The National Insurance Board, is pleased to advise that approval has been granted to extend the grace period for long term benefit verifications as follows:
• 1 st July, 2021 for all persons aged 60 and over (all benefits, including retirement benefit) and all persons on invalidity and disability benefits who live in the Bahamas;
• 31st March, 2021 for all persons under the age of 60 who are receipt of Survivors Benefits; and
• 31st March, 2021 for all long term beneficiaries who reside overseas.
Persons who have had a change in circumstance that impacts their continued eligibility for the long term benefit should continue to notify NIB via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible (ie. Change in marital status, children no longer enrolled in school, increase in incomes beyond the allowed levels, etc).
NIB had embarked on a process over the last few weeks to ensure that all recipients of Long Term Benefits (i.e. Retirement, Disability, Survivors, etc.) were in compliance with the National Insurance legislation which mandates verification of continued eligibility of the respective benefit twice per year. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, NIB halted most of its face to face operations, including in-person pension verifications, but continued to receive emailed and drop-box verifications.
Many customers continued to provide their verifications in this manner and remained in compliance with the National Insurance legislation. However, many customers had not verified in 2020, and therefore a special exercise was being conducted to verify those customers to ensure their continued eligibility for their benefits. NIB continues to encourage its customers to utilize the non-face to face mechanisms to complete their pension verification, as follows:
• A Pastor, Priest, Senior Government Official, Lawyer, Magistrate, Medical Doctors licenced in The Bahamas, or Justice of the Peace are considered Sanctioned Authorities for the purpose of confirming that the customer has completed the verification form. The form, signed by the Sanctioned Authority, can then be dropped off or emailed to NIB without the need to wait; or
• Retirement verifications can be completed online via the Registrant Self-Service portal (RSS).
It should be noted that the Sanctioned Authority is not confirming the correctness or truthfulness of the statements on the verification form. The Customer/Beneficiary remains solely liable for the correctness and truthfulness of the statements on the form. As NIB will no longer be performing face to face verifications during the grace period, the forms can be picked up or dropped off by another individual (i.e. other than the beneficiary) or emailed to NIB at: email@example.com. All NIB forms are also available from the website under the “Library” tab (https://www.nib-bahamas.com/_m1722/Library).
Forms are also being made available at local grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. A complete listing of locations will be made available. NIB encourages customers, particularly elderly customers and those in other at risk categories, to use these alternative mechanisms to verify. NIB provides long term benefits to over 40,000 recipients amounting to $22 million on a monthly basis for retirement, disability, invalidity and survivor’s benefits. These benefits are contingent on the recipient continuing to meet the eligibility requirements related to income, employment status, marital status or proof that a child remains in school, as the case may be. NIB continues to have in place measures to safeguard its customers and staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic.