After daughter stages picket, Social Security claims technical issue caused ‘inadvertent omission’ of payment to widow

Denise Elmes, the woman who staged two days of protest action outside the Social Security Scheme’s Long Street office is refuting parts of a press release issued by the Antigua & Barbuda Social Security Board on Thursday, February 16.

In the release, the Board says the action taken by Elmes only recently came to its attention and notes that she picketed the office on Tuesday, February 14.

In fact, Elmes and her daughter picketed the Long Street branch for two consecutive days, with no acknowledgement from the Scheme.  She says they were even joined by another woman who said she had not received her sick-leave benefits since last year.

Elmes staged the action on behalf of her elderly mother, who, after 20 months, still has not received the Survivor’s Benefit from her late husband.

The Board, meanwhile, says the Scheme has been in dialogue with the beneficiary, adding that her application was, in fact, completed last year (2022).

However, it claims, “after thorough investigations, it was realized that owing to a technical issue her payment was inadvertently omitted from our monthly pension payment cycle.”

In its release, the Scheme apologizes to the widow for the inconvenience this situation has caused her.  Ironically, it says it is heartened by the realisation that continued dialogue strengthens its commitment to “grow to provide for you.”

However, contradicting the Board’s statement, Elmes claims the Scheme has not had any dialogue with her, or her mother, since she took action at their offices, and this is an insult.

Further, despite offering apologies in its press release, Elmes says the Scheme has not done so personally to the family, and she is angered by this whole incident.

Elmes’ father passed away on June 9, 2021 and, since that time. his widow has not received her Survivor’s Benefit.