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Ex-SRP waits years for NIS $$

Monday, May 5, 2014
Guardian Angel

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: Mr Allman Samuel said he worked as a special reserve police officer for over 20 years. He said, “I applied for my NIS benefits and was paid a lump sum although I am entitled to a monthly pension. Owing to the fire at Police Headquarters in 1990, all records were destroyed. “I was given several letters from my employers confirming my length of employment but to date I am still waiting for my benefits. “The NIS statement shows the contributions that are missing up to 1990, after which all contributions are okay.”


Solution: When contacted, NIB said Mr Samuel’s file was forwarded to the office of the executive manager of insurance operations and would be reviewed by the board’s Claims Review Committee.


Problem: Hazel Kistow-Vasquez said, “I am a Trinidadian currently residing in Florida and on a recent visit home, I went into the NIB office in Port-of-Spain to ask about the procedure to claim NIS benefits. “After checking the computer, the employee told me that I only qualified for a one-time payout, because I did not have sufficient deductions. I was given a form to complete, which required the names of all the places I’ve worked in Trinidad.” 



But Ms Kistow-Vasquez said, “Since I left home over 25 years ago, I do not remember the names of all the places I’ve worked, and the dates I was employed. “How can I ensure that deductions were accurately made on my behalf?” Solution: NIB explained that the application form for the retirement benefit asks the insured person to indicate the periods and places employed between 1972 and their retirement date. The reason for this is that the NIB needs to ensure that it pays the right benefit to the right people. 


There are instances where employers may not submit payments for the entire tenure of employment for individuals, and as a result NIB needs to match what the insured person indicates to what is in the system and investigate any possible discrepancies. This may make the difference as to whether someone qualifies for the grant or pension. The onus is on the insured person to give the information. 


If someone cannot recall their periods of employment, then they may submit a letter saying so, however, the application will be settled with the available contributions on NIB’s system.


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