As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect this country, like so many countries around the world, the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services has been advising citizens on how they can access social assistance from the government to help ease any financial burden.

Here are some of the measues in place or on the way to ensure citizens can cope.

Additional financial support to persons already receiving food support for a period of three (3) months. The top up will be included in the April payment for the full three months.

Food Support to families with children registered to receive meals under the School Feeding Programme and do not have a Food Card: To expedite this measure, all 41 Members of Parliament will be allocated fifty (50) Food Support Cards, in the first instance to give to a parent or guardian of the children who fall within this category. The Parent/Guardian will be required to sign a Statutory Declaration in this regard. The delivery of cards to the Members of Parliament is expected to commence from Monday March 23rd 2020.

Additional financial support to recipients of the Public Assistance and Disability Assistance Grants (including the DAG for children), a top up equivalent to the sum of the full three (3) months, depending on the size of the family, to be paid by April 15 2020. Payment for the full three months to be made, $150.00, $300.00 or $450.00 depending on the size of the household.

The MSDFS, working with the Ministry of Health, the TTPS and the Local Government bodies will institute the “move along system” for street dwellers to come off the streets and go to shelters. Additional financial support will be provided to NGOs that operate these shelters to ensure that they are equipped to provide enough meals for this anticipated increase.

T&TEC will immediately stop disconnections as a result of non-payment. This will directly impact 87% of residential customers, who are most likely experiencing financial vulnerability at this time;

The Ministry of Public Utilities will ensure measures are instituted for increased broadband access for customers.

Please contact the Ministry of Social Development for further information.