A six-month standoff between 61-year-old Metrice Hinds and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) over suspended survivor’s benefits has ended positively for the St Vincent-born woman.
Just days after a Barbados TODAY article highlighted the issue, Hinds revealed she had received a cheque for the six months benefits owed to her.
Two weeks ago, with mounting expenses and dwindling income, the veteran fish vendor revealed she was at her wits end with NIS officials who cut her benefits after hearing she had been remarried.
Hinds had been collecting $647 from the NIS ever since June 2015, when her husband of 31 years, Andrew Hinds passed away. After inquiring about her benefits in February, Hinds was informed she would continue to be denied until the scheme could prove she had not been remarried.
“They called me about two days after and said they saw the article on Barbados TODAY and told me my cheque is ready,” Hinds revealed.
“The guy told me he was sorry for everything. They gave me everything and said they would continue my benefits like normal.”
While the NIS so far has not released a statement on the matter, Hinds said she was in contact with some officials in St. Vincent who NIS officials were reportedly attempting to contact for the last six months.
“I think when they called, the people in St. Vincent made them look shame. I don’t think anyone had called them, but they just kept turning me around all the time. My sister spoke to the people in St. Vincent and they said I had never been remarried,” she told Barbados TODAY.
“I feel a lot better about this because now I can pay some of my bills like normal.”
While Hinds is thankful her benefits have finally been restored, she still feels hurt when reflecting on the suffering and helplessness to which she was subjected, all because of a baseless rumour.
She added: “From the beginning they should’ve consulted me first before they stopped my money and I don’t really feel good about those days that I was suffering.”
“… Because when the fish is in, I’m in and when the fish is out, I am out and right now there’s no fish around the place,” the fish vendor said. [email protected]