ESIC Act, 1948:

                The promulgation of Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948(ESI Act), by the Parliament was the first major legislation on social Security for workers in independent India. It was a time when the industry was still in a nascent stage and the country was heavily dependent on an assortment of imported goods from the developed or fast developing countries. The deployment of manpower in manufacturing processes was limited to a few select industries such as jute, textile, chemicals etc. The legislation on creation and development of a fool proof multi-dimensional Social Security system, when the country's economy was in a very fledgling state was obviously a remarkable gesture towards the socio economic amelioration of a work face though limited in number and geographic distribution. India, notwithstanding, thus, took the lead in providing organised social protection to the working class through statutory provisions.

The ESI Act 1948, encompasses certain health related eventualities that the workers are generally exposed to; such as sickness, maternity, temporary or permanent disablement, Occupational disease or death due to employment injury, resulting in loss of wages or earning capacity-total or partial. Social security provision made in the Act to counterbalance or negate the resulting physical or financial distress in such contingencies, are thus, aimed at upholding human dignity in times of crises through protection from deprivation, destitution and social degradation while enabling the society the retention and continuity of a socially useful and productive manpower.

Benefits of ESIC Act, 1948:  

Under the section 46 of the Act envisages following six social benefits.

1Medical Benefit
2Sickness Benefit
3Maternity Benefit
4Disablement Benefit
5Dependants Benefits
6Funeral Expenses

1. Medical Benefit:  

                Full medical care is provided to an Insured person and his family members from the day he enters insurable employment. There is no ceiling on expenditure on the treatment of an Insured Person or his family member. Medical care is also provided to retired and permanently disabled insured persons and their spouses on payment of a token annual premium of Rs.120/- . Under the medical benefits we have provided different types of medical treatments in ESIC Act, 1948.i.e.,

System of TreatmentIn-patient Treatment
Scale of Medical BenefitImaging Services
Benefits to Retired IP'sArtificial Limbs & Aids
Administration of medical Benefit in a stateSpecial provisions
Domiciliary TreatmentReimbursement
Specialist Consultation******************

2. Sickness Benefit:

        Sickness Benefit in the form of cash compensation at the rate of 70 per cent of wages is payable to insured workers during the periods of certified sickness for a maximum of 91 days in a year. In order to qualify for sickness benefit the insured worker is required to contribute for 78 days in a contribution period of 6 months.

We have two types of Sickness benefits i.e.,  A. Extended Sickness Benefit   B. Enhanced Sickness Benefit.

                a) Extended Sickness Benefit (ESB): 

                    SB extendable upto two years in the case of 34 malignant and long-term diseases at an enhanced                         rate of 80 per cent of wages. 

                b) Enhanced Sickness Benefit

                    Enhanced Sickness Benefit equal to full wage is payable to insured persons undergoing sterilisation                     for 7 days/14 days for male and female workers respectively.

3. Maternity Benefit:

         Maternity Benefit for confinement/pregnancy is payable for Twenty Six (26) weeks, which is extendable by further one month on medical advice at the rate of full wage subject to contribution for 70 days in the preceding Two Contribution Periods. 

4. Disablement Benefit: 

         Under the Disablement benefit we have two types of disable benefits i.e.,

                 a) Temporary Disablement Benefit (TDB)

                     From day one of entering insurable employment & irrespective of having paid any contribution in                      case of employment injury. Temporary Disablement Benefit at the rate of 90% of wage is payable                        so long as  disability continues. 

                b) Permanent Disablement Benefit (PDB)

                     The benefit is paid at the rate of 90% of wage in the form of monthly payment depending upon the                     extent of loss of earning capacity as certified by a Medical Board.

5. Dependants Benefits:  

        Dependants Benefits paid at the rate of 90% of wage in the form of monthly payment to the dependants of a deceased Insured person in cases where death occurs due to employment injury or occupational hazards. 

6. Funeral Expenses

        An amount of Rs.15,000/- is payable to the dependants or to the person who performs last rites from day one of entering insurable employment.

In Addition, the scheme also provide some other need based benefits to injured persons.

1.Vocational Rehabilitation: To permanently disabled Insured Person for undergoing VR Training at VRS 

2. Physical Rehabilitation:  In case of physical disablement due to employment injury. 

3. Old Age Medical care:     For Insured Person retiring on attaining the age of superannuation or under 

VRS/ERS and person having to leave service due to permanent disability insured person & spouse on payment 

of Rs. 120/- per annum.

Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana : 

This scheme of Unemployment allowance was introduced w.e.f. 01-04-2005. An Insured Person who become unemployed after being insured three or more years, due to closure of factory/establishment, retrenchment or 

permanent invalidity are entitled to :-

  • Unemployment Allowance equal to 50% of wage for a maximum period of upto Two Years.
  • Medical care for self and family from ESI Hospitals/Dispensaries during the period IP receives unemployment allowance.
  • Vocational Training provided for upgrading skills - Expenditure on fee/travelling allowance borne by ESIC.

Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana :


This scheme is a welfare measure for employees covered under Section 2(9) of ESI Act, 1948, in the form of cash compensation upto 90 days, once in a lifetime, to be claimed after three months in  one or more spells for being rendered unemployed, provided the employee should have completed two years of insurable employment and has contributed not less than seventy eight (78) days in each of the four consecutive contribution periods immediately preceding to the claim of the relief. The relief shall not exceed twenty five percent (25%) of the average earning per day.

The Scheme was introduced w.e.f. 01-07-2018.  The scheme is implemented on pilot basis for a period of two years initially.

Incentive to employers in the Private Sector for providing regular employment to the persons with disability :

  • Minimum wage limit for Physically Disabled Persons for availing ESIC Benefits is 25,000/-.
  • Employers' contribution is paid by the Central Government for 3 years.