Hike in sickness claims a worry

From left, NIS chairman Ian Gooding-Edghill, Barbados Workers’ Union general secretary Senator Toni Moore, and NIS Acting Director Jennifer Hunte singing during the service on Sunday.

INCREASING SICKNESS CLAIMS to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) have become a major cause for concern among those who manage it.

This was revealed by Acting Director of the National Insurance Department, Jennifer Hunte, at the NIS’ 52nd anniversary church service on Sunday. It was held at Power in the Blood Assembly in Kew Road, Bank Hall, St Michael, under the theme: A Nation’s Wealth Is In Its Health.

Hunte said that so far for 2019, there was a 45 per cent increase in sickness benefit claims compared to last year’s.

“During 2018, we spent $21.1 million on sickness benefits. Year to date we have spent $12.1 million on sickness benefits and have seen a 45 per cent increase in this claim type. This is a cause for concern which is occupying the department’s attention,” she said.