General Reminders on Claiming Pension
In today’s program, I will be highlighting a few important reminders on claiming some of the benefits offered at Social Security since we strive to ensure that all payments to eligible persons are rendered in a timely manner.
Let’s start by taking a look at Life Certificates. These include certificates for age, survivor, invalidity, disablement and death benefits to be submitted by the end of the month of February. Please complete and return by the stipulated date. Certificates are to be completed by a Minister of Religion, Notary Public, Senior Bank Officials or you may visit the Social Security Offices on both St. Kitts and Nevis with your passport, Social Security card or drivers licenses for further assistance. It is very important that the form is properly completed and your current address and contact number is clearly documented so that there may be no delay in getting your pensions to you.
Similarly, let us consider Cohabitation Certificates for Survivor Pensioners Widow or Widowers. These must also be submitted in February. It is important to note that your MARITAL STATUS is required for further processing to occur. The forms should be completed by a Notary Public or a Minister of Religion and returned to the Social Security Board again by the end of the month of February.
As the new school term has begun, we take this opportunity to remind parents/guardians of the need to submit their School Attendance Certificates for benefit recipients who are still enrolled in school and are under the age of 18 years old or younger. Please note also that this form must be completed by the Principal of the school the child/student attends. If you have not had this form completed and submitted for the pass year, you may do so now.
In addition, parents or guardians are reminded that the school term ends in early July this year and for children who are 16 or 17 years old at that time,
their pensions will be ceased but will be reinstated in September with full payment once they return to school.
If you did not submit any certificates last term, kindly do so now in order for payment of your pension to continue.
Another important reminder is concerned with the Movement of Pensioners. If it is brought to our attention that a pensioner is out of the Federation, his or her pension will be suspended until a valid location is provided to the Social Security Board. Kindly note also that pensions will end once a pensioner dies. Upon this occurrence, please inform the Social Security Board and present an original copy of the Death Certificate and receipts of related expenses in order to claim the Funeral Grant.
Let’s now look at two situations that may delay the receipt of your benefits.
We often hear, “I’ve submitted a claim and have not heard from Social Security and it’s been 10 days.” This can be a result of two things:
- Changes in your Bank Account Information or Address If you have recently made changes to your bank account information or address, please notify the Social Security Office to ensure smooth processing of your claims.
- Unclaimed (Benefit) Cheque Payments. If a claimant submitted a claim for maternity, sickness or any other benefit and did not receive a response within 5 days, he or she should notify the Social Security Office immediately. If you are leaving the Federation for a period of time, kindly request for us to make payment to your bank rather than posting a cheque. That way, you will have access to your benefits while away from home.
Just before I conclude, let’s cover the matter of Monthly Reporting for the 4th and 5th Week within a Month. Remember that contributions are made for each Monday in a month. Always check your calendar for the correct number of Mondays. For example, February has 4 Mondays while January had 5. Hence, your report should reflect 4 contribution weeks for February and 5 contribution weeks for January.
Employers, kindly ensure that your name and Registration number are clearly stated on the Statement of Wages and contribution, commonly referred to as the C3 Form. For employers with more than one registration number, remember that you are not required to place your inactive number on the C3 form unless the account has been reactivated.
Ensure that all forms and cheques are signed and dated and that the amounts correspond to that printed on the completed form.
The above guidelines are certain to make your claiming experience effortless. If you have any questions, contact your nearest Social Security office and our friendly staff would be happy to assist you.