The Social Welfare Department of India has many benefits for senior citizens. However, these schemes are easier to avail if applicants have a Senior Citizen Card. It provides proof of age to seniors so that they can easily access offers and facilities offered by Government, public companies, private, and commercial firms.
1. Inexpensive air travel
This is one of the cool perks of being senior. Air India announced a 50% concession for senior citizens. For availing of this offer you have to be a senior citizen and of Indian nationality – permanently residing in India and should be 60 years and above on the date of your journey.
Other airlines such as SpiceJet and Indigo also have concessions up to 6% of the base fare.
2. Passport application is easier
The passport application process for senior citizens, whether first time or for a passport re-issue, is simpler than normal. A senior citizen can directly walk into Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) without booking an appointment online. Also, there is a separate counter for senior citizens so that they do not have to wait in long lines.
3. Inexpensive railway travel
The railway is also offering concessions for senior citizens – 40% of the travel fee for men and 50% for women. To enjoy the concession, the age criteria is a minimum of 60 years for men and 58 years for women, and this concession is granted to all travel classes in Mail, Express, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, and Duronto group of trains.
The Income Tax Department considers a person aged 60 years as a senior citizen and 80 years as a super senior citizen. Tax laws are relaxed for senior citizens in India to ease their financial burden.
Under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 senior citizens can benefit from tax deductions for health insurance premiums. Senior citizens who are suffering from a critical illness can get a tax deduction of up to Rs. 50,000.
Senior citizens are free from the burden of paying advance tax. Advance tax is an amount that every Indian citizen is bound to pay in advance to the Indian Government. Normally, citizens need to pay an advance tax if their tax liability is Rs. 10000/- or more in a financial year. Senior citizens won’t have to pay this amount unless they make income from business or profession.
5. Bank facilities
In India, a majority of the banks have introduced products/services designed for senior citizens like special accounts, discounts, investment benefits, etc. Senior citizens also receive a higher interest rate on investment, like receiving a 0.5% higher interest rate on fixed deposits than normal rates.
Bank branches also offer separate queues for senior citizens with other facilities such as priority service, better interest rate, issuance of senior citizen cards, and more.
How can you get a senior citizen certificate?
The application process is fairly easy as you can apply for a senior citizen certificate either in person or by online application. Unfortunately, there is no single link for online application; the online application links are different for every state. For example, here are the links for Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat, where a detailed step-by-step procedure is provided for senior citizen certificate application.