Thakoorparsad Bhoyroo, assistant social security commissioner, does not hide his irritation against the officers of his ministry after the pension payment for a centenary, Marie Martha Barbeau, a resident of Sainte-Croix, was interrupted for the month of October.
Assistant Commissioner Bhoyroo believes that the officers should have conducted an investigation before interrupting the payment of a centenarian social benefit. “In the meantime, how does the beneficiary manage her daily expenses?” he asked.
The Ministry of Social Security is under the spotlight. After Raffick Seegoolam, an assistant social security commissioner on Xplik ou K on Wednesday, tried to justify the (temporary) suspension of the old-age pension for a centenary.
According to the explanations given, the Ministry of Social Security is updating its database. A special unit has been established for this purpose. Its task is to verify the identity of all beneficiaries of a government social benefit. The Department has identified cases where pensions have been paid to deceased persons.
Since then, all the beneficiaries of these pensions have received a letter from the Ministry asking them to provide a recent ID to verify the beneficiary’s existence. “They made me understand that I have to submit a recent copy of her ID card to determine that the beneficiary of this pension really exists. But why ask for the submission of a new identity card. Is my grandmother’s old identity card not valid anymore?”asks Michelle Mootoo, the granddaughter of Martha Barbeau.
Martha Barbeau blew her hundred candles in August. Since then, she is eligible for an old-age pension of Rs 20,000. Except that last month, the payment of this pension was interrupted. “The system no longer recognizes the name of my grandmother,” laments Michelle Mootoo.
Assistant Security Commissioner Raffick Seegoolam gave explanations on-air. “This is a decision taken by the Ministry of Social Security. A special unit was set up to update the database. We have sent letters to recipients asking them to produce a recent ID to determine if they are still alive. After this check, the payment of the allowance to which they are entitled will be made during the same week. This option was chosen to avoid cases of undue payment, because in case of overpayment, it is very difficult to obtain the refund of the sums paid in addition,” argues Raffick Seegoolam.