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Hello? Hello? Is Social Security still open?

Published:Friday | August 2, 2019 | 12:26 AM


I have recently read in your publication that as far back as 2016 (, the National Insurance Service (NIS) has been in the red, a direct consequence of laxity in the enforcement of salary-based NIS payments. This, apparently, is not pursued as vigorously as is that of income and land taxes, as well as GCT.

Thus, as Jamaica’s population ages, it will be the old people (least able to manage) who would feel the brunt of NIS bankruptcy, the upshot being a lot of homeless, starving, old people.


I have a pension application ‘in processing’ for more than 14 months now (it usually takes six months), and when I have attempted (for the last two months now) to call the ministry, this is what I have found.

All 12 numbers at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (NLSS) – (876) 922-8000-11 – are inoperative. The permanent secretary, manager, and accounts lines have also been out of order. Is MLSS not paying its phone bill?

Are these outages man-made, or really FLOW’s fault? I see that the usual six-month period for processing (this from Mandeville NIS branch) is now to take 12 to 18 months!

These delays would serve to stress the elderly applicants into an early grave, thus allowing a free hand in all sorts of ineptitude and skulduggery.