I pray for the Judicial Review Act to be brought into operation instantly so that aggrieved claimants will be able to challenge any unlawful decision made by officers of NIS and National Insurance (NI) Tribunal.
The regulatory framework that decides the award of benefits seems to be subordinated to the moods and whims of the determining officers.
In my letter June 3, 2018 to the Editor, Stabroek News `Two claims for NIS survivors’ benefits’ in which I informed of the GM promising payment of survivor’s benefit to Shameeza Mohamed who had made a complaint of sexual harassment against a NIS Inspector, I enquired the reason for non-payment of the same benefit to Ismay Lake whose particulars of claim were similar to that of Shameeza Mohamed.
I am now in receipt of reliable information that Shameeza Mohamed has been paid her benefit but not Ismay Lake.
The complaint made by Shameeza Mohamed and the likelihood of the Scheme’s image being tarnished as she promised to do, if not paid, it appears, influenced the decision for the prompt determination of her claim in her favour.
Ismay Lake is an aged, poor, unemployed indigenous widow who begs for the same assistance given to Shameeza Mohamed as they both satisfy the conditions for the award of survivor’s benefit. The only difference in the claims is that one (claim) was made later than the other.
The decision, therefore, to pay one claimant and not the other seems selective and discriminatory.
Unfortunately, there is no appointed NI Commissioner, a grievous omission, and her appeal against the decision of the Chairman, Appeal Tribunal cannot be heard. This egregious omission has been existing for over fifteen years.
Ismay Lake is financially incapable of prosecuting her appeal in the High Court and begs assistance from anyone or organization willing to represent her just case, a legitimate right to survivor’s benefit.
It is also requested by Ismay Lake that her case be highlighted so that the GM who has the authority to review her own ruling and that of the Chairman, NI Tribunal and the Commissioner, NI if she/he is satisfied that the decision was given in ignorance of, or was based on a mistake as to some material fact, may revisit her decision made in the first instance.