-received $1407 after spending three years trying to prove he is “still alive”
Abdool Azad Sattar has once again become frustrated with the manner in which the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) has been operating for the past few years as it relates to his NIS pension.
Sattar had contacted Kaieteur News on December 10, 2009 after visiting the Anna Regina NIS office to uplift his pension, only to learn that he was declared ‘dead’. According to the records he was declared dead more than 12 years prior to his visit to the office. A woman named “Sumitra” claimed to be his wife and collected his pension.
The 64-year-old man who resides at 81 Lima Housing Scheme, Essequibo became eligible to collect his NIS benefits since 2007 was told that “his wife, Sumitra,” had received his benefits which totaled in excess of $1M.
At the time of his visit to the NIS Anna Regina branch, Sattar was made aware of the fact that “Sumitra” had reportedly told authorities at the office that Sattar lived in Pomeroon, and had died 12 years (prior to his visit in 2009) and his body was taken to Georgetown, where his funeral was held.
Kaieteur News understands that “Sumitra” also claimed for transportation fees and funeral arrangements, which she was given.
The man explained that upon learning this he enquired about the arrears since he was paying NIS from the age of nineteen. He was further told that he only made 300 contributions that NIS accounted for.
Sattar stated that he had visited the NIS branch at Anna Regina where he made a majority of his contributions but they referred him to the central branch in Georgetown to report his problem.
“How can they pay out money to someone who did not produce a death certificate or evidence to show that I died?” Sattar had complained.
At the time when the issue was brought to light at Kaieteur News, this newspaper had contacted the NIS Essequibo branch which said that all complaints of such nature would have to be forwarded to Georgetown in order for the information to be processed.
When the Georgetown office was contacted it was said that the person would have to go to the records department.
This would be followed by an investigation.
Sattar visited Kaieteur News a few days ago to explain that though he has been “running up and down” to the NIS Georgetown branch for three years while trying to prove that he is alive and has succeeded in this, he is still being given a hard time to collect his rightful money.
He stated that when he returned to the Georgetown NIS office in January 2011 to uplift his cheque (dated December 16, 2010, voucher/ cheque # 8639611) thinking that it would have been in the amount which he was owed, he received a measly $1407 with an explanation that he “did not make enough contributions”.
Sattar asked, “If this was the case, then how is it possible that the NIS office could have paid over $1M to my supposed wife?”
He also said that he has issued an appeal in this matter especially because he would like to know how the office could “just come up with $1407 to pay me”.
The frustrated man added that this is the first payment he has received from the NIS office since he has become eligible for his pension and after spending the past three years trying to prove to the office that he was indeed alive.
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