The government has made available a monthly pay-out of EC$200 to vulnerable Vincentians who are not captured by the Public Assistance Programme.
Financing for this, through December 2020, was included in the EC$74 million stimulus package that Parliament approved in April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is meant to be an add-on to what we traditionally call ‘Poor Relief’, the social benefit that we provide, but without those restrictions,” Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday.
“You don’t have to be a senior citizen. What you have to establish is that you’re vulnerable and that your vulnerability has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.
“Maybe you say, you had somebody who used to sending a monthly remittance to you, but they have been laid off or they are unable to do it so you are more vulnerable now.
“Maybe you have a family member who helps support you who is one of these unemployed people so they are not in a position now to assist you.
“Maybe you are elderly and vulnerable and had not previously been captured under the social benefits but now your vulnerability has been exacerbated. You are eligible for a $200 a month payment for the remainder of the year.” the finance minister said.
Persons applying for this type of assistance can do so at the Ministry of Mobilization.
Gonsalves said: “That’s where you will go to get this $200 a month and if you are vulnerable. If you have been affected, you should go in and explain your situation at the ministry, and have them evaluate you and tell you whether or not you’re eligible.
“This is not something that you can say you’re disqualified because you’re too young, or you’re disqualified because your friend has a job or somebody else in the house has a job or whatever. Go in and apply. And the Ministry of Social Welfare will process your claim for an interim assistance benefit.”