Obtaining disability allowance

| 07/01/2019

Can you please let me know how a person goes about claiming disability benefits in the Cayman Islands? Is it even a possibility?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusAuntie’s answer: It is not clear from your question whether you are an employee who has suffered an injury while on the job that is preventing you from working or if you are not employed and disabled. Therefore, I have endeavoured to cover all the bases.

In the case of a Caymanian who is disabled and unable to work, he or she can approach the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) for assistance. A NAU official explained the process to apply for these benefits. Below you can find a document outlining the eligibility criteria to get financial help from the NAU, plus an application form which includes what information is required for an assessment. The documents can also be found on the NAU website. The official advised people in need of those documents to check the website periodically since when updated, the newest versions will be uploaded.

NAU Pre-Assessment Form

Eligibility Criteria for Poor Relief Assistance

The official added, “Once the person in question has gathered all the necessary documents and completed the relevant form, then they can submit same to our offices to be reviewed and arrangements made for an assessment for eligibility to be conducted.”

In addition to considering a disability when applying for NAU benefits, the applicant’s financial situation is assessed. If the NAU is satisfied the applicant meets the necessary requirements and he or she is deemed disabled, they would be eligible for some exemptions to limits on assistance, within certain parameters, the official explained.

So, for example, if the applicant is given food assistance, they would receive that help during the validity period determined by their assessment, and this would also depend upon the size of the person’s family.

“The idea is that they are provided with access to assistance; however, there are still some guidelines to the provision of these services,” the official said.

I also checked with the Department of Labour and Pensions (DLP) to help navigate possible employment issues. However, as I explained, the question could only be addressed in general terms, because it wasn’t clear if you were employed or perhaps were injured while working.

If you are disabled, the DLP suggested you could contact the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, since it advises the public and private sector on disability issues. In addition, the council enforces provisions of the Solomon Webster Disability Law 2016, which sets out the rights and privileges for people with disabilities. Part of the council’s mandate is to ensure “equal access to employment opportunities, fair wage and benefits”.

The council can be reached through email at DisabilityCouncil@gov.ky.

In the case of being injured on the job, the official pointed to the Labour Law (2011 Revision) which covers statutory sick leave for employees under Sections 17 and 18. Those sections explain eligibility for sick leave and how to apply for it, along with how the days off are calculated.

In addition, the Workmen’s Compensation Law (1996 Revision) and the Workmen’s Compensation Regulations (1998 Revision) detail how employees may qualify and apply for that benefit.

To contact the DLP for more information, you can call the office (945-8960) or confidential hotline (945-3073) or email the department at dlp@gov.ky.

The laws mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

Send questions to auntie@caymannewsservice.com

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Category: Ask Auntie, Health Questions, Labour Questions

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just tell them you went on a boat once and claim your Seafarers allowance.

  2. Sherlock Holmes says:

    In the USA, getting monthly disability benefits is a very long process. 90% of all first time applicants are rejected. Then they appeal. 70% are rejected on the first appeal. Then one hires a disability attorney (they are paid a fixed fee upon approval) and waits for the hearing. A judge would decide if one to be awarded disability status. Every judge is different as well as his/her approval rates. Then, after the hearing, it might take additional 90-100 days for him to make a decision. Once approved, a person gets back pay from the day of his first application.
    Meantime, if a person is not working and satisfies all requirements, he gets state sponsored food and medical assistance. The max amount of food assistance for a single person is $192/mo.
    In a country as small as the Cayman Islands, where everybody knows everybody, the US model wouldn’t work.