A 65-year-old woman in India who is blind, disabled and plagued by leprosy has been denied her monthly pension check by the federal government because she is unable to confirm her identity through the country’s biometric database, Indian Express reported .

Sajidha Begum was informed in August through the leprosy hospital where she has lived for more than a decade that her pension of 1,000 rupees (approximately $16) would be taken away unless she submitted her information to the biometric database for citizens—something that she is incapable of doing due to her medical conditions.

Since 2009, the government of India has been collecting biometric data from its citizens and storing it in a database called Aadhaar. More than 1.17 billion people are in the system, which assigns a 12-digit identification code to each individual that is linked to biometric identifiers including iris scans and fingerprints. The government has used the system to confirm the identity of recipients of welfare and entitlements.

For Begum, submitting to the system is not an option. As a result of leprosy, the 65-year-old woman has lost her sight, hands and feet.

Because of her situation, an administrative medical officer at the leprosy hospital where she stays attempted to appeal the decision to deny her pension, requesting she be exempt from the Aadhaar biometric check. That request was denied by the government, which claimed that she must first attempt the biometrics test before appealing.

“Even if the woman doesn’t have sight, there may be biometrics that the machine can read,” a government official told the medial officer. “Only when the machine is unable to read and they get a rejection letter, it can be considered at the back end. There are cases where leprosy patients have got Aadhaar with whatever is left of their biometrics.”

The case serves to highlight an unexpected shortcoming of the controversial database that has been often criticized as an invasion of privacy. While the Indian government has pushed the policy forward as a way to prevent against fraud, Begum’s case make evident that biometrics are far from a foolproof system.

Begum is also unlikely to be the only person affected by the government’ stringent requirements stemming from its Aadhaar system. According to the World Health Organization, about 200,000 people annually contract leprosy in India.

Begum’s medical officer said other patients at the hospital have run into similar issues, telling Indian Express that many people who lose limbs as a result of the disease and are unable to provide biometrics often have requests for exemptions ignored or denied.

Begum has received support from Indian Express readers who have reached out to offer to lend financial support , but such offers don't serve to solve the larger issue and will still leave some without the full support they are entitled to through the government. A treasure official for the Indian government reportedly said that Begum's case is "being looked into" but did not provide additional details.