Some 10,000 benefiting from government’s Public Assistance programme

DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, July 22, 2017

Approximately 10,000 persons are currently benefitting from the government’s public assistance programme, Ministry of Social Protection, Director of Services Whenworth Tanner told the Department of Public Information (DPI) in an exclusive interview.

Director of Social Services, Ministry of Social Protection Whenworth Tanner

Tanner explained that the Ministry of Social Protection’s programme caters for three categories of persons eligible for public assistance; the permanently disabled, medically unfit or those who experience economic hardships.

The unit is working with persons by providing assistance to ensure that their children attend school under this programme. Once persons qualify for the government’s fund, the unit works to ensure that their children attend school regularly; this Tanner explained is because “education is a basis or one of the fundamental reasons why persons are able to climb out of poverty.”

The criteria for qualification is ‘means tested’ the Director explained, meaning a social worker makes a home visit, “We check your source of income and we also require you to get a letter from the school stating that the child has been attending school, or not attending school.” A social investigation is conducted and a report is prepared.

The report then goes before a local board of guardians which is basically a board made up of persons from within the community, they adjudicate on it and the assistance is provided, once the criteria is satisfied.

Effective January 1 2017, The Ministry of Social Protection’s Public Assistance was increased from $6500 to $7500

The Ministry of Social Protection’s social services budget was increased by 50 percent for 2017, this has made it possible to effectively provide aid for more persons, Tanner pointed out.

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