The Department of Posts has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the handling of claim cases in the event of frauds and losses in post office schemes such as post office savings account, cash certificates (like National Saving Certificate), money orders, postal life insurance/Rural Postal Life Insurance etc. The department spelt out the SOP in a circular dated May 27, 2021. At present, there is no standard procedure for filing a claim with the post office in the event of fraud.

As per the circular issued, an individual filing a claim can do it either by visiting the home post office branch or via email, speed post or registered post.

Unlike in case of banks where an account holder is required to report the unauthorised transaction within three workings days to ensure zero liability for all third-party breaches, no such time limit has been mentioned in case of reporting of frauds in post office schemes in the circular.

The circular specifies that no claimant should be put to any kind of inconvenience and all possible help should be rendered at every stage from filling up the form, obtaining the statement to stage of making payment.

Here is the list of documents that are required to file the claim and how an individual can file a claim in case of fraud as per the SOP issued by the Department of Posts.

How to file the claim with the post office and documents needed

1. Claim form: A standardised claim form has been issued by the department which will be used for filing of claims related to fraud/misappropriation of money in post office savings bank accounts, cash certificates such as Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), National Savings Certificate (NSC), money orders/electronic money orders (EMO) etc. The form further asks an individual to provide justification for the claim made. The claim application form can be accessed
here.

2. Photo ID and address proof: Along with the duly filled form, an individual is required to submit self-attested photocopies of photo ID and address proof. One can submit PAN, Aadhaar, Voter ID, passport or any other valid proof.

3. Passbook/Certificate/Deposit Receipt: The individual is also required to submit self-attested copy of passbook/certificate/deposit receipt etc., as the case maybe. Do ensure that you carry the original document at the time of submitting documents or else the claim will not be accepted by the post office official. The claim form will be accepted only if the original ones have been seen and verified by the officer.

In case of sending non-physical claims, do ensure that you have mentioned your email ID/mobile number or address correctly. This will help the post office branch official in contacting you for further information related to verification of original documents.

Processing of claim

Once the claim form has been accepted, the post office branch is required to process it within seven days from acceptance. If any further information is required to be obtained from the individual, the same must be done within seven days.

Within 10 days of acceptance of the form, the form will be either submitted to the Divisional officer with further recommendations or will be returned to the claimant for submitting further clarifications or documents, if any.

If sent to the Divisional Office, then a Unique Registration Number will be issued to the claim case for monitoring purpose. This registration number and date of registration (which is 10th day from the date of acceptance of form; provided there is no shortcomings in the form and requisite information has been provided) will be informed to the individual as well. The registration date will be treated as date of deposit of claim.

Claim sanction

The claim will be sanctioned within 25 days from the date of registration (depending on the financial powers) and the amount of claim will be credited/restored in the account within 30 days from the registration date.

The claimant will be required to submit relevant original passbook/ certificate to make payment. However, the circular states that physical presence must not be enforced.

In fraud cases where forensic examination is required, the above process must be completed within 90 days from the date of registration

Points to note while filing a claim

During the investigation or at the time of final settlement, the post office can ask the individual to submit the original documents. However, don’t forget to ask for a duplicate copy of the original documents in such a scenario. Further, the duplicate copy will be issued to you free-of-cost. In case a duplicate copy is not issued to you, then do make sure you get the proper receipt from the post office for the submission of original documents.

If the claim is submitted via e-mail, then an acknowledgement will be sent by the official/officer authorized for the purpose. The officer can seek further clarifications via email as well. However, for the purpose of verifying original receipt/passbooks etc, the claimant may be required to produce the same.

Read more: EconomicTimes

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