NIS has rejected 65-year-old widow’s claim for survivor’s benefit, appeal of decision can’t be heard

Dear Editor,

My husband died on July 14, 1990.

Our union resulted in a daughter who was eleven years of age at the time of his death.

My husband had made in excess of 1,000 contributions when he died.

Being ignorant of the NIS, I did not make a claim for survivor’s benefit until November 2016, 26 years after my husband’s death.

This was as a result of the social assistance I collected from the Ministry of Social Protection being stopped and being informed by officers from the said Ministry that I am entitled to a survivor’s pension from NIS.

My claim for survivor’s pension was denied by the NIS who informed that the time for claiming the benefit had passed.

I appealed the decision contending that my claim should not have been disallowed in its entirety but disqualified for the period from the date of my husband’s death to 6 months before the claim was made.

The just stated, I am advised, is the practice and law pertaining to the late submission of claims for survivor’s pension.

My appeal was heard at NIS Leonora Office on May 22, 2018 and disallowed by the Chairman, NIS Appeal Tribunal.

He introduced new facts for disallowing my claim, erroneously stating that because of my age (37 years) at my husband’s death, only my daughter who is now 39 years of age was entitled to survivor’s benefit and that would have been  up to her attaining 16 years of age.

I now have to appeal the Tribunal Chairman’s decision to the National Insurance Commissioner.

However, I am advised there hasn’t been a Commissioner for over 12 years and who must be appointed by the President.

I am a poor 65 year old Amerindian widow who has no source of income and depend on my daughter for my upkeep.

As a consequence, I appeal to any concerned person or association to represent my case in the absence of a National Insurance Commissioner and my inability to seek justice in the Supreme Court.

With the taking away of my social security assistance, the disallowance of my claim by the GM, NIS and my appeal to the Tribunal being disallowed, I am inclined to believe I have been identified for “special” treatment and which appears to be discriminatory.

Yours faithfully,

Ismay Lake

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