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Vidhwa Pension Yojana: Who Can Apply And How?

Vidhwa Pension Yojana or Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme is designed for widows belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.

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December 19, 2023
Old-Age Pensions For BPL

Old-Age Pensions For BPL

Vidhwa Pension Yojana, also known as the Widow Pension Scheme, was launched by the central government for widows belonging to below-poverty-line (BPL) households. The Vidhwa Pension Yojana provides financial support to widows in the BPL category. The scheme is also called the “Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme” (IGNWPS). IGNWPS is one of the five schemes the central government offers under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).

Under IGNWPS, both central and state governments contribute. According to NSAP, the central government pays Rs 200 per month for each beneficiary, and states further add to this amount, which varies from state to state. Currently, the pension ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 1000.

Who Are Eligible?  

As per NSAP, to be eligible for IGNWPS, the widow must be 40-59 years old and belong to a BPL household. However, these criteria may differ from one state to another. For example, in Uttar Pradesh, an 18-year-old widow can apply for the scheme or until she joins other welfare schemes; in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district, the age must be 40-79 years.

The beneficiaries are identified in urban areas through the BPL list prepared under the Ministry of Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation. However, in rural areas, the beneficiaries are identified with the help of the BPL list prepared by the state and union territories as per the Ministry of Rural Development guidelines.

One can check the widow pensioners’ lists on the state government websites. For example, one can check the Uttar Pradesh list at Widow Pension Portal

How To Apply?  

A widow must submit the widow pension application along with the required documents, such as ID and address proof, a photo, income certificate, death certificate, bank account details, etc., to the respective departments in the state looking after the widow pension. In most states, the Social Welfare Department looks after the scheme. However, the Rural Development Department looks after the scheme in some states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Meghalaya, and West Bengal. The Revenue Department is responsible for implementing the scheme in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In Orissa and Puducherry, the Department of Women & Child Development is responsible, whereas for Jharkhand, it is the Department of Labour Employment & Training. Hence, a widow in the respective states can approach these departments for the widow pension.

Besides NSAP, states may also have independent schemes for widows, old age, etc.

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