Sitting under a tree in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, secretary of Fisherman and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) Gary Aboud made a tearful plea to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to mediate with
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Survivors’ benefit wrongly terminated
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: Boodhanie Barran, from Dow Village, California, said she had been receiving survivors’ benefits up until March 2013. Ms Barran said, “When benefits were increased from March 4, 2013, my benefit was reduced to $600 per month. “I found this to be illegal and appealed NIB’s decision on August 3, 2013, only to find that my benefit was cut off entirely in September 2013. “My life certificate is up to date and the board is acting unlawfully to terminate my benefit.”
She said there was nothing in the law which gives NIB the right to terminate someone’s benefit while an appeal is pending.
Solution: Ms Barran’s matter has been expedited and all outstanding amounts, including the increase, have been sent to her bank.
Problem: Gasparillo resident Jattan Ramdathsingh said he has complained numerous times about an abandoned lot of land on the eastern side of his property, to no avail. Mr Ramdathsingh said the land catches fire several times during the dry season. “These fires destroyed trees on my property which were over 30 feet tall and also pose a threat to my home. “The T&TEC 66KV line runs across this plot and contractors working for T&TEC always remove trees growing below this line. Just over a week ago contractors again felled trees on this plot.”
Mr Ramdathsingh said he had reported this abandoned plot to all relevant agencies and even had a Ministry of Health site visit, but the problem of fires during the dry season, as well as health concerns, continued without relief. He said he has wooden eaves and is fearful his home could be burnt down.
Solution: T&TEC was contacted about Mr Ramdathsingh’s issue and the Guardian Angel was told the contractor is responsible for clearing any trees felled while making transmission lines safe. An engineer viewed the property last Friday and the contractor will remove the cut trees.