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Disability Certification Procedure in India

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The disability certificate and/ or Identity card is the basic document that a person with any disability of more than 40 percent requires in order to avail any facilities, benefits or concessions under the available schemes. This is not required for getting admission in a school for formal education.


Disability Certificate

Persons authorised to give disability certificate

The respective Medical boards constituted at a State or district levels are the certifying authority to issue disability certificate. The board consists of a chief medical officer/ sub divisional medical officer in the District and another expert in the specified field. These examples are: an ophthalmic surgeon in case of visual handicaps either ENT surgeon or an audiologist in case of speech & hearing handicaps, an orthopaedic surgeon or a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation in case of locomotor handicaps and a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist or a teacher in special education in case of mental handicaps. The respective disability certificate for mental retardation or other disabilities (visual, speech and hearing, and locomotor disability is given as Form  X and Y in related resource.

  • The certificate is issued to persons with disabilities mentioned in the PWD Act,1995. At present, disabilities like Autism and learning disabilities are not covered under this Act.
  • The certificate is valid for a period five years.
  • When there are no chances of variation in the degree of disability, a permanent disability certificate is given.
  • In order to get a disability certificate a person requires a birth certificate and proof of residence. If a child is born at home, parents can get the birth certificate from their district magistrate.

Identity Card

Presently, various ministries/departments of the central government as well as the state and UT level government provide a number of concessions/facilities/benefits to the persons with disabilities. These benefits are provided - on the basis of certain documents. The procedural requirements are different in each case. Therefore, the persons with disabilities – have to do complex paper work which causes a lot of inconvenience and hindrance in availing various benefits. The Government of India has therefore issued guidelines (August,2000) to states/UTs for issue of identity card (IC) to the persons with disabilities go as to enable them to easily avail any applicable benefits/concessions.


All those who are certified by the appropriate authority to have disability as per the definitions given in the PWD, Act, 1995, will be eligible to obtain the identity card. This card will be issued to all eligible persons with disability irrespective of their age.

Minimum Percentage of disability should be:

  • Mentally handicapped - 35%
  • Orthopedically - 40%
  • Deaf & Dumb - 90 db & 100 db
  • Blindness - 90% or above

Medical Certificate

Medical certificate obtained from the authorized medical board constituted by the State Govt./Defence authority, is a necessary prerequisite for obtaining the card.


  • Person with disability may apply for issue of the IC to the appropriate authority. In the case of persons with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy or multiple disabilities, application can be made by the legal guardian.
  • Ex-servicemen should apply for IC through the Rajya Sainik Board/ Zila Sainik Board or the Army formation HQs on the basis of disability certificate given by competent medical authority in the defence forces
  • Two passport size photographs and residence proof would be required.
  • To get the application format, click here.

Duration of validity

The card has a lifelong validity when issued to a disabled person - above the age of 18 years. For disabled children below 18 years of age, the card is required to be updated once in every five years. No fresh medical examination is necessary in the case of permanent disability.


  • A nominal amount can be charged to the disabled person at the time of submission of the application form for IC.
  • The IC will contain information like Identity card Number, Disability code, District code State code, etc.
  • A pass book will also be issued along with the IC. This pass book is meant to contain the details of various benefits and concessions provided to that person.

Since these guidelines are recent, the states and the UTs are likely to be in the process of creating an infrastructure for issue these identity cards to every disabled person.

Related resources

Source: A Handbook for Parents of Children with Disabilities

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