JIS News

Cabinet has approved a submission for a special payment of approximately $375 million to some 75,000 active NIS pensioners, to offset additional expenses incurred by Hurricane Ivan.
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, making the announcement at yesterday’s (September 27) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in Kingston, told journalists that a sum of $5,000 would be paid to all NIS pensioners.
He informed that the payments, which would be made by cheques and dispatched through the postal service, could be encashed at any branch of the National Commercial Bank (NCB).
The Prime Minister noted that the provision was made on the grounds that the “hurricane has caused special damage and difficulty for the elderly and the disabled persons, whose only source of income is their NIS pension”. He said that in preparing for and recovering from the hurricane, NIS pensioners had to spend more than their regular monthly amounts, and were therefore in need of additional funds to meet their normal expenses for food and medicine as well as for repairs to their homes.
Mr. Patterson emphasized that the disbursement would not affect the viability of the NIS Fund. On the contrary, he said the provision, when coupled with other initiatives of the government, would contribute to the stimulation of economic activity and ultimately result in greater inflows of income to the fund.
The Prime Minister also disclosed that Cabinet has agreed for two extra payments to be made to the 180,000 beneficiaries covered under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Under the arrangement, each beneficiary will receive an additional $400 for the months of October and November. The provision will cost $72 million per month or $144 million for the two-month period.Under PATH, each beneficiary receives $400 per month. In most families, the number of beneficiaries vary between two and five, but the average per household is roughly three, with the average monthly payment per household being $1,280.

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