Why The Disability Certificate Is Important And How To Get It

April 05, 2017

Certifying a person as disabled comes with its own stigmas but consider some of these questions and benefits to make a prudent decision for your child. As you read on, you will also find a detailed guide on how to get a disability certificate for your child in Delhi.
Disability Paraplegic Injured Wheelchair Disabled

What is a disability certificate under the Persons with Disabilities Act?

A disability certificate is a prerequisite for obtaining any entitlements linked to the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, and for seeking enforcement of rights under it before the Commission of Persons with Disabilities.

It identifies the person with disability, indicates the nature and degree of their impairment, and the State which has granted the disability certificate. This certificate is issued by respective medical boards at a state or district level. The impairments which are covered under this are:

  • Blindness
  • Low vision
  • Leprosy cured
  • Hearing impairment
  • Loco motor disability (includes cerebral palsy)
  • Mental retardation
  • Mental illness
  • Autism
  • Multiple Disabilities

This disability certificate is recognized under the Persons with Disabilities Act. You may be required to get a disability certificate by a medical professional for other purposes – examination concessions etc. for the school or school board.

This is not a valid certificate for entitlements under the Persons with Disabilities Act and other poverty alleviation schemes. Educational institutions have no role to play in the issuance of a disability certificate.

Should you get a disability certificate for your child?

The decision as to whether one should obtain a disability certificate or not is a difficult one, particularly if the person is already facing stigma and discrimination.

However, it should be kept in mind that the following are important considerations and questions to answer while making this decision:

(i) Would your child benefit from accommodations in education, including admissions, examination concessions?

(ii) Would receiving aids and appliances from the government help you?

(iii) Would you benefit from receiving disability pensions in the name of your child?

(iv) Are you finding it difficult to get your child insured on account of their disability?

(v) Do you apprehend that your child will face discrimination for which you might have to seek remedies before a Court?

(vi) Would you like to explore, in the future, group homes and independent living schemes that are supported by the government?

If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’, it is advisable to complete the formalities for a disability certificate.

How can you get a disability certificate?

A disability certificate can be applied for by or on behalf of any person who has an impairment. For persons applying from Delhi NCT, you must fill out this application form and self attest it before submission. The medical examination will be conducted at the hospital depending upon the nature of the impairment.

If you or your child has an impairment that is not recognized under the Persons with Disabilities Act or the National Trust Act – such as specific learning disabilities or other impairments, you will not be able to get a disability certificate because there is no certification standard or procedure laid down for the same.

Many families have succeeded in getting their children certified as ‘mentally retarded’ in order to avail of benefits. This is a personal choice and also depends on the severity of the impairment.

This table lists the hospitals or institutes in Delhi that can certify a disability:

Type of impairment Hospital/ Institution which being specified as the medical authority for the purpose of certificationMedical authorities working in the hospital/ institution who would be competent to issue a certificate of disability
Loco motor disability by way of amputation, complete permanent paralysis of limbs
District New Delhi:
Lok Nayak Hospital

District Central:
Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital

District North:
(i) Hindu Rao Hospital
(ii) Satyadevi Raja Harish Chander Hospital (for rural area)

District North East:
(i) Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital
(ii) Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital

District South:
Pt Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital

District West:
Guru Gobind Singh Hospital

District South West:
(i) Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital
(ii) Rao Tulu Ram Hospital (for rural areas)

District East:
(i) Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital
(ii) Dr. Hegdewar Arogya Sansthan, Karkardooma

District North West:
Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Mangolpuri
Single/ Specialist doctor of the concerned specialty
Blindness/low visionSame as aboveSingle/ Specialist doctor of the concerned specialty
Hearing impairmentSame as aboveSingle/ Specialist doctor of the concerned specialty i.e. ENT
Multiple disabilities relating to Orthopedics, Medicine, Eye and ENTSame as above
Multiple member board comprising of specialist doctors pertaining to concerned disability
Mental Illness/disordersInstitute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) (for all districts of Delhi)
Single/ Specialist doctor of the concerned specialization i.e. psychiatry
Neurological disorders/ cerebral palsyFor All districts of Delhi:
(i) Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS)
(ii) G.B. Pant Hospital

South West: VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital

New Delhi and Central:
Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital

Outer: Lady Harding Medical College and Hospital

South East: All India Institute of Medical Sciences

North East: Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital

West: Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital

South: Lok Nayak Hospital and GB Pant Hospital
Single/ Specialist doctor of the concerned specialization i.e. neurology
Mental retardation/ intellectual disability(Same as for Neurological disorders/ cerebral palsy - above)Single/ Specialist doctor of the concerned specialization
AutismBoard to be constituted by State Government comprising of clinical psychologist, psychiatrist and paediatrician/general physician
Leprosy Cured (See locomotor disability - above)


This table specifies how different disabilities should be assessed by the medical authorities in above hospitals.

Type of impairment How impairment is assessed
Loco motor disability by way of amputation, complete permanent paralysis of limbs
Different gradations of impairment exist along the following categories:
1. Arm and hand component
2. Mobility component
3. Permanent Physical Impairment of Trunk (Spine)
4. Short Stature/Dwarfism
5. Amputees
6. Congenital deficiencies of the limb
7. Neurological conditions
8. Effect of cardio pulmonary diseases
Blindness/low visionBlindness refers to a condition where a persons suffers from any of the condition, namely,
i) total absence of sight; or
ii) visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200(snellen) in the better eye with best correcting lenses; or
iii) limitation of field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse

Low Vision: Persons with low vision means a person a with impairment of vision of less than 6/18 to 6/60 with best correction in the better eye or impairment of field in any one of the following categories:-
i) reduction of fields less than 50 degrees
ii) Heminaopia with macular involvement
iii) Altitudinal Defect involving lower fields

CategoryBetter EyeWorse Eye% Impairment
I6/18 - 6/366/60 to Nil 40%
II6/40 - 4/60 or field of vision 10o - 20o 3/60 to Nil75%
III3/60 to 1/60 or field of vision 10o F.C. at 1 ft. to Nil 100%
IVF. C. at 1 ft. to Nil or field of vision 10oF.C. at 1 ft. to Nil 100%
Hearing impairment
CategoryType of ImpairmentD B LevelSpeech Discrimination% Impairment
IMild Hearing ImpairmentdB 26 to 40 dB in better ear80 to 100% in better ear Less than 40% to 50%
II (a)Moderate Hearing Impairment41 to 60 dB in better ear50 to 80% in better earBetter ear 40% to 50%
II (b)Severe Hearing Impairment
61 to 70 dB in better ear40 to 50% in better ear51% to 70%
III (a)Profound Hearing Impairment71 to 90 dB
Less than 40% in better ear
71% to 100%
III (b)Total Deafness91 dB and above in better ear to hearingVery poor discrimination 100%
Multiple disabilities relating to Orthopedics, Medicine, Eye and ENTFormula to be used is:
a + b (90-a)/90, where,
"a" will be the impairment with the higher score and "b" will be the impairment with the lower score.
The maximum total percentage of multiple disabilities shall not exceed 100%
Mental Illness/disordersCertification will be in accordance with the Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale which grades on:
1. Self Care: Includes taking care of body hygiene, grooming, health including bathing, toileting, dressing, eating, taking care of one's health
2. Interpersonal Activities (Social Relationships): Includes initiating and maintaining interactions with others in contextual and social appropriate manner
3. Communication and Understanding: Includes communication and conversation with others by producing and comprehending spoken/written/non-verbal messages
4. Work: Three areas are Employment/Housework/ Education Measures on any aspect
Neurological disorders/ cerebral palsy(See locomotor disability, above)
Mental retardation/ intellectual disabilityExamination procedure will be through clinical assessment, assessment, of adaptive behaviour and intellectual functioning via standardized IQ test.

(i) Mild Mental Retardation:- The range of 50 to 69 (standardised IQ test)
(ii) Moderate Mental Retardation: - The IQ is in the range of 35 to 49
(iii) Severe Mental Retardation:- The IQ is usually in the range of 20 to 34
(iv) Profound Mental Retardation: - The IQ in this category estimated to be under 20
AutismIndian Scale of Assessment for Autism
Leprosy Cured (See locomotor disability - above)

What documents do you need to apply for a certificate?

A person applying for a certificate will need:

(i) The completed application form  

(ii) A birth certificate

(iii) of residence

(iv) Ration Card to prove three years of residence in Delhi

(v) Two passport size photographs

(vi) An attested photocopy of a medical certificate obtained as above

The application can also be submitted online in Delhi. 

Till when and where is your disability certificate valid?

Time: If the nature of the impairment is permanent and if there is certainty that the degree of the impairment will not change over time, a disability certificate of permanent validity can be issued. If there can be changes in the degree of impairment, the certificate will be issued for a limited period to permit for reassessment.

Location: A disability certificate issued by one State authority will be valid throughout the country for the purpose of identification as a person with disability. However, it may not make one eligible for social protection schemes in a State where one is not a permanent resident.

What can you do if your certificate application is rejected?

(i) If you are denied a certificate or if you are given a certificate with an impairment or impairment assessment that you think is incorrect, you can apply for a revision of the same. If the applicant is a minor, the legal guardian can make this application on their behalf.

(ii) A copy of the certificate or rejection letter should be attached to the application.

(iii) The final appellate authority is the Director General Health Services, Government of India.  

(iv) The applicant will have an opportunity to be heard by the Committee constituted for the appeals process and then the medical authority will make a decision.

(v) Application for review should be addressed within a fortnight, but in certain cases where this is not possible, the maximum duration is a month from the date of receipt.

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1 comment

  1. Very helpful. This comprehensive and concise article has clarified all doubts and questions regarding the subject. Thanks

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