The Ministry of Community Affairs and Housing now has responsibility for administering seafarers benefits. They were previously administered through the Ministry of Health.
These benefits are available to a seafarer and upon his passing, should he have a widow, she will continue to receive the benefits.
It is however necessary for the surviving spouse to apply for the benefits in her own name. Once her application is approved, she will be added to the government's payroll. This procedure is in compliance with guidelines that have been in existence since 2000.
The Ministry is aware that this system places a little additional pressure on an elderly surviving spouse. In consideration of this, the application form has been simplified to reduce the amount of information that the spouse must submit to qualify.
The criteria for qualification are:
- the surviving spouse must be aged 60 or older;
- the surviving spouse should not have a monthly income exceeding $2000;
- the surviving spouse must submit certified copies of her husband's death certificate, her own birth certificate, their marriage certificate, plus the relevant pages of her passport.
Application forms are available from the receptionist at the Government Administration Building or from the Ministry of Community Affairs and Housing.
The Ministry reminds the general public that these benefits are for seafarers or their surviving spouses only. Relatives are required to inform the Ministry when benefit recipients are deceased.