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Sep 20, 2012

Pros and Cons of disability vs. invalidity benefits

A fifty-three year old Ladyville resident, who has been out of work for over a year, is not a happy camper with the Social Security Board. According to Rodney Bowen, who worked with BATSUB until its operations in Belize ended in August 2011, he has been receiving disability benefits since 1994 when an accident caused him to lose vision in his left eye. About two months after losing his job, Bowen had a stroke last October and has been unable to work. So he went back to the S.S.B. in February and says he spoke to two senior employees, who had him fill out the relevant forms to claim for invalidity benefits. A medical board reviewed his case and confirmed that he was in fact unfit for employment. But in March, Bowen received a letter from Social Security saying, he cannot be paid both benefits at the same time. He has asked to have the disability payments discontinued and replaced with invalidity benefits, which he expects to be higher, but the S.S.B. says it would be less than what he is currently receiving. Bowen persevered and appealed the decision before a tribunal in Belmopan and was given the same answer so he went to the courts, but says that after two appearances in which the S.S.B. lawyers were unprepared, the case was thrown out. Today, Bowen told News Five, he cannot survive on the pittance he receives each month and that he has a relative in a similar situation receiving much more for invalidity benefits.


Rodney Bowen, Ladyville Resident

Rodney Bowen

“I want the public to be aware of some of the situations that is happening within Social Security that is being hidden from the poor Belizean man and woman that are working so hard and contributing. We’re meeting their demands but when it comes the next way, they don’t want to come and meet us. I’m getting a disability pension from them, but all I’m asking them to do is take away that disability pension and give me the invalidity pension. What I’m saying now is that I have a nephew that is in the same situation that I am in and he was getting a hundred and forty-nine dollars a week where he was working and he is getting from social security, three hundred and forty nine dollars a month. So there is something bogus in what they are giving me for my situation. They are saying that a hundred and eighty-eight dollars is more than if I get invalidity pension. It could never be. These people that started my process with my invalidity pension, they should have known that this would have been a problem because they are professionals. So why dehn mek I gone through all this and den ih come to dis level that we’re here now?”


Delahnie Bain

“How have you been surviving on this one-eighty-eight a month since you haven’t been working?”


Rodney Bowen

“Well dah just like everything else. Di majority ah Belizean poor people, man and woman, you know weh dah fi we food Ramen Noodles. You go dah all di Chiney shop, dat dah di thing weh sell di most, noodles, noodles, noodles. What else we can afford? Sardine and white rice, you understand weh I di seh? Egg and white rice, dat dah how we Belizean—cause we easy fi adopt to conditions, if dah only dat deh fi eat we wah eat dat.  I will continue, I will not stop Delahnie. I will not stop. I will go to every avenue I could go to because I need to live. From last year the twenty-sixth of August, BATSUB break down and I was one of them that went with that crowd and from then I’m not working. So I noh di run no joke, I gwein by any means necessary, by any means necessary I have to get weh I suppose to get because I dah wah Belizean born, work hard and pay my contributions to time consistently so why dehn people dehn di push me round? Why?”


Bowen says that after the Supreme Court ordered that the matter be settled out of court, his attorney filed another appeal with the S.S.B. on July thirteenth, but he has gotten no response since then. He is also calling on other persons who may have problems with their benefits to call him at 653-7320 to unite against the Social Security Board.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “Pros and Cons of disability vs. invalidity benefits”

  1. mustard stand says:

    poor man, and what he is eating is not healthy at all, Ramen noodles are filled with salt and starch, that causes high blood pressure and high cholesterol, people sohuld be able to buy and have access to healthy foods, that what the medical profession preaches here and yet, they cannot afford it, this is just terrible, and SSB should give the man the money he needs to live on. Hes paid in to and so has the employer.

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    What a backward country with backward thinking. Clearly the gentleman is entitled to both workers compensation and disability income since he has paid his dues. The two programmes are mutually exclusive. One is paid for injuries and sickness on the job while the other pays for injuries and sicknesses off the job. I suggest that SSB revisit the definitions of the two programmes and steer away from those definitions found in the Caribbean Islands. Admittedly, I don’t have the factual data to analyse and to conclude what really transpired but the cursory evidence indicate the gentleman is entitled to both. Ask anyone from forward thinking country. Belize, Belize, please become mature ( no colonialism) and do what is right for the poor man.

  3. Ricky Malthus says:

    Please SSB, tell us what has happenned to the $50 million cash you gave to Mr. Barrow to buy into BTL or was it BEL. Whatever!! But you do owe the poor people of Belize a transcript of how that money was spent and how it will be repaid. Failure to do so might bring criminal charges against all those involved. Q.E.D.

  4. Eye in the Sky says:

    I done tell you stupid people da Belize lang time ago…..





  5. me says:

    Yes Social Security is one more of all scam the government has to rob the belizean people. People do the math and you will see the monies you get at the end after paying them all your life . is my far far less than if you yourself would save that same monies on your banks.

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