by Linda Straker
- NIS provides 19 benefits in 3 categories of Short-term, Long-term and Employment Injury
- Mothers must be registered with NIS to access maternity grant benefit
- Sickness claims filing period to be 3 months
Workers in Grenada are to have an extended time to file for sickness and maternity leave claims with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
The cabinet has agreed to amend the NIS regulation so that sickness claims filing will move from 4 days to 3 months, and maternity leave filing from 3 weeks to 3 months.
“I want you to get it clear, there is no amendment to the benefit, just the period of time for which you could make the claim that is all that this is addressing,” Oliver Joseph said during the weekly Tuesday Post Cabinet briefing.
Joseph said that the time agreed to by the cabinet is based on recommendations from the National Insurance Board (NIB). “They gave us the recommendation time and after discussing the matter, we as the cabinet agreed to approved the amendment.”
The NIS provides 19 benefits in the three categories of Short-term, Long-term and Employment Injury. Maternity and sickness are in the short-term category. Cabinet’s approval must also receive the approval of members of both Houses of Parliament before it goes into effect. Health Minister Nickolas Steele anticipates the amendment to the NIS legislation will be done in time for January 2020.
For the period January to June 2019, the NIS paid out EC$5.8 million in maternity and sickness benefits. Sickness total was EC$4.527,580 and this was paid to 8,571 recipients. Maternity had a total of 851 recipients, with 404 maternity grant recipients receiving EC$1,038,707 and 447 maternity grant recipients receiving EC$231,768.
For a mother to access the maternity grant benefit, she must be registered with the NIS and have at least 50 paid contributions. If these qualifying conditions are not met by the mother, her husband can apply for the grant on her behalf once he has satisfied the conditions. An allowance is paid when all conditions for the grant are not met.