Average Weekly Insurable Earnings (AWIE)
The Average Weekly Insurable Earnings of an Insured Person is the Average weekly earnings, to the nearest dollar, which is subject to contributions–such earnings not exceeding $1,386.00 per week.
Bank Payment Order
A Bank Payment Order is a written Standing Order indicating which bank or credit union a Claimant wishes his benefit to be lodged at.
A Calendar Quarter is a period of three months as follows:
- Quarter 1: January to March
- Quarter 2: April to June
- Quarter 3: July to September
- Quarter 4: October to December
Certificate of Life Form
A Certificate of Life form is a certificate attesting to the fact that the Pension recipient is alive and in receipt of his pension. The form must be signed by the pensioner in the presence of a witness who must be either of the following persons: Justice of the Peace; Notary Public; Lawyer; Police Officer (Sergeant or above); Ordained Minister of Religion; Doctor; Family Nurse Practitioner; School Principal; Licensed Surveyor; Banker or Credit Union senior Personnel; Social Security Departmental Manager or Compliance/Field Officer. For benefit recipients residing overseas, the Certificate of Life form must be notarized.
A Claimant is a person submitting a claim for Social Security benefit.
Contributions & Credits
Each weekly payment received on behalf of an Insured Person is referred to as a Contribution and such weekly contributions are converted to Credits. Thus, an Insured Person who worked for an entire month is entitled to 4 or 5 Credits depending on the number of Mondays in that particular month. By extension, the entitlement for an entire year is 52 or 53 Credits, depending on the number of Mondays in the year.
In addition, an employee who is in receipt of any Short-term benefit is awarded a Credit for each complete week (Monday through Saturday) during which he is in receipt of that benefit.
The number of Credits an Insured Person has recorded against his number determines:
- Whether or not he will qualify for benefit, and
- What percentage of his salary he will receive as his pension. (Please refer to the Pension Percentage Computation Chart for the percentage equivalency).
Dependent Children are all the biological children, step children, or legally adopted children of a deceased Insured Person who at the date of the parent’s death was below the age of 18, and was living with, or wholly or mainly maintained by the deceased.
The Director is the Chief Administrator/Chief executive officer of the Social Security Board. S/he is responsible for the direction of the staff of the Board, for the management of the Fund, and, in particular, for:
- The collection of contributions under the Act.
- The payment of benefit and the expenditure necessary for the administration of the fund.
- The investment of surplus funds.
- Accounting for all monies collected, paid, or invested under this Act.
Documents for Registration of a Company, Partnership, or Private Business
The documents required for the registration of a Company or Corporation are as follows:
- The Certificate of Incorporation
- The Articles of Association
- The Notice of Registered Office
Documents required for the registration of an employer operating under a Business Name are as follows:
- The Business Name
- The general nature of the business
- The principal place of the business
- The name(s) of the person(s) carrying on the business
- Where the business is a Partnership, the Employer Application for Registration form must be signed by all the Partners.
- Upon registration the employer will be issued with an Employer Registration Certificate stating the name and Registration Number. We wish to advise that the Number be kept handy when making any inquiries to our office.
Insurable employment is employment in Dominica under any contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, and whether expressed or implied.
Insurable years are the years during which Insured Persons are required to pay contributions to the DSS. Under current legislation, persons working in insurable employment are required to pay from the age of 16 to the Retirement Age.
An Insured Person is a person who, being over the age of 16 and under the Retirement Age, is gainfully occupied in Dominica and duly registered with the DSS as provided by the Social Security regulations.
Late fees is an amount charged as a penalty for the failure to pay Social Security contributions within the prescribed time.
A Medical Referee is a medical practitioner (or a group of medical practitioners) appointed to independently evaluate the medical condition of a patient who has been referred to him for evaluation by the Dominica Social Security.
National Provident Fund
The National Provident Fund (NPF) is a contributory fund established in 1971. Under this arrangement, workers in Dominica were required to contribute 5% of their income to the Fund. Their contribution was matched with another 5% contributed on their behalf by their employers. The NPF operated along similar lines with commercial banks in that the contributions paid into the fund were treated as savings which attracted a 3% rate of interest. Upon retirement, the Insured Person was given a lump-sum refund of all of his contributions along with the accrued interest.
Pensionable Age means the age at which an Insured Person becomes eligible for an Age Pension from the DSS. With effect from 2012, the Pensionable Age will increase incrementally by six (6) months every year, until the year 2021, when the Pensionable Age will be set at Age 65.
Notwithstanding such incremental increase in the Pensionable Age, provisions have been made whereby persons, who wish to do so, can opt to receive their Age Pension earlier than the normal Pensionable Age that will be in effect at a particular point in time. In that regard, age 60 shall remain the age at which Age Pensions first become payable, but at a reduced rate of 1/2% per month for every full month prior to the established Pensionable Age that the pension is so taken.
(Please view the Pensionable Age Computation Chart which will assist in determining when Insured Persons will become eligible for their full Age Pension and, thus, the Pensionable Age that will be applicable to them).
Persons Missing at Sea
Where an Insured Person is reported missing, a claim for Survivors benefit can be made from the date of such disappearance. However, payment of a benefit or Grant cannot be made until seven years have elapsed, and the person officially declared dead.
Such claims must be supported by an official report from the police confirming such disappearance, and, at the expiration of seven years, a letter confirming that the person has not been see or heard of since.
Persons Ordinarily Resident in Dominica
This refers to a man’s abode in a particular place or country which he has adopted voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of his life for the time being, whether of short or long duration. To be properly described as settled, the purpose of living where one does, has to have a sufficient degree of continuity.
Protection of Employment Act
The Protection of Employment Act (Ch.89:02 of the Revised Laws of Dominica) is the principal Act which deals with the Termination of Employment and matters governing the administration of Redundancy benefits. The Act was established to provide for the protection of the rights of workers in the Commonwealth of Dominica. It can be found in Volume 12, Chapter 89:02 of the Revised Laws of Dominica.
A Reciprocal Agreement on Social Security is an agreement between the Dominica Social Security on the one hand, and one or more countries on the other hand, whereby an employee who worked in the territory of more than one party to the Agreement can have the contributions paid in the respective territories combined in order to assist him in qualifying for a pension.
Where he has paid sufficient contributions to qualify for a separate pension in each country, each country is required to pay him such pension based on its local legislation. However, if he did not pay sufficient contributions to qualify for a pension in any such country, the contributions paid in each member country is combined to assist him in meeting the qualifying conditions for such a pension. Hence, one fundamental feature of such reciprocal arrangements is the requirement for participating systems to share information with each other on insured persons of interest to the respective systems.
If, upon combining his contributions, he qualifies for such a pension, each member country wherein he worked is required to pay a proportional amount of the pension payable. Dominica is a party to the CARICOM Agreement on Social Security, which covers most of the CARICOM member territories. Dominica also has a Reciprocal arrangement with the Canadian and Quebec Pension Plans.