ECHS certificate: everything you need to know

ECHS certificate
ECHS certificate

Authorized by the Government of India on December 30, 2002, and implemented on April 1, 2003, the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) functions as a healthcare program for Ex-Servicemen (ESM) who receive pensions from Defence Estimates, along with their eligible dependents.

The Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) offers medical services through outpatient care at 427 Polyclinics across India and six additional Polyclinics in Nepal. Additionally, both outpatient and inpatient treatments are provided through Military Hospitals and accredited private hospitals and diagnostic centres. Access to treatment and hospitalization in Service Hospitals is extended to ECHS members, contingent upon the availability of specialists, medical staff, and bed space.

Under this scheme, eligible ex-servicemen receive an ECHS 64 KB smart card, which stores information such as medical bills, health records, and other details. This smart card facilitates beneficiaries' access to their health benefits based on their eligibility. They can register on the ECHS beneficiary app or the website to utilize these benefits efficiently.

Eligibility Criteria for ECHS

The scheme extends membership eligibility to all Ex-Servicemen (ESM) receiving pensions from the Controller of Defence Accounts, including those receiving Disability or Family Pensions, as well as their dependents. Membership became mandatory for all pensioners starting from 1 April 2003, while it remains optional for those who retired earlier. Over time, ECHS membership has been expanded to include pensioners from the Territorial Army (TA), Defence Security Corps (DSC), Uniformed Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Military Nursing Service (MNS), Special Frontier Force (SFF), Nepal Domiciled Gorkha (NDG), full-time NCC Officers, Girl Cadet Instructors (GCIs), eligible APS pensioners, Assam Rifles pensioners, WW II Veterans, Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs), Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs), and Pre-Mature Retirees (PMR).

Note: For Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) and Pre-Mature Retirees, ECHS benefits are extended solely to the ESM and their spouses, with no eligibility for other dependents.

Dependents Covered under ECHS

  • Spouse

Legally wedded wife, including multiple wives, with the condition that the ESM pensioner is responsible for her maintenance if living separately. Remarriage of the spouse disqualifies eligibility.

For plural marriages permitted by rules:

Unit Part II Orders must publish necessary casualties for entering into plural marriage, with all wives' names recorded in the Service Discharge Book or Service Particulars Retired Officers booklet. 

All wives' names must be recorded in the Pension Payment Order (PPO) for the grant of Family Pension. 

In the case of widows, wives must receive a share of Family Pension, supported by evidence from the PPO. 

War widows who remarry remain eligible, along with their children from the first marriage, while their new husband is not eligible.

  • Family Pensioner

Refers to the legally wedded spouse of an Armed Forces personnel, including in the service records, who receives a family pension after the personnel's death, either during service or after retirement. It also includes children receiving a family pension upon the death of their pension-drawing parent, as well as parents of a deceased bachelor soldier receiving a family pension.

Dependent, Unemployed & Unmarried Daughter or Daughters:

Details must be present in the pensioner's service record. 

Eligible until employment or marriage, whichever comes first. 

Dependent daughters, whether divorced, abandoned, separated, or widowed, with income less than Rs. 9000 per month (excluding DA), are eligible. 

The Person with Disability (PwD) Act applies, with exceptions for married daughters eligible under PwD. 

  • Dependent, Unemployed & Unmarried Son or Sons

Details must be present in the pensioner's service record. 

Eligible until employment, marriage, or reaching 25 years of age, whichever comes first. 

Additional white card facilities are available for critical disabilities under the PwD Act. 

  • Stepchildren or Adopted Children

Includes stepchildren, legally adopted children, or children taken as wards, living with and treated as natural-born children by the government servant. 

  • Dependent Parents

Parents (excluding stepparents) are eligible if residing with the pensioner and their combined income does not exceed Rs. 9,000 per month (excluding DA). 

Parents of unmarried deceased soldiers, eligible NOK of unmarried deceased soldiers, and adoptive parents are also eligible. 

In the case of female employees, parents or parents-in-law are eligible based on dependency and residence conditions. 

  • Dependent Sisters

Unmarried, divorced, abandoned, or separated sisters with incomes less than Rs. 9000 per month (excluding DA) are eligible, irrespective of age. 

  • Dependent Brothers

Minor brothers until they reach adulthood. 

Physically or mentally permanently disabled brothers, unmarried and wholly dependent, with income less than Rs. 9000 per month (excluding DA). 

  • Minor Children of Widowed or Separated Daughters

Children of widowed or separated daughters, dependent on the ECHS beneficiary and residing with them, are eligible up to 18 years of age.

Feature and benefits of ECHS card

The updated ECHS smart card, now incorporating Aadhaar-based biometric fingerprint authentication, offers several significant features and benefits:

1. Digitized Application Process: Applicants can now conveniently submit their ECHS card applications online, eliminating the need to visit Regional Centres physically. This digitization streamlines the application process, making it more accessible and efficient.

2. Advanced Security Features: The new ECHS smart card is considerably safer than its predecessor due to advanced security measures such as encryption and digital signatures. These features ensure the protection and integrity of sensitive personal and medical data stored on the card.

3. Increased Storage Capacity: With a 64 KB storage capacity, the new ECHS smart card can store a wealth of data, including detailed medical histories, referral records, and medication logs. This expanded storage capacity enables comprehensive record-keeping and facilitates better healthcare management for veterans and their dependents.

4. Enhanced Device Compatibility: The updated ECHS smart card is compatible with a broader range of devices, including mobile devices and smart card readers. This compatibility enhances its usability and ensures seamless integration into various healthcare systems and facilities.

5. Improved Efficiency: By enabling veterans to access healthcare services digitally, the ECHS smart card significantly improves efficiency. Digital access saves time and effort for both veterans and healthcare providers, leading to faster and more convenient healthcare delivery.

6. Access to Allopathic and AYUSH Healthcare: The ECHS smart card grants beneficiaries access to both allopathic and AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) healthcare services. This comprehensive coverage ensures that veterans and their dependents have access to a wide range of healthcare options to meet their individual needs and preferences.

7. Organized and Secure Health Records: The ECHS portal login provides a centralized platform for organizing and securely storing essential medical data. This centralized system makes it easier for veterans and healthcare providers to access and manage health records, leading to better coordination of care and improved health outcomes.

Overall, the updated ECHS smart card enhances the accessibility, security, and efficiency of healthcare services for veterans and their dependents, ensuring that they receive the quality care they deserve.

Steps of Register via the ECHS Website

To register for the ECHS 64 KB smart card via the ECHS website, follow these step-by-step instructions:

1. Visit the ECHS Official Website

   Go to the official website of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).

2. Access the Smart Card Online Application

   Navigate to the 'Useful Links' section on the website and click on the 'ECHS Smart Card Online Application' option.

3. Fill in Personal Details

   Once on the ECHS Smart Card website, you'll need to provide various personal details. Here's what you'll need to enter:

   - Select Category

Choose the appropriate category from the dropdown menu, such as Ex-Servicemen (Pensioner), Spouse Marital Discord Case, etc.

   - Ex-Serviceman Name

 Enter the name of the Ex-Serviceman.

   - Select Service Category:

Choose the service category from the dropdown menu, such as Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.

   - Prefix, Suffix, and Service Number

Enter the prefix, suffix, and service number as required.

   - Country and Mobile Number

Select the country and enter your mobile number without the country code.


Create a new password and confirm it in the respective fields.

   - Verification Code

 Enter the verification code provided.

4. Register and Confirm Information

   After entering all the required details, click on the 'Register' option. A pop-up window may appear asking you to confirm the information provided. Verify that all details are accurate.

5. Confirmation and Application Number

   If the information is accurate, click 'OK' to confirm. You will then receive an application number confirming that your ECHS online registration is complete.

By following these steps, you can successfully register for the ECHS 64 KB smart card via the official ECHS website. This digitized registration process streamlines the application procedure, making it more convenient for applicants.

To apply for the ECHS card online, you'll need to follow a specific procedure and upload several documents. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the ECHS card and the documents required:

Documents Required for ECHS Card

After registering for the ECHS card, you'll need to upload the following documents:

1. Aadhaar card

2. PAN card

3. Signature or thumb impression

4. Discharge book

5. Old smart card copy

6. Passport size photograph

7. Blood group

8. Bank account statement

9. Pension Payment Order Number (PPO)

How to Apply for ECHS Card Online

Follow these steps to apply for the ECHS card online:

1. Select the 'Application Category' option.

2. Fill out the Ex-Serviceman details in the ECHS application portal.

3. Upload the primary beneficiary’s photo and signature.

4. Add additional information about the primary beneficiary.

5. For each dependent, upload a photo, a signature, and other required information.

6. Upload an image of the Pension Payment Order (PPO).

7. Upload the Death Certificate if the veteran is deceased.

8. Upload the Temporary Slip and additional documents if necessary.

9. Agree to the self-declaration.

10. Save the entered information.

11. Make the payment.

12. Print the application form, payment receipt, and temporary slip available on the ECHS login page.

How to Log into the ECHS Website

Follow these steps to log into the ECHS website:

1. Visit the ECHS official website.

2. Click 'Ok' on the pop-up that appears.

3. Click on the 'Already Registered. Click to Login' option.

4. Choose your country and enter your registered mobile number and password.

5. Enter the verification code and click on the 'Login' button.

How to Register through the ECHS Beneficiary App

To register through the ECHS Beneficiary App:

1. Download the ECHS Beneficiaries App for your smartphone.

2. Follow the ECHS registration process within the app.

3. Continue to receive update notifications from the app, and utilize features such as tracking the ECHS online application status and scheduling appointments.

Following these steps will guide you through the process of applying for the ECHS card and accessing its benefits efficiently.

To check the status of your ECHS card, you'll need to follow these steps using the ECHS Beneficiaries App:

How to Check the Status of ECHS Card

1. Open the ECHS Beneficiaries App on your smartphone.

2. Tap on the 'Card Status' option within the app.

3. Enter your ECHS smart card application number and registered mobile number.

4. The status of your ECHS card will be displayed on the screen.

Regarding the dispatch of the ECHS card, once the application process is completed and verified online, Regional Centres will forward the information to the Station Headquarters. Upon receiving the card, the beneficiary will be sent an OTP, which they must provide to collect the ECHS smart card from Station Headquarters. It's essential to collect old cards and temporary slips from Station Headquarters as well.

ECHS Helpline Number

If you encounter any issues related to your application form or logging into the ECHS portal, you can contact the ECHS helpline through the following channels:

- WhatsApp: +91-7703818578/7701976194/8448086480/8448086481/8448086482

- Email:

- Toll-free number: 1800 114 115

Feel free to reach out to the ECHS helpline for assistance with any concerns or queries you may have regarding your ECHS card application or status.

ECHS certificate
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Can we use ECHS card anywhere?


ECHS provides cashless & capless medical coverage for the ESM and their eligible dependents in the established polyclinics/military hospitals/empanelled hospitals across the country.


Who pays for ECHS?


Contribution ECHS is a contributory scheme. On retirement, each pensioner (w.e.f. 01 Apr 2004) will compulsorily become members, either by paying a one-time contribution or in three consecutive yearly installments.

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