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The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) in Jamaica is administered under the National Insurance Act and is a compulsory contributory funded social security scheme covering all employed persons. It offers financial protection to contributors and their families against loss of income arising from injury on the job, incapacity, retirement and/or death of the insured. Surviving family members may be entitled to benefits under one or more of the following arrangements to assist with expenses that may arise as a result of the death of the insured.

Types of Death Related Benefits

• Special Child
This benefit exists to assist a child/children under the age of 18 years whose mother (who was a NIS contributor) is deceased and the father’s whereabouts is unknown. The allotment is given to the person who assumed guardianship of the child upon the mother’s death. The amount payable is determined by the mother’s contribution.

• Orphan
This benefits children (under the age of 18) of deceased parents who were married or in an established common-law relationship. In this case, the money allotted is given to the person who assumed guardianship over the child or children upon the death of the parents. The amount payable is determined by the contribution of either parent.

• Employment Injury Death
This benefit is payable to the next of kin of a deceased contributor whose death was the result of an accident on the job, or a disease prescribed by the National Insurance Act that is attributable to the nature of the job.

• Widow’s/Widower’s
This benefit can be claimed by the spouse of a deceased NIS contributor or pensioner, or persons who were living in a common-law union in which both parties were free to marry. The payment of this benefit can be either for the short-term (one year or more) or long-term (for the life of the beneficiary), depending on the qualifying conditions.

• Funeral Grant
This benefit can be claimed upon the death of: a former NIS pensioner or his/her spouse, or, a NIS contributor who has satisfied the required contribution conditions or his/her spouse; or, an employee whose death was the result of injuries sustained on the job or a disease prescribed by the National Insurance Act that is attributable to the nature of the job. Persons who have given an undertaking to cover the funeral expenses of the deceased, executors, administrators or undertakers can apply for this grant, which is a one-off payment.

Claiming Benefits
Application for any of these benefits is done by completing the relevant National Insurance Claim Form and submitting it, along with supporting documents (as indicated by the particular form) to the NIS at any regional office or online within the required time frame. Forms are available free of cost at all NIS offices and on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) at http://www.mlss.gov.jm.

For further information, contact:
Ministry of Labour and Social Security
Social Security Division
14 National Heroes Circle
Kingston 4
Tel: 876- 922-8000-9/888-991-2089
Fax: 876-922-6902/876-924-9639
Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
Website: http://www.mlss.gov.jm