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Wickhan Teifer shows his salary relief grant application form after filling it out outside TTPost on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

The negative impact of COVID-19 on the pockets of thousands in this country is evident in the long lines of people at the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS).

However, the entire process can be done online, reducing the need for long lines outside of government offices.

For those going the online route, application forms for accessing the grants are available on the websites of the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development( https://www.molsed.gov.tt), the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (http://www.social.gov.tt) and TTConnect (http://www.ttconnect.gov.tt).

The grants being offered by the government at this time are income support, food support, and rental fee support.

Families whose children are registered with the School Feeding Programme and are not in receipt of a food card will be eligible for receipt of a temporary food card for a period of three months.

The support covers employers, employees and self-employed persons who have been affected by COVID-19 since March 1, 2020.

Once one goes on to either of the websites they are required to have certain documents to begin the process.

They will need copies of their national identification (not Driver’s Permit) for each affected employee who is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and a Certificate of Registration for permanent residents.

Also, Certificate of Registration/Incorporation of the employer and the applicant would be required to submit a letter from his/her previous or current employer as proof of retrenchment/termination or reduced income accordingly.

Where there are employed members of the family, apart from the applicant, proof of actual earnings must be submitted such as a payslip and job letter.

For rental assistance, applicants are required to submit a rental agreement, evidence of most recent payment and a copy of the landlord’s or landlady’s ID Card (payment will be made directly to the landlord or landlady).

Once the form is completed, there is an email address to send it to, based on location.

They are, [email protected] (Barataria/Blanchiessuse to Toco), [email protected] (Morvant to Maraval/Las Cuevas/Diego Martin/Petit

Valley/Chaguaramas), [email protected] (Chase Village; Caroni; Felicity; Chaguanas; Tabaquite;

Manzanilla; Couva; Talparo; Freeport; Claxton Bay and surrounding areas), [email protected] (Pointe-a-Pierre to Moruga/Icacos/Rio

Claro/Guayaguayare) and [email protected] (Tobago).

According to the guidelines, when submitting the completed application by email, please ensure that the “subject” is sent in the following format:

Area/First Name/Last Name /Identification Number.

If the verification process conducted by the National Employment Services (NES), deems the application in order that application will be referred to the Social Welfare Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services for final assessment and the processing of the relevant grants.

For self-employed persons, the application must be supported by two (2) recommendations from verifiable sources eg, Police Divisional Commander, School Principal, Senior Public Servant, Community Leader in Upright Standing, Pastor, Imam, Priest, etc.

If one is unable to complete the process online then they can pick up a form at the nearest police station and once completed, drop the form at the social welfare office close to where they live.