Reg. 4 pensioners happy with one-off cash grant, 2022 books
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, interacts with pensioners during the distribution exercise in Region Four this week
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, interacts with pensioners during the distribution exercise in Region Four this week

–ministry appeals for persons to utilise multiple days of the week

THE Ministry of Human Services and Social Security rolled out the massive distribution exercise of the one-off $25,000 cash grant along with the 2022 pension book delivery in Region Four and found that pensioners were extremely happy to receive such.

Being able to uplift both the grant and book in just one trip, pensioners lauded the Ministry for this “forward-thinking approach.” The pensioners and public assistance recipients were thrilled with the extra cash and already have plans on how to spend it.

There was some amount of crowding at several locations since the exercise got underway last Monday, and subject minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, had cautioned against everyone choosing to show up on the first two days of the exercise, when in fact, multiple days are available to catchment areas.

“I want to thank the pensioners for being patient with us as we roll this out in a very ambitious way. We would be visiting all the locations to ensure that things run smoothly,” Dr. Persaud told reporters early last Monday at the Campbellville Secondary School.

Persons have undoubtedly been very eager to receive their vouchers and pension books for 2022 and offered kind words of gratitude to Minister Persaud during her interactions with them. She has pledged to personally look into issues as they come up during her visit to the various locations.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, interacts with pensioners during the distribution exercise in Region Four this week

As the week progressed, the process seemed to have become more orderly and simpler and persons now seem to be more willing to follow protocol and the procedures in place. However, the ministry reminded the public that it is necessary for persons to show up in the area that is assigned to serve them.

Upon uplifting their vouchers, many persons have been questioning where they can get them cashed. The ministry reminded that the vouchers are valid until November 30 and can be cashed at any post office, Money Gram, or Sure Pay, all of the alternate venues.

The ministry has also noted that persons who cannot walk have been showing up at distribution sites with their relatives. These individuals are reminded that they can apply for ‘shut-in’ assistance so that their vouchers and books can be delivered to them.

“We are very happy with the turnout we are seeing. This is the first time we are distributing the books of the coming year this early and we’re happy that so many are coming out to uplift,” Deputy Director of Social Services, Hamwanttie Bisesar has said.

She pointed out that the ministry is doing its best to fast track the process and called on pensioners to understand the reason they may have to wait for an extended period of time.

“The process takes a bit longer than usual because we have to go through one list for the pension book and one for the voucher, so we’re asking everyone to bear with us because we have to go through two lists to get them their items,” she explained.

Meanwhile, several pensioners have thanked the government and the Ministry of Human Services for making the assistance possible, noting that the extra money will help them with their bills, groceries, and other necessary expenses.

Sixty-seven-year-old Llewellyn Gardner got on the road at 05:00 hours last Monday and was therefore among the first set of persons to uplift his book and voucher at the Campbellville Secondary School. “I feel blessed. Thank God for the President. I’m thankful for this opportunity,” he remarked.

Minister Persaud and Permanent Secretary, Shannielle Hoosein-Outar, chipped in to make the work of the volunteers at the Turkeyen site lighter last Monday. Due to the large number of persons present there, Dr. Persaud cancelled visiting the other locations she had planned and concentrated on helping those present there. She also stopped in at other locations and stayed to help with the process.

The $25,000 cash grant and electricity subsidy specifically target vulnerable groups such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, and those who rely on public assistance. It was announced recently by President Irfaan Ali.

Persons eligible for the grant are urged to check the newspapers and the Facebook Page of the Human Services Ministry for regular updates and schedules. (Ministry of Human Services and Social Security press release)

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