Govt’s Public Assistance programme is conditional – Social Services Director

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Government’s Public Assistance programme, administered under the Ministry of Social Protection, is conditional and applicants have to fulfil certain requirements before they receive assistance. This was according to Director of Social Services, Wentworth Tanner.

Currently, there are approximately 10,000 persons benefitting from this programme, under three categories – medical, temporary and economic public assistance.

Whentworth Tanner, Director of Social Services within the Ministry of Social Protection, Whentworth Tanner.

During an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Tuesday, Tanner explained that once a person applies for public assistance, he or she must prove that the monies are being spent for what it is intended.

“If you are applying on behalf of a school-aged child, then the child must be in school and we need to get a letter from the school stating that the child is not only registered but their attendance is about 85 percent,” Tanner explained. However, he said this is dependent on a number of factors, which are not limited to if the child becomes ill.

Public Assistance is a temporary support system instituted by the government to provide welfare services to low-income families. Medical assistance covers persons with temporary health problems, that will prevent them from working, while the economic assistance is given to persons who cannot sustain their families. The permanent public assistance is for persons with permanent disabilities such as paralysis.

For the medical and economic categories, a review of circumstances is conducted every six months, and for the permanent category, once every year. This is to ensure that the persons receiving public assistance are still eligible.

Effective January 1, 2018, Public Assistance increased to $8,000 as compared to $7,500 in 2017 and $6,500 in 2016. This amounts to a 36 percent increase over the last two years.

 

By: Synieka Thorne

 

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