Can’t get death certificate after three months

Dear Editor,

My sister, Nellie Mingo lived with her husband Victor Mingo at lot 21 No 4 Village, West Coast Berbice.  Her husband died at the same address on August 21, 2013 and his death was registered the very next day on August 22, 2013 at the Fort Wellington Hospital, West Coast Berbice.

The problem is that up to now we have not been able to obtain the relevant death certificate.

I am the one who has been looking after my sister’s interest, because she is an invalid, and cannot move around.  An application was made for the death certificate on September 24, 2013.  After waiting for more than six weeks from the date of the application and not receiving the certificate, I went to the General Register Office to enquire, only to learn that the original registration form had not yet reached that office.  That was on November 12.

Since then, I returned to the GRO twice ‒ today, December 9, being the third time, and still they had not yet received the original registration form.

Editor, according to the law, the doctor who certified the death was responsible for submitting the original of the registration form to the GRO not later than 14 days after he certified the death.  The death was certified on August 22.  The 14 days expired on September 5, and more than three months later, GRO has not received the original registration form, and cannot issue a death certificate seeing they have no record of the death.

My sister is in need of her husband’s death certificate in order to apply for NIS benefits.  She is entitled to a funeral grant and survivor’s benefit, and she has limited time within which to apply for those benefits. Therefore, the death certificate is urgently needed.

As I have mentioned before my sister is physically handicapped, and in addition to that, she is an aged person.  She is a septuagenarian and her only source of income is her old-age pension.  She therefore cannot afford to lose the NIS benefits due to her by virtue of her husband’s contribution to the Scheme.

The unfortunate thing is that my sister has lost the duplicate copy of the registration form that has been issued to her.  All that she has is photocopies, but the GRO is not accepting the photocopies.  Her only hope now is that the GRO receives the original registration before time runs out on her.

On behalf of my sister, I request an investigation into this matter, and a speedy one too to ascertain the location of the original registration form, and to see that it reaches the GRO as quickly as possible and we could obtain that death certificate.

My sister needs help.

Yours faithfully,

Samuel H Johnson

 Editor’s note

 We are sending a copy of this letter to the GMO of the Fort Wellington Hospital and the Registrar General for any comment they might wish to make.

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