Seema Moonilal, 22, is this year’s Divali Queen. The 22-year-old won the title and $20,000 on Monday night at the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), in Chaguanas.
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Widow waits years for NIB payments
Each week, the Guardian Angel column highlights complaints sent in by you, the consumer, and provides solutions or directs you to the appropriate resource.
Problem: Kelly Richards-Whiteman e-mailed a complaint to the Guardian Angel on behalf of her mother, Marceline Richards of Fyzabad. Ms Richards-Whiteman said, “After the death of my father on April 1, 2004, my mother applied to receive her survivor’s benefit, which was approved. However, the National Insurance Board was sending the funds to a closed bank account and the funds were continually being returned.”
She said her mother didn’t realise she was not receiving the money because she was getting a pension from Petrotrin, which was sent in two parts, so she thought one of those payments was from NIB. In 2009, her mother applied to get the difference and when she went to Petrotrin, she was told the funds she was receiving were from them only.
Ms Richards-Whiteman said, “At that point, she visited the National Insurance Board and they acknowledged that the funds were being returned. They promised that they will investigate and they did send a payment of $6,800. “Needless to say, this lump sum is nowhere close to what was owed for the number of years that went unpaid.” Ms Richards-Whiteman said she and her mother have gone to NIB several times but the matter is still unresolved.
Solution: NIB said its cheque centre department had reissued all outstanding payments to Ms Richards. If, however, she believes there are outstanding payments to be reissued, she may write to the manager of the service centre asking for an investigation into the matter.
Problem: Edric Jones, who currently lives in Canada, said, “Thank you for highlighting the delays in the processing of claims by the NIB. I submitted my claim December 17, 2012, and to date I have not received an acknowledgement of receipt by the NIB.”
Solution: NIB does not have any application on file for Mr Jones. So unfortunately, he will need to resubmit all the necessary documents and ensure that he receives an allowance notice as evidence of submission and acceptance by NIB.
Problem: Anthony Chow said when he applied for his retirement benefits from NIB in 1999, he was told his payments fell short of the 750 contributions needed by four payments. Mr Chow said he was given three interim payments, as he now qualified for NIB's retirement grant, but later found out that his former employer, the High Commission of Nigeria, did not pay his contributions during his three-month probation. But the commission rectified the matter, paying the missing contributions, along with the relevant penalties.
He said, “Three years later, I'm waiting for my claim to be processed. I am at my wit’s end, since I am depending on that money to pay my bills.” Mr Chow said he is constantly going to NIB and repeatedly being told that his claim is being processed.
Solution: Mr Chow’s application is currently under investigation at the Woodbrook Service Centre for those contributions that were void during his tenure with the Nigerian Embassy.