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How To Recover Your Jamaican National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Number

Summary: Good day, I worked at KPH for 12 years as a nurse. I lost my NIS number and cannot get my pension. I am living in the USA. Please help.

RESPONSE: by Deon Clarke

Good day nurse and thanks so much for your question. I tried to get as much information as possible to help in your situation. First of all, I must say thanks for your 12 years of dedicated service to the nursing profession โ€“ we know itโ€™s not an easy job. It's unfortunate that you are not able to get your pension benefits as you have lost your NIS number but no worries, here is some helpful information on what you need to do and also some additional questions and answers for the benefit of our readers.

What Should You Do If You Lose Your NIS Number?

Understandably, things happen and these items can get misplaced for one reason or another. If you lose your NIS card, hereโ€™s what you need to do:
  1. You are just required to go to the NIS office with your id and request a replacement card (same number).
  2. If you are living overseas, you can have someone here act on your behalf by providing them with a letter to take to the NIS office. Additionally, it is a same-day process for the replacement card.

Can I Apply For My NIS Pension Benefit if I Lost My NIS Number?

As a matter of fact, yes, you can! I was reliably informed by a NIS office representative that you can still apply for your pension benefit even if you have lost your NIS number as they have other means of retrieving your information to validate your request.

It is also important to note that you can apply for pension benefits after attaining 65 years of age and having 10 or more years of contributions. If you have less than 10 years of contributions you will be given a one-time grant instead.

Questions And Answers About The National Insurance Scheme (NIS)

Question:What exactly is the National Insurance Scheme In Jamaica?

Answer:The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is a compulsory contributions scheme that is designed for funding social security benefits covering all employed persons in Jamaica. It is administered under the National Insurance Act and offers some amount of financial protection for the contributor and his/her family against the loss of income as a result of an injury on the job, sickness, retirement and/or death of the bread-winner.

Question:Who Is Covered By The NIS?

Answer:All persons between the ages of 18 and 70 who are gainfully occupied in insurable employment are required to be registered with the NIS. This includes employed persons, self-employed persons, and voluntary contributors.

Question:What Do I Need To Register For NIS?

Answer:On attaining the age of 18 years, each person is required to register under the NIS. You can do this by completing and submitting an Application for National Insurance Number along with proof of age (birth certificate, passport) to the Parish Office. You will then be issued a registration card showing your NIS number and name. You should always ensure that the correct NIS number is used on all relevant documents at your workplace and also when conducting transactions with NIS offices.

Question:What Happens To My NIS Contributions?

Answer:Your contributions that are paid to the NIS are invested by the National Insurance Fund (NIF) in real estate, money and equity markets. The NIS benefits and administrative expenses are paid from these funds. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is responsible for collecting contributions and also the administration of benefits under the Scheme.

Question:What Are The Benefits Under The NIS?

Answer:There are a number of benefits that are administered under the Scheme. In order for you to qualify for any of these benefits, you would have to satisfy the relevant conditions or requirements. These benefits include:
  1. Maternity Allowance
  2. Special Child Benefit
  3. Orphan Benefit
  4. Employment Injury Benefit
  5. Employment Injury Disablement Benefit
  6. Employment Injury Death Benefit
  7. Invalidity Death Benefit
  8. Retirement Pension
  9. Spouse Allowance
  10. Widowโ€™s/Widowerโ€™s Benefit
  11. Special Anniversary
  12. Funeral Grant
  13. Grant (Other)
  14. NI Gold (Health Insurance For Pensioners)
Question:How Do I Claim My Benefits

Answer:You are required to make all claims or applications on the prescribed National Insurance Claim Form and submit it along with the relevant supporting documents within the required or specified time frame. The forms are all available free of cost at the NIS offices island-wide and also online.

I hope this information provided brought some needed clarity to some of the issues or concerns that you might have had. For additional information and further clarification, please be sure to contact the Social Security Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Works at 1 (876) 922-8000-13, visit their website or visit the nearest NIS office, whichever is more convenient for you.

I also recommend you read Getting National ID In Jamaica | How Long Is The Waiting Period?.



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