NIS to ask pensioners for web cam/ mobile photo to prove they are alive

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The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is looking to implement a slew of new measures to combat fraud and improve the services it offers.

The list of new measures includes one which is referred to as the photographic verification of life system. This will require pensioners to submit a photograph every six months via phone application or webcam to facilitate the processing of life certificates.

Chairman of the NIS Dr. Surendra Persaud made this disclosure at a recent event to celebrate the Scheme’s 49th anniversary. It is believed that this system will prevent fraud, as sometimes relatives of persons who have died continue to collect the pension.

Dr Surendra Persaud- NIS Chairman

“Guyanese are pretty much at every corner of this globe and if you’re going to ask some Guyanese to walk into this building or another to verify that they’re alive, that’s not sustainable,” Dr. Persaud said.

The Scheme has 51,178 pensioners as at the end of August 2018. For the period of January to August 2018, the Scheme also processed 82,934 medical claims.

The state-run NIS continues to see escalating expenses contributing to the Scheme running a deficit every year. This year, it is projected to record a deficit of $854.9M.

The Scheme is looking to upgrade its system to make payments through the commercial banks and allow employer to also make remittances online.

“I envision a day, that if you’re going to interact with the Scheme, it will be unnecessary for you to step foot into one of the buildings. We anticipate that where it comes to the payments for employers, they will be able to make those contributions online and eventually all of your benefits should go exactly into the bank of your choice,” Dr Persaud stated.

Already, the NIS has a live chat and an online checking system which can be accessed at https://www.nis.org.gy/

Citizens often times raise concerns about the time taken to conduct business with the NIS.

Dr. Persaud said the Scheme will also be putting in place a system through which citizens can make appointments to meet with its officers and a list of requirements will be provided in order to decrease waiting time. This decision was made at its last board meeting.

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