Many persons who normally uplift and cash their Public Assistance vouchers at the Mosque in Alexander village have expressed frustration over the constant running around for the last several weeks without success.
They complained of being told that the booklets are not available as yet or the Ministry of Human Services is reviewing the respective applicants.
According to some of the applicants, who requested anonymity, since January, 2011 they have been visiting the mosque in Alexander Village every Tuesday for their Public Assistance, however, weeks have passed and they are unable to receive anything from the Ministry of Human Services.
“If we had money to carry us through the month, we would not be running here every Tuesday to see if we could get the little money,” one woman said.
According to a Ministry of Human Services official, a Board Meeting was recently held to address the issue of Public Assistance, however, because of the amount of persons that are on the list it has to be reviewed.
It was also noted that the first Tuesday in March, persons who are supposed to be collecting their public assistance should be able to cash their vouchers.
It was explained that every six months some persons would be taken off the programme, since the assistance is only meant for that period.
According to the official at the end of the six months, it is then reviewed to determine whether the recipient’s financial circumstances have changed.
The official said that Public Assistance is meant to provide support for a while to persons in need who are facing severe financial difficulties so that they may be able to overcome their challenges.
To receive Public Assistance, people are asked to do a means test to determine whether they qualify for the programme.
The 2011 Budget contains increases that will benefit 9,000 persons currently receiving Public Assistance at a rate of $5,500 per month with effect from February 1, 2011. The Public Assistance programme targets cases of temporarily incapacitated individuals.
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