Background: Mentally retarded and chronic mentally ill are being certified using IQ Assessment and Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS). They have been granted various benefits including monthly pension, from Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of India. The monthly pension appears to be the strongest reason for seeking certification and applying for government benefits. The caregivers appear to have only partial information and awareness about the remaining schemes. Objective: The study aims to assess the severity of disability in the mentally retarded and mentally ill who are certified for disability benefits, as well as to assess the trends of utilization of disability benefits over a 3 year period. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective, file review based study of certificates of patients certified for mental disability in the period of January 2006 to December 2008. Certificates of a total of 1794 mentally retarded and 285 mentally ill were reviewed. The data regarding utilization of disability benefits was assessed. Results: Patients from rural areas did not avail any benefits other than the disability pension. Among Mentally Ill, Schizophrenia accounted for highest certifications. Males had higher disability compared to females, and Dementia showed highest disability as per IDEAS. Conclusion: Though initial hurdles due to disability measurement have been crossed, disability benefits are still elusive to the vast majority of the disabled. Proper awareness and education will help in reducing the stigma and in the effective utilization of benefits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health