A family is taking the Social Security Scheme to task over the non-payment of survivor’s benefit to the widow of a man who passed away more than a year and a half ago.
Denise Elmes says her father died on June 9, 2021; and, within two weeks, the family submitted all the required paperwork to the Scheme, as requested. Yet, up to now – a year and eight months later – his wife is yet to receive a single payment of the survivor’s benefit to which she is entitled.
Elmes says they have had a good amount of communication with the Scheme via phone, and her mother has even visited the offices. The last time was just over a week and a half ago, when the widow reportedly was told that the staff are dealing with a number of similar applications.
She says that other excuses proffered include that the Social Security systems have been down.
Elmes says this sort of explanation by the Scheme is not acceptable, especially since her father had been an employee of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) since its inception.
Reportedly the widow is expected to receive no less than $350 per month.
Elmes says her mother should not have to wait this inordinate length of time to get her husband’s benefits, and the situation is frustrating. She notes that her mother has bills to pay and she cannot tell those whom she owes that she is awaiting payment from Social Security.
On Tuesday, February 14, Elmes mounted a picket outside the offices of the Scheme to draw attention to the plight of her family. She is promising to continue her public advocacy until her mother begins to receive payment of the outstanding funds.
Elmes says that any other persons facing such a situation should also let their voices be heard – telling the Scheme that this is unacceptable and they will no longer stand for such treatment.
She says she will be outside the Scheme’s offices again on Wednesday, February 15 – rain or shine – standing up for the rights of her family and until something is done to address the issue.
The woman says, further, that she does not expect anything good to come out of this Labour Party Administration, which seems to have scant regard for the elderly and suffering residents.
Meanwhile, she refers to a similar case of delayed payment; but, in this instance, the person is yet to receive the $2,500 funeral grant from the Scheme.