The National Insurance Board provides ten (10) cash benefits, four (4) cash assistances and one “benefit-in-kind”. The benefits are paid in respect of Sickness, Maternity, Funeral, Retirement, Invalidity, Survivorship, Unemployment, Injury, Disablement and Death. The assistances are the Old Age Non-Contributory Pension, Invalidity, Survivors’ and Sickness.
Benefits are awarded to insured persons who meet prescribed contribution conditions; assistances are awarded to needy Bahamian residents who do not qualify for a particular benefit, and only after the application of the “test-of-resources”.
The monthly rate of payment for the Long-Term Benefits - Invalidity, Retirement and Survivors’ Benefits - varies depending on the total number of paid and/or credited contributions, from a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 60 percent of the insured person’s average weekly insurable wage or income.
The weekly rate for the Sickness Benefit is 60 percent of the claimant’s average weekly insurable wage or income.
Invalidity Benefit is a payment made to eligible insured persons who have been certified by a medical doctor to be permanently unable to work as a result of an illness that is not job-related.(A person suffering permanent incapacity as a result of a job-related illness, should claim Disablement Benefit). The rate of payment ranges from a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) to a maximum of sixty percent (60%) of the insured person’s average weekly insurable wage income.
The weekly rate for the Maternity Benefit, is 66 2/3 percent of the claimant’s average weekly insurable wage or income. There is also a Maternity Grant, which is a one-time payment given in respect of each live birth. To qualify for the payment, the woman must have paid at least 50 weeks of contributions over the course of her work life. A woman who does not have the required contributions but whose husband has paid sufficiently to meet the conditions for the Maternity Benefit, will be awarded the Grant.
Unemployment Benefit is a payment made to eligible insured persons who are unemployed but actively looking for employment. It is paid at a weekly rate of 50% of the unemployed worker’s average weekly insurable income.
The rate of assistance payments is fixed. These have been increased from time to time and will, like other pensions in payment, be increased every two years to reflect or absorb any increases in the cost of living in the country.
Under the Industrial Benefits branch, employed persons or all self-employed persons who suffer job-related injury or contract job-related diseases, are eligible for Injury Benefit, Disablement Benefit and/or Grant, Industrial Death Benefit, Industrial Funeral Benefit, and free Medical Care.
Injury Benefit is a weekly payment, paid at a weekly rate of 66 2/3 percent of the worker’s average insured income.
Disablement Benefit is paid as a percentage of the Injury Benefit, based on the degree of disablement caused by the industrial accident. Disability is assessed by a Medical Referee and is expressed in percentages. For disablement assessed at between 1 and 24 percent, a grant of $100 is paid for each percent of disability. For disablement assessed at between 25 and 100 percent, Disablement Benefit is paid as both a one-time cash grant, and periodically, as a pension. For example, a lump sum grant of $500 and a monthly pension is paid where the disablement is assessed at between 25 and 66 percent. A grant of $1,000 and pension, are paid where the disablement is between 67 and 100 percent.