Last Friday saw the deaths of two men, Orlington Stuart and Roque Jimenez, who fell from a thirty foot scaffold inside the Belize Civic Center. Four other men were also injured in this accident. While questions were raised about whether the men were following safety protocol, there is also the question of who is responsible for the medical bills, since the men were injured whilst on duty. One institution that may be able to help answer that question is Social Security. General Manager of Corporate Relations, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, told us that the employer as well as a family member can file a claim on behalf of the men.
Chandra Nisbet Cansino, Corporate Relations, Social Security Board: “The workers under the Social Security Act as long as a worker is injured during and in the course of insurable employment they qualify for what we call employment injury benefits. And under the employment injury benefit program we pay both a weekly allowance and we also cover the medical expenses related to that injury. For Social Security purposes they would be advised to make a claim as quickly as they possibly can and so unfortunately even in the case of the deceased persons somebody can make a claim on their behalf it can either be the employer or a family member and all they need to do is visit the nearest Social Security Office and fill out a short claim form for employment injury and then we would take it over from there. That would entail us then taking the information, conducting an investigation into the accident and then giving the decision on the claim. The relatives or the employer of the injured as well as the deceased persons who are listening to the newscast to encourage them to make a claim as quickly as they possibly can. We have not received any claims for the deceased persons we are unable to say anything about the other persons because we don’t know their names so we would just like to invite the family members or the employer to visit the office and make the claim as soon as they possibly can.”