STATEMENT BY CHIEF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, MRS ANNIE MALONE
PRESS CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS
MONDAY, 27 JUNE 2022
Thank you, Hon. Minister and Good Morning to you Madam moderator, PS Davies, the viewing and listening audience, other Government officials, and the media. This morning I have the privilege to outline the transitional grant process for the next three months from July – September 2022. I will further provide information on other support services available to needy households through the Social Development Department.
Beneficiaries of grants from the HOA will receive their last assistance grants during this coming week and, it is envisaged that an explanatory letter from the Clerk of HOA, outlining the process moving forward will be provided to each beneficiary. Therefore, as of June 30, 2022, the transfer of assistance grants from HOA to SDD will be officially concluded.
As of July 1, 2022, Social Development Department will hold sole responsibilities for the issuance of assistance grants to the three hundred and sixty-two persons (362) transitioning over from HOA for a period of Three months (July – September), at the same rate previously granted from the HOA.
The primary purpose of continuing the assistance grants in its current form, is to avoid any financial hardship or disenfranchisement to current individuals and families. Moreover, during the three-month period, beneficiaries will be further digitally registered and assessed to determine final eligibility to participate in the Public Assistance Program. Registration is scheduled to begin the third week of July. To assist with the registration and assessment process, a total of twenty-four staff members from across the department will conduct the registrations and assessments.
Following the assessments, eligible individuals and families will from October 2022, become enrolled as a Public Assistance beneficiary and receive rates stipulated under the 2013 Public Assistance Statue.
We are mindful that after the initial three-month transitional period, persons from among the 362 persons may not want to participate in the process for Public Assistance, please understand that you have the right to decide and whatever your decision, we certainly respect your right to your decision.
This is what persons can expect during the implementation process:
- Cheques will be available for collection during the last week of each month from the following locations:
- On Tortola at the Treasury Department located in Fish Bay; Skelton Bay Lot, Building 12.
- On the Sister Islands (Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke) at District Offices.
- Persons who are not able to collect the cheques themselves can assign someone else in writing to receive their cheques on their behalf.
In special circumstances, the Social Development Department may arrange to have the cheques delivered.
The following exclusionary grants will not be considered during the Transition period nor under the Public Assistance Program.
- Educational grants, awards, and prizes
- Grants for athletic, recreational, and entertainment purposes
- Grants to support businesses and religious organization's
- Grants to fishers, farmers, and other food producers
- Infrastructural projects
Please note that every effort will be made to refer persons to the appropriate avenues for services or requests not administered by the Public Assistance Program.
Public Assistance is a needs-based program designed to provide financial support and services to individuals and households in need, to enable them to achieve at least a minimum degree of economic security.
Persons Eligible to Apply for PA
Applicants must meet at least ONE of the following criteria:
- Belonger, or [permanent] Resident; or
- Married to a Belonger and living together with that person in the Virgin Islands; or
- Is responsible for the care of a dependent person who is a Belonger or resident.
Priority will be given to vulnerable children, persons over 65, unemployed persons, and persons with disabilities.
Categories of Assistance Grants
Food and Household Supplies
Funeral and Burial Assistance
Monthly Financial Assistance
I thank you for this time to share information on this Transitional period from HOA to Social Development Department and subsequent processes associated with this transfer.