One-off vouchers go to WP holders in need

| 07/04/2020 | 47 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): As government works on arranging airlifts for stranded foreign workers, now without jobs and unable to look after themselves, some of those in desperate need began receiving one-off food vouchers this week, each worth $150. The first vouchers were handed out Tuesday and more will be handed out Thursday. A total of 76 applications, including three from the Sister Islands, were made but it is not clear how many were approved.

Meanwhile, support for Caymanians in need is being made through the Department of Children and Family Service and the Needs Assessment Unit. The NAU said it is now helping 1,681 families that have been approved for assistance but another 136 new applications will be processed by the end of this week. 

Reading a report from the community affairs ministry at the briefing on Monday, the premier, who is responsible for that portfolio, said that five people have been recruited to the call centre to help with the applications still coming in.

See details below of how to get assistance:

Non Caymanians in need should not contact DCFS or NAU. Inquires can continue to be made by:


  • People who have already submitted an application may call 244-2426, for confirmation of approval of services.
  • Contact for NAU can still be made to 


  • The Hotline for the Aging population is 1-800-534- 2222
  • The MASH Team can be contacted at 1-800-534-2273 or emailed at MASH@
  • For emergencies call  911
  • Other general inquires and information for non-emergency related issues between 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, contact:
    • Phone:  345-916-2837 / 345-926-6853
    • Email:

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Comments (47)

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  1. Rock and a hard place says:

    The government are asking for landlords to allow the tenants who are not able to pay to stay in their rentals. They also are aware of work permit holders who are not able to work at this time and are refusing to make arrangements to leave so how long do landlords need to allow persons to stay rent free? Is CUC and Water Authority going to give a pass for a unknown amount of time? Most landlords are sympathetic to those persons but for how long can they be expected to do so? Those who are not able to survive here need to arrange to leave, sorry but the government can’t carry the weight of those persons and sacrifice the people who have the right to be here. Companies or persons that can’t pay their workers need to cancel the work permits and explain the importance of going home until they can bring them back. If this lockdown continues past this month we are going to be in a worse situation if these people aren’t sent home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely the government has a duty of care in respect of every resident like any other country to protect and care for everyone within it’s borders even those unfortunate enough not to be a citizen. This school of thought that I am Caymanian and deserve to be at the front of the queue for handouts is unfortunate at best and un-christian like.

      • Anonymous says:

        They practice a branch of Christianity called “What’s in it for me?” here. It’s not a values-based religion, but revolves more around financial considerations.

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe the government is doing all it can to help everyone, but I don’t understand your rationale that Caymanians should not be at the front of the queue. Tell me which other country.that would do anything differently.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well they’ve been giving away our jobs now giving them our money…expats have money held in their pension…give them their funds and send them on. As much as they have taken our jobs and lowered our wages cause they’re willing to work for less…I’ve never got 150 from govt.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who else are you going to rent to? Will you magically find new tenants?

      • Anonymous says:

        No, but a tenant that is non existent (and so does not run up an electricity and water bills) may be better than having a tenant in these circumstances. If employers gave the tenants the monies that are legally due, some arrangements could be made, including significant discounts. The government does not seem able to enforce the rights of employees and the result is that everyone is suffering.

      • Anonymous says:

        that is the landlords choice.

    • Anonymous says:

      For starters understand this is an unprecedented time and we have never dealt with such circumstances before. Secondly if evicted, who will you rent to? Viewings of apartments and (I believe) moving are not considered essential and therefor not allowed. Not to mention there is no demand due to population drop. Everyone needs to communicate with everyone they can to ride out the wave. Talk to you lenders. Talk to your tenants…talk to their employer if you’d like. If we can all ride this out and get to the other side it will start to come back and things will be ok.
      Don’t be on the wrong side of history with all this kick-out-the-expats stuff and looking to evict tenants everywhere. If the shoe was on the other foot you’d have a very different view of this.

      • Anonymous says:

        No one is saying expats should be kicked out. They are however saying that foreign nationals who have no employment, no means of support, and no basis to be here, should leave – with assistance if necessary.

        • Anonymous says:

          You might not be saying that. But reading through plenty of these threads plenty of people are. Plus if those expats go home they won’t have work there either until this ends and turns around. So may as well find a way to make it work until we get to the other side.

          • Anonymous says:

            No, your option leaves Cayman bankrupt and with a 50% unemployment rate. Having unemployed expatriates leave will keep the unemployment rate, and costs, to much more manageable levels.

          • Anonymous says:

            That’s life..

  2. Anonymous says:

    So annoyed that I should be required to attend a class on how to run a business, lead by someone who has no clue. Okay enlighten me Joey on how I can repurpose 100k worth of Cayman name dropped hoodies.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is our beloved Christian country with Christian principles. The Father above is REAL.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is the right thing for the government to do in these unprecedented times. I also hope that the government is collecting their employment details to ensure that they are properly compensated as required by law.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Send them Home… the few Caymanians abroad will have to come.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Be safe: please stop this stupidness about “people” helping us build our islands…. the cane here to work and they “got” paid. End of subject!

    Where ever Caymanians go – to work or otherwise – they don’t expect that country to sustain them! They find their way back home (to Cayman).

    • Get your facts right child! says:

      Hmm, your completely wrong in your last statement.

      I know at least ten Caymanians that have moved to the UK, never paid taxes and now living off benifits over there and they get free medical and a couple free housing.

      I recall back in the 60’s expats moving here and your probably to young to remember, they built our finance industry, they built our hotels.
      These are people you call today Caymanians? Or are you just reffering to those that have been here a couple of years?
      Expats did help us build our island and have played a very large role as to why we have what we have today.
      Maybe you need to get off the rock and see the real world, I’m pretty sure you won’t make it you bigotted pr@ck!

      We are all in this boat together, we should support each other, expats, Caymanians it’s that simple.

      • Anonymous says:

        No Caymanians are in the UK scrounging off benefits. Plenty of people with British Citizenship are however. Do you understand the difference? Thousands of Caymanians are not British Citizens, and have no right to live in the UK, or in many cases, to even travel there.

        • Anon says:

          5.02pm We are talking about thousands of Caymanians who courtesy of the generosity of the British Govt have been able to acquire full British citizenship. Many have settled in the UK and enjoyed the benefits afforded to British nationals including free education for their children and all can travel there freely and obtain employment without a work permit with all the hassle and cost it entails in Cayman.Please explain why a Caymanian would not be able to travel to the UK and if you do not have a British passport please tell us why.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thousands of Caymanians are not British citizens or even BOTC’s. They are unable to acquire either a British or BOTC (Cayman Islands) passport. Often the only passports they hold are those of the USA, Jamaica or Honduras. They are Caymanian (even if because Mac gave them status) but they have never acquired British or BOTC Citizenship. Even some who try to acquire a British Citizenship cannot, either because they cannot produce the documentation required, have spend too long away from the Cayman Islands in any particular year, or fail the good character test.

        • Anonymous says:

          They absolutely have the right if they took the time to apply.
          Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Now it’s too late to help them now. Tsk tsk

    • Anonymous says:

      how are they going to get home? swim? they want to go home but can’t

      Not everyone is British, they fly to London and have to go into quarantine, so have to have money to pay for where ever they will stay in London, then try and get another flight somewhere else, except most places have closed their borders.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is not a problem that applies to a great many Jamaicans, Hondurans, Americans, Canadians, Cubans, etc. who are stuck here. They are one flight away from their homes. They just need to let governments (outs and theirs) that they want out.

        • Anonymous says:

          Canadian govt is paying for flights to get home. Canadian govt is giving people money every month if unemployed. The cayman govt should not be supporting them.

          • Anon says:

            @3:05am get your facts straight. The Canadian government is ‘loaning’ Canadian funds if needed to come home. They are also not ‘giving’ Canadians’ money. You need to qualify to get those benefits and that requires having worked in Canada the previous year for a certain amount of hours. The Canadians living in Cayman would not qualify for such.
            Spread love not hate at a time like this.

            • Anonymous says:

              If Cayman had been levying income tax in the high tax bracket that Canada does we would probably have the means to charter planes, loan funds and do all the things that are being expected. Please be grateful for small mercies, it could be much worse.

    • Say it like it is says:

      3.20 A classic comment founded on bottomless ignorance. The Finance Industry has been the mainstay of our economy since the late sixties when the likes of John Maples and Douglas Calder and Bill Walker arrived here and founded the principal law firms that still bear their names. Like Peter Bird, Mike Austin, Chris Johnson and others who helped set up the major accounting firms we have now, like John Collins who set up Scotiabank & Trust. All these people and many others built this country into one of the biggest offshore financial centres in the world with the help of educated Caymanians and the wise stewardship of Vassal Johnson, the Financial Secretary.
      Please educate yourself now, it’s never too late to learn.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a fool. I’d explain why but a number of others have already done so.

  7. Anonymous says:

    For years Cayman has become more and more addicted to slave labour. Who can really live off $4.50 or $6.00 an hour and in some cases be forced to work many extra hours without being appropriately paid? Yes, people make a choice to come here and work for those wages but that does not mean it’s right.
    Now Caymanians have a chance to truly show their CaymanKind generosity and put their money where their mouth is. Many foreign workers won’t have jobs for weeks and through no fault of their own, won’t be able to fly home. It’s time for “locals” to pay these workers what they have been owed for a long time. Open your homes, your wallets and minds. Help these people who have helped you for so long, for so little.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Exactly right. These people on work permit sacrificed to come here. Yes, they made a minimal wage and send as much as they can home. That is laudable. We should be able to do the same. There was a time when most clerk and hospitality jobs were filled with Caymanians.

      The work permit holders do jobs Caymanians aren’t willing to do. They deserve our support and protection; they are part of us, part of the fabric that makes this place function. We cannot just cast them aside. If we can help those get home that want to, we should. The rest — we’re in this all together, folks.

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously don’t own a business.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a load of crap!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can there not be an effective tip line that victims can report being let go without receiving required compensation? Some employers are flagrantly breaching their employees (Caymanians and Expatriates) rights, and seem to be able to act with impunity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ssssh. Giving an effective tip line would interfere with the slave trade. The whole point of some businesses in Cayman is to be able to exploit foreign labor without ever being accountable!

    • Anonymous says:

      What required compensation? Last pay? Anything outside of that is not required. I don’t understand why in a crisis people are always looking for free money.

      • Anonymous says:

        Their last pay together with severance pay, notice pay, and accrued but untaken vacation pay, are all required by law when someone is made redundant. Too many employers are getting away with paying nothing.

  10. be safe says:

    I would like to say as a Caymanian this is
    unprecedent times. I would like to thank all our guest workers who have help us Caymanians build our country. We appreciate you, however as a country we can not continue to give you money to live. Many of you have become our close friends and even our extend family and this is a very difficult decision which we have to make.
    The situation is not going to improve for the next 8 months at least. If your employer does not have any work for you and can not afford to pay you it is time for you to return home. When things improve you will be welcomed back by all of us.

    As employers we must face the hard truth as our Premier said. “It will not be business as usual,” and you must scale back your business. This means letting workers go or lose your business.

    As Caymanians this involves tighen our belts and living with less and doing more. No more having someone clean your house or cut your yard. This will define us as a people. It will be talked about by our child for the next 70years. Remember calm seas never made a good sailors. This is an opportunity for us to learn a new skill, multi-task and develop our character. We all have improved oursleves already by learning some new computer skill.

    When these hard times have passed we will be glad to welcome back our guest workers and friends. Thank you for understanding and please be safe.

    Your Caymanian friend

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree! Our island would never function without our work permit holders. However, the condition of them being a guest in the country is stable employment and if that employment has ended, it’s time to head home until jobs become available again.

      Every employer is required to report to government the names of those persons whose employment has been terminated. Why is that not the case in this current situation? It shouldn’t be left to the unemployed to choose to contact the travel hotline if they want to leave. There should be no choice in the matter!

      Ideally, the employer should share the cost of repatriation.

      That repatriation needs to happen quickly. It should not fall on our government to financially support them on a long term basis.

      • Anonymous says:

        The employers did share the cost of repatriation. CI$200 has been paid for every work permit holder, whether they require repatriation or not. The fact that the government has spent the money on Mac flying back and forth, having a personal driver, and enjoying fancy dinners, is irrelevant. Most employers have actually done their part when it comes to contributing to the cost of repatriation.

        • Anon says:

          Which country can he reached for 200? We should stop changing rules to suit everyone. An Employer should have to pay whatever a one-way ticket costs to the employees’s country of origin or the employee should have to have return ticket as used to
          be the case.

          • Anonymous says:

            For every 10 people whose employer paid CI$200, only one (at most) needs to be repatriated. There is nowhere on earth that cannot be reached, one way, for CI$2,000.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed they all need to go home because looting will start as of May 1st if it hasn’t already.

    • Anon says:

      1.35pm As an expatriate who has fortunately retired here, I commend your sentiments, you would make “Beaumont” proud. It is however incumbent on Govt as well as expedient, to progress a means of repatriation as soon as possible.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fully agreed. But government should keep a record of those employers whose employees had to be repatriated at Government expense, and why. The employers have some responsibility.

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