The OECS Reciprocal Agreement was ratified in Grenada on 21st June, 1991.
Insured persons and their dependants who have worked in one or more of the following countries:
Initially, all benefits were covered. However, the Caricom Reciprocal Agreement has superseded the OECS Regulations, so only the short-term benefits apply under the OECS Agreement.
The provisions are similar those under the Caricom Reciprocal Agreement.
Claims for Long-term benefits must be submitted to the OECS Social Security/NIS Office in the territory where the claimant normally resides, or to the office from which he/she is entitled to receive benefits. Such claims and their accompanying documents must be submitted at the time and in the manner prescribed by the law which that Institution applies.
Upon obtaining the relevant information required for processing the claim, and having been satisfied that the claimant has met the conditions for benefit entitlement, each territory shall calculate the Notional Amount, Actual Amount and the Local Amount of benefit which the claimant qualifies for.
Notional Amount – This is determined by first adding the total of contributions paid in all the participating states in order to determine the corresponding payable percentage. That percentage is then multiplied by the Claimant’s relevant Average Annual Insurable Earnings.
Actual Amount – This is determined by dividing the total contributions paid in the competent state by the total of contributions paid in all the participating states, and multiplying the ration obtained by the Average Annual Insurable Earnings.
Local Amount – This is the amount of benefit which would have been paid to the claimant under the Competent State’s local laws if there was no Reciprocal Agreement.
The following is an example of how a claim under this agreement is calculated:
|COUNTRY||PERIOD||NO. OF CONTRIBUTION||AAIE||NOTIONAL AMT.||ACTUAL AMT.||LOCAL AMOUNT|
|TERRITORY A||1965 – 1974||500 (30%)||$15,300.00||$ 15, 300.00||$4, 357.14||$9000.00|
|TERRITORY B||1975 – 1984||525 (30%)||$2,500.00||$12,750.00||$1250.00||$7,500.00|
|TERRITORY C||1983 – 1995||550 (31%)||$10,000.00||$ 5,100.00||$1780.95||$3,100.00|
(Percentage is based on legislation where the first 500 contributions is equivalent to 30% with an additional 1% for every 50 Contributions over 500)
Claims for Sickness and Maternity must be submitted at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner to the institution where the claimant resides or where he/she was last subject. The claim will be processed using all relevant contribution periods, including, where necessary, relevant contributions from other participating states.
Benefits are paid by the competent state, in the territory or the participating state where the claimant resides. If however, the competent state, say Territory A, and the State of the place of residence, say, Territory B are different, cash benefits may be paid out directly by the state of residence i.e. Territory B, on behalf and at the expense of the competent institution in Territory A.
Case 1 (Based on Article 35)
Where a woman is entitled to a Maternity or Sickness Benefit from the competent institution (NIS in St. Vincent) but resides in Grenada, SVG NIS can sign an agreement with the NIS in Grenada to have the benefit paid to her and the SVG NIS would then refund this institution or she can be paid directly by SVG NIS.
Case 2 (Based on Article 37)
Where a woman was receiving a benefit from St. Vincent (Competent State) and moves to another State (St. Lucia) the benefit will continue from the Competent State or an agreement can be reached between the two, where the other State will continue the payment and be repaid by the Competent State.
It is to be assumed that the payments are calculated on the insurable earnings of the Competent State (St.Vincent) only. However, where both States’ contributions apply, e.g. in the case of Sickness Benefit, 8 contributions would be used from St. Vincent and 5 from St. Lucia.
Filing of Claims