March 8th, 2013
Social Security was first established on June 1981 in Belize City. This organization is a member of the International Social Security Association based in Geneva, Switzerland, a member of the Comite Permanente Interamericano de Seguridad Social, Mexico (C.P.I.S.S.) and in February, 1994 joined (CISSCAD) Consejo de Instituciones de Seguridad Social en Centro America y Republica Dominicana for which the Social Security Board now holds the Presidency. This organization was formed for the sole reason of giving benefits to employed persons. But here the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. George Cadle Price places it in a more elaborated way "... Social Security is but the beginning of developing the proper attitudes of responsibility for older or injured citizens, so that we become conscious of the human and social obligations, which the economy must strive to meet." Employees from fourteen and older have benefits such as maternity benefits which are paid to pregnant women who qualify, and Funeral Grant is paid to the survivors of a deceased insured person who qualifies for the benefit, just to name a few. It is the employee's and employers responsibility to register with Social Security. Social Security strives to deliver cost effective and top quality service to their beneficiaries and other stakeholders, to grow and protect a sustainable social security fund with integrity and transparency. The functions of social security are service oriented, registering of employers and employees, investigating of claims, collection of contributions, distribution of pension cheques, processing and payment of benefits, public education, etc.
Before we start by stating some of the services offered by social security, some laws that apply are that in accordance with Section 2 of the Social Security Act, Chapter 44 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000-2003. It is the employee's responsibility to register with Social Security. Statutory Instrument No. 106 of 1999, states that "an employer shall not employ a person who has not been registered under the Act." With this said we can move on to the services offered by this overwhelming institution. You as an employee must make contributions that are referred to payment due for any eight hours or more of work in a week. For example if a worker's weekly earnings are under $70 the weekly insurable earning is 55 and the weekly contribution rate payable by the insured contributor and the employer are $0.83 and $3.57 respectively. Social security has long term, short term, and employment injury benefits. The short term benefit consists of retirement, invalidity, survivors benefits etc. Retirement benefits are paid to persons who are from sixty years of age or older, who are unemployed and have been paying social security when they were able to work. Meanwhile invalidity benefits are paid to insured persons under 60 years of age who are medically certified by the medical board as permanently unable to do any type of work because of illness. Meanwhile survivors benefits are paid to the widower/ widow/ children or parents of a deceased insured person whose death was not caused by a work related injury. The spouse, if no spouse the person who incurred the funeral expenses of a deceased insured person may receive a Funeral Grant. In order for a Long-term benefit to be paid there are contribution conditions to be met. With the exception of the Funeral Grant, payments for these benefits can be in the form of pensions or grants, determined by the number of contributions paid. Short Term benefits are maternity, maternity allowance, maternity grant, and sickness benefits. Employment injury benefits provide coverage for an insured person who suffers an employment injury, that is a personal injury or death by way of an accident at work or a disease caused by the type of work he/she does. Injury Benefit is paid for up to 26 weeks to...