(CMR) Older people and adults living with permanent disabilities who receive financial assistance from the Cayman Islands Government will see their monthly stipends from the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) increase by more than 30% immediately.
Recipients of Long-Term Financial Assistance (formerly known as Permanent Financial Assistance) and the Seafarers and Veterans Ex-Gratia Benefit will now receive $1,250 per month, an increase of $300. There will also be a one-time back payment of $300 for the month of July to assist with summer utility increases.
Minister for Investment, Innovation and Social Development Hon. André Ebanks expressed his gratitude to his colleagues within Caucus and Cabinet for their unanimous support of the additional funding.
“As we navigate our current economic and social landscape, ensuring our older persons, seafarers, veterans, and those living with permanent disabilities are supported to receive the services they need is one of my Ministry’s core priorities. This is just one of the many changes we have planned to revolutionize financial assistance. By addressing gaps and providing bespoke services, we can better serve those members of our community who are facing economic challenges,” he said.
“Persons living with permanent disabilities and older persons account for approximately two-thirds of the NAU’s clientele. This group is more likely to need longer periods of financial support, and we have adapted Long-Term Financial Assistance to better support them. With the current economic challenges many in our community are facing, we felt it important to provide this increase now rather than in January, which has traditionally been the case. Our next step is to refine the services we offer to the remaining third of clients who may need transitional or supplementary forms of assistance based on their income or employment status”, Minister Ebanks added.
Additional changes to the NAU will come throughout the remainder of this year as the Ministry and Department continue to work towards implementing the Financial Assistance Act, 2022, which was passed in Parliament last October. The NAU will become the Department of Financial Assistance (DFA) when the legislation commences.