Sumanta Dutta1, Rajesh Kumar Verma2, Priyanka Sharma3, Rakesh Kumar Punia4, Deepali Pathak5
Disability and disability certificates are like double-edged swords. On one hand, a non-qualifying individual may avail certain benefits and privileges reserved for disabled person due to over calculation; and on other hand, a deserving disabled may not be able to get benefit out of the granted opportunities due to under calculation. This study was thus undertaken to analyse the disability certificates issued at our institution to determine the fallacies that are evident in the criteria for disability assessment.
500 cases of permanent physical disability (PPD) resulting from road traffic accidents (RTA) satisfying the inclusion and exclusion criteria were re-examined after final assessment of disability and the assessed disability was reviewed in terms of the defect in function of body; the total percentage of disability allotted to the candidate and the appropriateness of the assessed value in relation to the hindrance caused to daily routine.
No discrepancy was noted in 355 cases, but in rest of 145 cases a number of discrepancies were noted in relation to the above said criteria of comparison. Out of these, in 20% cases, the percentage of disability did not include a note of the total impact of the disability on physical, mental, social life of the disabled person resulting in more non-functioning as compared to the calculated resulting permanent disability. In rest 30% cases with discrepancies, calculated percentage had ill correlation between malfunctioning of the body part and its overall calculation in relation to the body as a whole. Rest 50% cases were those where similar malfunctioning resulting from different lesions was assessed differently resulting in different percentages of permanent physical disabilities.
A serious revision of these guidelines in lieu of discrepancies must be ensued to benefit one and all equally and to ensure uniformity in the process which is a gateway to eligibility for public benefit which should be equal to all in a democracy.