Public assistance booklets for August distribution

Persons who have applied and were approved for public assistance from January to June this year, will be able to uplift their booklets by next month.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud said the ministry has been facing a delay because of the large number of applicants this year.

“January to June books have been exhausted because we have had so many applications. We would have had to reprint books, so we are currently printing and getting those books ready for those persons who would’ve already been approved for January to June…We are hoping at least by August,” the minister said during a recent community engagement with residents of Bath Settlement and surrounding communities.

Resident applying for public assistance.

Minister Persaud noted that public assistance books for July to December are available.

She said government is fulfilling its manifesto commitment to ‘provide enhanced benefits for public assistance’ by implementing an automatic renewal system for public assistance beneficiaries who are permanently disabled until they are eligible for old-age pension.

The minister highlighted that this initiative was conceptualised to ease the expense and frustration experienced by having to renew their public assistance application every six months. 

Residents of Bath, Region Five at community engagement.

“I felt that people living with permanent disability were being frustrated. They had to reapply over and over and over and really if you have a permanent disability that is not going to change. So, it cost to get a medical report, whether it is your transportation, whether it is the doctor or whatever you have a cost. So, we are moving that hassle and so persons for this one time in their life they can apply and go all the way up to when they get pension,” the minister said.

A medical report and application are the only requirements needed to benefit from this programme.

Application forms are available at any of the ministry’s offices.

The application exercise is expected to run until next year.