More citizens to receive COVID grants from this week

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is expected to increase the number of payments to citizens who have applied for grants to help them through the current COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, more extremely vulnerable households—identified via the Emergency Food Call Centre—will receive food hampers from this week, as the Ministry has teamed up with the Rural Development and Local Government Ministry to ensure distribution.

According to news release issued today by the Ministry, the grants being paid out include income support, food support and rental assistance.

The Ministry also reminds citizens that they must use their National ID Card when applying for and collecting the grants, in order to reduce the incidence of fraud and payments duplication.

The full text of the statement from the Ministry, follows…

INCREASE IN NUMBER OF COVID-19 SOCIAL SUPPORT GRANT PAYMENTS IN UPCOMING WEEK

Port of Spain—The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Social Development and Family Services wishes to advise that the processing of applications for persons who have experienced loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased volume. Over 12,000 applications were received, and  a number of households are expected to receive their payments in the upcoming week.

These payments are for the range of grants, including, income support, food support and rental assistance. According to Minister Robinson-Regis, the Ministry aims to fulfill its promise to bringing relief to those who have been negatively affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an obligation to account to taxpayers in a timely and transparent manner, applications were rigorously checked and balanced to ensure accountability and to prevent fraudulent receipt of funds.  Minister Robinson-Regis has noted the concerns persons have expressed regarding using other forms of identification apart from the identification card; however, the National ID card is being utilised as the unique identifier to prevent the incidence of fraud and duplication in payments. The public is also reminded that expired ID cards are permissible.

Applicants are informed that once they are deemed eligible for the rental assistance that the landlord will be contacted to effect the payment and the applicant will be duly informed when the transaction is completed.

Additionally, the Ministry instituted an emergency food hamper initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government to deliver hampers to needy households through the Emergency Food Call Centre. This Centre has been upgraded to ensure greater efficiency in the upcoming week.

The Minister and the Ministry wish to assure the public that it remains committed to bringing relief to those who have been negatively affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that no one is left behind as we begin to chart the road to recovery.

For further details, please contact the Ministry at (868) 623-2608, extensions 5405, 5424, 5432; or TOLL FREE at 800–1MSD (800–1673).