LIFE has been a struggle for I. Kumarakuru after he met with an accident which left him paralysed in both legs three years ago.
The 38-year-old former escort driver of a security company, who had been unable to work since the unfortunate incident, had been dependent on a wheelchair to move around.
“I was travelling on my motorcycle in Batu Maung when a bus knocked me during the 10.30pm incident. It happened during my break time.
“The accident caused both my thigh bones to be broken. The doctors placed metal implants to support the fractured bones,” he said.
Kumarakuru said he had undergone operations four times since the accident and is currently undergoing physiotherapy treatment at a private hospital.
He was among 30 recipients who received compensation from the Social Security Organisation (Socso), in conjunction with the coming Hari Raya celebration.
The presentation ceremony was held at Wisma Perkeso in Burmah Road, George Town.
Kumarakuru received a permanent disability compensation of RM26,204.80 and a helmet during the ceremony.
Another recipient, Teoh Poh Li, also received a compensation payout of RM29,905.20 and a helmet.
Teoh, 46, used to work as a delivery man, before he was involved in a traffic collision between two motorcycles in Balik Pulau last year.
“I was on my way back to the shop after delivering goods when it happened.
“My left arm bone was fractured, and the joint was dislocated as a result of the incident,” he said, adding that he was grateful to Socso for caring about workers’ welfare.
Noorwati Abdul Rahim, 43, whose husband passed away last month, also received a funeral expenses compensation of RM1,500 from Socso at the ceremony.
She said her late husband, Ahmat Makbul Ariffin, had died of heart failure.
She said the financial aid would help lighten her burden.
Penang Socso office manager Shaharuddin Waled, who presented the payout, said a total compensation of RM616,896.37 was given out to the 30 recipients.
He said last year, Penang Socso had processed 8,985 cases of compensation claims with a total payout value of RM18.4mil.
“From January to June this year, Socso had processed 4,601 cases with a total payout of RM10.2mil,” he said.
In his speech, Shaharuddin said Socso has also increased its services through the opening of counters at Urban Transformation Centres (UTC), which is based on the concept of the National Blue Ocean Strategy.
“Improvements such as increasing the qualifying age limit from 55 to 60 years old under the Invalidity Scheme, setting the service allowances at RM500 per month and improving the daily minimum interest rate for temporary and permanent disability, as well as increasing the dependents’ interest from RM10 to RM30, have been carried out in line with the introduction of the RM900 minimum wage.
“This is all done to improve the delivery system and to wider the functions and role of Socso as a protector of employees’ social security,” he said.