A doctor’s certificate or proof of an employer’s approval is no longer required to make withdrawals from the Employees Provident Fund on medical grounds. Applicants can submit a self-declaration stating their illness to make the withdrawal, the Labour Ministry announced in a notification.

“The step is in line with the government’s policy of moving towards a self-declaration regime. Employees will no longer be required to produce any certificate for taking all kinds of advance from their provident fund accounts,” the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s central provident fund commissioner, VP Joy, told The Hindu.

Joy added that the EPFO allows applicants with EPF accounts to withdraw savings up to their six months’ salary in cases of hospitalisation for at least a month, major surgeries and illnesses such as tuberculosis, leprosy, paralysis, cancer and heart ailments. With this provision, disabled persons will not need to produce a certificate from a medical practitioner corroborating their need to purchase equipment or aids.

In February, the organisation had streamlined the withdrawal process by reducing the application to a single-page form from the earlier requirement of three separate documents.