can claim a flat deduction of Rs. 1,25,000 under section 80DD (since his brother is suffering from 100% disability).
Suppose in the above case, instead of 100% disability, his brother is suffering from disability of less than 80%, then the amount of deduction will be limited to Rs. 75,000.
(Republished with Amendments)