Socso explains its rejection of blind woman’s claim

PETALING JAYA: The Social Security Organisation (Socso) has denied a report that an accident at work caused a cleaning lady to go blind and that the organisation was therefore wrong to have rejected her claim for compensation.

Responding to a Tamil Nesan report about S Rathina, 52, Socso said its investigations found that no workplace accident had taken place.

It also referred to health problems Rathina reported in 2011 and said it was found that she was suffering from a form of shingles.

Rathina claimed that her problems were related to work, where she was exposed to liquid cleaners, but none of her co-workers experienced the same problem, the statement said.

Our investigations indicated that work environment factors could be the reason for the problems.

According to Tamil Nesan, Rathina claimed that she lost her sight after cleaning chemicals splashed into her eye in May 2011.

The paper said she was certified blind in 2015 and that Socso had kept her case under review although she had repeatedly applied for compensation.

Socso said Rathina initially submitted an application for Temporary Disablement Benefit on Nov 30, 2011, for pain in her right eye, hair loss and peeling of the skin on her forehead.

Following a probe, Socso wrote to her on Jan 26, 2012, advising her to submit a Notice of Occupational Disease together with a medical report.

Socso said it wasn’t until three years later that she submitted the notice and a medical report from the Ipoh Specialist Centre.

On July 8, 2015, she was referred to Socso’s Special Medical Board, which verified that she didn’t suffer from an occupational disease as defined under Section 28 of the Employees’ Social Security Act.

Socso said the medical board found that she was suffering from herpes zoster ophthalmicus, a form shingles.

The decision to reject Rathina’s application was conveyed to her in a letter dated July 9, 2015, but Socso received her appeal only last week.

Following her appeal, we have referred her case to the Appellate Medical Board and her case will be heard on April 12, 2017, in Ipoh, Perak.

The appellate board’s decision will be final.

Source: Malaysian Trades Union Congress