THE early distribution of the 2022 old-age pension books by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is geared at reducing the frustration of Guyana’s senior citizens, Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud said.
The government commenced the distribution of the pension books earlier this month, months before the customary end of year. The distribution has allowed citizens, 65 years and older, to secure their books, reducing the hassle many endure at the end of each year.
On Wednesday, Minister Persaud said that this is the first time the government is moving in this direction.
“When I got into the ministry, one thing that struck me was the time that it took for pensioners to get their books for the forthcoming year. In fact, it always seems to be very difficult for them and they were frustrated so this year, I wanted it to be very different for them to have a better experience,” Dr. Persaud said during an interview on Radio Essequibo 95.5.
The Human Services Minister said a lot of work was put into ensuring the pensioners receive their 2022 booklets early. She said most of the regions have already been completed.
“So, I think the pensioners are armed and ready with their 2022 pension booklet in due time,” she stated.
Along with the distribution of the pension booklets, some 65,000 old-age pensioners have also been benefitting from the government’s $25,000 one-off cash grant.
The ministry has placed distribution centres in convenient areas, allowing pensioners to cash their vouchers at post offices or money transfer agencies such as MoneyGram, and Western Union.
Additionally, a countrywide registration exercise was conducted to ensure public assistance recipients and persons living with disabilities benefit from the government’s $25,000 one-off cash grant initiative.
The ministry will be conducting a similar exercise from November 1-4 to ensure all vulnerable citizens benefit.
The minister also introduced the ‘shut-in’ programme for old-age pensioners who have difficulties visiting nearby distribution outlets. The initiative will see officers distributing pensions every afternoon during the week.
“What we also did was to expand the shut-in numbers. Late last year, we started the shut-in delivery, so which means if people are bedridden or for some reason it is difficult for them to get their pension, maybe they are visually impaired, something is not okay with them, they are very ill, you can encourage them to sign up for the shut-in distribution system.”
Pensioners also have the option of surrendering their booklets and signing up for the banking system and have their pension deposited into their accounts within the first five days of every month. (DPI)