Funeral Grant

The loss of a loved one can be both financially and emotionally challenging. The National Insurance Scheme provides a Funeral Grant for its contributors, pensioners and their spouses. This grant is available to anyone who pays the funeral expenses.   

All persons between the ages of 18 and 70 who earn an income are required to be registered with and contribute to the N.I.S. The insurable population includes employed persons, self employed persons and voluntary contributors.

1. What is a Funeral Grant?

A number of benefits are available under the NIS, including Funeral Grants.  A funeral grant is a benefit payable on the death of:

  1. a NIS pensioner in receipt of Retirement (Old Age), Invalidity, Employment Injury Disablement, Widow/Widowers benefit or his/her spouse; or,
  2. a NIS contributor who has satisfied the required contribution conditions or his/her spouse; or,
  3. an employee whose death was as a result of injuries sustained in insurable employment or a disease prescribed by the National Insurance Act.

2. What is the National Insurance Scheme?

The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is a compulsory contributory funded social security scheme covering all employed persons in Jamaica.  It is administered under the National Insurance Act and offers some financial protection to the worker and his/her family against loss of income arising from injury on the job, sickness, retirement and death of the bread winner. All persons between the ages of 18 and 70 who earn an income are required to be registered with and contribute to the NIS. The insurable population includes employed persons, self employed persons and voluntary contributors.

3. Who Qualifies?

  • N.I.S. Pensioner  or Spouse
  • N.I.S. Contributor or Spouse

Minimum Contribution Required (Any one of the following) ;

  1. 10 weeks of every year that the deceased was working
  2. 26 contributions in the year prior to death
  3. 52 contributions in the 2 years prior to death

4. Who Can Apply for a Funeral Grant?

The following persons can apply:

  • person(s) who has/have given an undertaking to pay the funeral expenses of the Executor(s), Administrator, or Undertaker.

5. What are the Qualifying Conditions for a Funeral Grant?

NIS Pensioner

If the deceased was already in receipt of a NIS pension, the qualifying conditions are automatically satisfied for the payment of a funeral grant. Likewise, if the spouse of a NIS pensioner dies, the qualifying conditions are also satisfied.

NIS Contributor

The contributor who has made contributions that satisfy the qualifying conditions for a pension upon death. Where the deceased has not satisfied any qualifying conditions, but the spouse has, the funeral grant is payable. “Spouse applies to a marriage of at least three years or a common law relationship.”

Employee Death as a Result of Injuries

An employee whose death was as a result of injuries sustained in insurable employment or a disease prescribed by the National Insurance Act.

6. How and where Do I Apply?

Application can be done either by submitting completed forms to any of our Ministry’s office or completing and submitting the form online.



The following documents are to be submitted to the Parish Office most convenient to you:

  1. The completed Funeral Grant Application Form: The forms are available free of cost at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Parish Offices island wide and on-line at
  2. Proof of death, such as the Death Certificate, Order for Burial, Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, or Post Mortem Report.
  3. The Undertakers receipt or invoice: The receipt is required for payment.
  4. All payments after the date of death: These include pension order books with vouchers with payable dates after the date of death, cheques and electronic payments after the date of death. Failure to return all payments after the date of death will result in the sum of these payments being recovered from the Funeral Grant.
  5. Marriage certificate or proof of common law relationship, where the spouse’s contributions will be used.


  1. Have access to an email address.
  2. Apply online via and follow guidelines as stipulated.
  3. Submit original documents at any of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s office for verification.

These documents are to be submitted within the one-year period immediately after date of death. It is important to note that applications submitted more than one year after the date of death will not be paid.

7. How Do I Improve My Chances?

  1. Include all the names that the pensioner or contributor may have gone by…Pet Name….sometimes the N.I.S. has the same pensioner or contributor with different names based on previous employment
  2. Submit All Supporting Documents
  3. Include the N.I.S. number
  4. If the deceased was a pensioner Include the pension number

8. How is the Funeral Grant Paid?

A funeral grant is a one-off payment that is paid by cheque. The payments are disbursed by each Parish Office.  Each applicant is required to present a valid nationally accepted form of identification (passport, drivers licence or national identification) when collecting the cheque.

9. How Long Does It Take?

If all required documents are submitted and the contributor’s / pensioners records are in good standing – the funeral grant can be disbursed in as little as 1 week. However, if the documents require deep research, the time to disbursement will be considerably longer.

10. What Happens If I Provide False Information?

There will be legal consequence if you are found to be providing false or fraudulent information.

11. What If There are Unfinished Pension Books?

Pension books are to be returned. If your submission is qualified for the grant, the outstanding amount will be deducted from the funeral grant and the payment will be the remaining balance

12. How are Payments Made?

Payments can be

  • By Cheque
  • by Direct Deposit
    • Funeral Home
    • Person with proof of paying funeral expenses
  • Multiple Payments

13. What if there is an N.I.S. Gold Card (Health Card)?

If there is a balance of the monthly allowance remaining on the card, this amount will be recovered and deducted from the funeral grant.

14. Can a Spouse Benefit after the Contributor has Benefited?

The spouse of the contributor can also benefit even of the contributor / pensioner has already benefited from the funeral grant.

15. What about Common Law Unions?

To gain the benefit you will have to prove that

  1. You have been living together for at least 5 years
  2. Complete 2 specific forms for Common Law Unions
  3. Expect a N.I.S. inspector to validate that you have been living together at least 5 years

16. What if the Funeral is Overseas?

N.I.S. Funeral Grant is also available to contributors and pensioners who are buried overseas.

  1. You will need to complete the form
  2. Provide the N.I.S. number or Pension Number
  3. You will need to provide supporting documents that you have paid for the funeral expenses.
  4. Your supporting documents will have to notarized


Please Note : All Online Funeral Grant Applicants are required to have an email address. If you do not have an email address, please create one. Links are provided to create a free new email account. Google or Outlook