Procedure of Claiming Gratuity after A TSC Teacher Dies
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) moved almost all its services online recently making it easier for teachers and their next of kin to get the services they need at the touch of their fingertips.
However, most of the Commission’s services such as how to claim gratuity, pension and other benefits are not as obviously known among the public as one could expect. In this article, we are addressing this by giving you the procedure of claiming gratuity once a teacher employed by the Commission has died.
When a teacher loses his/her life it can be a thankless task of trying to access assistance from government offices for the same.
Many people have complained that they get the benefits almost a year or more later leading to them being frustrated during times of uncertainty.
Processing and payment of death benefits should not ideally take this long. It should take at most three months for the family of the bereaved to get the benefits to be able to have an easier time moving on from the difficult time.
Death gratuity is paid as a one-off lump sum amount to the legal representative of a deceased teacher who served on permanent and pensionable terms.
The amount payable as death gratuity is equivalent to two years’ salary calculated on the pay at the time of death.
The mandate for payment of these benefits is stipulated in the Pensions Department of the National Treasury. However, for teachers, it is the Teachers Service Commission that processes death gratuity claims and submits them to the Treasury for payment to be effected.
Reasons why the processing of death gratuity may take a long time than expected
Missing documents, incomplete documents and wrongly filled documents can lead to a longer waiting time for gratuity to be processed.
- Filling wrong declaration
If a spouse to a deceased teacher fills a guardian declaration form instead of a widow/widower form instead of a dependent form.
- Family/succession disputes
This can happen when there are multiple partners and or dependents and they fail to reach an agreement on who should be the legal personal representative.
In such cases, the required documents are not submitted in order to facilitate processing of the claim for death gratuity.
- Inability to trace next of kin
The headteacher or principal to the last station where the teacher taught is the first person to receive communicate of the death of a teacher.
Sometimes Heads of institutions may not have contact of the next of kin like in cases where the teacher was not teaching in their home county.
If contact addresses and telephone numbers written on the next of kin forms in the records can affect the process if they are no longer active.
How to Solve Problems That Delay Payment of Death Benefits
Delays to claiming benefits can be solved by doing the following:
- Teachers should fill the next of kin form every time there is a change in the details of the next of kin, dependents and contact details.
- Where there are two or more wives, all of them should fill declaration forms unless they agree to nominate one of them as their legal representative. This kind of agreement must be in writing and should be signed by each one of the,.
- Where the teacher and the spouse are both deceased, children should nominate one of them to be paid on their behalf and their written agreement must be signed by all of them and witnessed by the area Chief.
- The next of kin of deceased teachers should be encouraged to seek assistance from the Human Resource Officers (HRO) stationed in all TSC County and sub-county offices when filling and submitting the documents required for processing of death gratuity claims.
What are the main documents required for processing of a death gratuity?
- The widow/widower declaration form is filled by a husband/wife whose spouse has passed on.
- The dependents declaration form is filled by children whose both parents are deceased or the deceased parent was not married or by a parent/sibling/other guardian in the case of a deceased teacher who was not married and had no children.
- The GP 215 Form is filled (together with the dependents declaration form) by a parent/sibling/other guardian in the case of a male deceased teacher who was not married and had no children.
Documents required to be attached to the declaration forms
- Letters from schools/institutions for children/dependents who are aged 17 years and above but undergoing full-time education.
- Certified ATM card copy/bank plate for next kin
- Copy of KRA Pin certificate for the next of kin
- Certified ID of next of kin
- Certified copies of IDs for children above 24 years
- Certified copies of birth certificates of all children who are 2 years and below
- Original death certificate (which is returned to next of kin after certification)
- Chiefs letter on original letterhead introducing the next of kin and all dependents