Seniors and disabled get $300 benefit rise

| 08/08/2023 | 33 Comments

(CNS): Adults living with permanent disabilities and seniors who receive financial support from the government are getting an early increase in those benefits this year, officials have announced. The monthly stipend administered by the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) will increase by more than 30% to $1,250 per month from the current payments of $950, with immediate effect.

Recipients of long-term financial assistance (previously permanent financial assistance), including seafarers and veterans, will also get a one-time back payment of $300 for July to help with summer utility bill hikes.

Social Development Minister André Ebanks thanked his colleagues in 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,” he said in a press release announcing the increase. “This is just one of the many changes we have planned to revolutionise financial assistance. By addressing gaps and providing bespoke services, we can better serve those members of our community who are facing economic challenges.”

Ebanks’ ministry has already introduced the Financial Assistance Act, 2022, replacing the Poor Person’s Relief Law, but the regulations that will deal with the details of who qualifies for financial help, how much they can get, the type of help that will be made available and the conditions attached to it have yet to be completed.

While Ebanks has spoken at length of wanting to tie welfare to work, there are a significant number of Caymanians being assisted by the government who are unable to work and whose circumstances are unlikely to change. The minister has said the aim is to create some certainty around their benefits and work on creating a more flexible scheme for those who will be able to return to or eventually enter the world of work.

Ebanks said that people living with permanent disabilities and older folk account for around two-thirds of all of the NAU’s clients.

“This group is more likely to need longer periods of financial support, and we have adapted Long-Term Financial Assistance to better support them,” he said. “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.”

More changes to the NAU will be rolled out during the remainder of this year, officials said, as the ministry and department continue to work towards the full implementation of the Financial Assistance Act, 2022, which was passed in parliament last October.

Ebanks has said that other benefits are likely to be increased once the complete overhaul of the system has been increased, and the type of support available will also be adapted to enable people to become more self-sufficient, such as assistance with child care or transport costs to allow single parents a pathway back to work.

Meanwhile, the Progressives have been pressing the government to increase the stipend paid to the indigent and the elderly to as much as $1,500 in this budget, a jump of 58%, which would amount to an increase of more than $15 million per year.

The government was already expected to spend some CI$26 million on such payments this year, but with the new payment increase for five months of the year, that will now be around $30 million.

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (33)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is clear to see what is happening to the mindset of the general population. Almost all now feel they are entitled to a handout too because others are getting free money. Pandora’s box is now wide open! Madness but it’s a great way fund one’s re-election chances – legally!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Handout capital of the world


  3. Anonymous says:

    How is it that the numbers in the veteran’s and seamen’s categories do not seem to be reducing at the expected natural pace?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because, 11:50, we have to keep paying for all these young Filipina and Honduran girls our old seamen married. The men are dying off but the young wives will be with us for many years to come.

      • Anonymous says:

        And their children. And their children’s children. And their children’s children’s children. None even sharing DNA with their long deceased Caymanian seafarer “sponsor.”

    • Anonymous says:

      The local Welfare State grows
      While the imposition of fees taxes and stress continues
      Without any chance for a real liveable wage. The committee hasn’t even faced the public.
      Rent gas CUC are killing us.
      Can’t affoyhealth coverage.
      Silent genocide.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hanky Panky.

    • Anonymous says:

      in the Brac there is a a notary of Public going around looking for men to say they are seamen ( most are not really seamen) and fixing papers with the N P stamp and charging money to do so and 2 stupid men
      are signing and these men are getting the seamen benefits. Government never checks it out. Some NEVER went aboard a ship; some never went out of the sight land and some went for only a few weeks. in Grand its the same. Is a disgrace to the long time career seaman that they getting the same benefits. Remember the true
      seamen are the ones that kept these islands going before the tourism and banking boom by their money that they sent home.

  4. Anon says:

    There must be an election coming.

  5. Anonymous says:

    nobody should receive anything from cig without means testing first. end of story.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you have any equity interest in real estate, including outside Cayman?
        Do you have a parent or child capable of providing you with support, in whole or in part, as required by the Maintenance Act?
        Is the Department of WORC aware of your need for financial assistance in whole or in part as dictated by the Immigration (Transition} Act?


  6. Anonymous says:

    It is great news that the Veterans and Seaman are getting the extra $300. As they increasingly age and pass on, there are less and less of them getting this stipend – so Government should not feel hard to increase this benefit for them.

    Welfare to work for those who are able – yes. Look at Brac Roadside cleanup crew. You got a number of people who are receiving NAU benefits and they get cash for working with the road crew. Government provides the essentials for a number of them and Government provides them with additional spending money – so Minister Ebanks how hard is it to tie in work for benefits?????? Some show a desire to work and do a good job – credit to them, so why don’t you hardly ever see any of them working besides roadside cleanup?
    Our love our Government, they truly take care of our people.
    Can I get an amen to that?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is great news that the Veterans and Seaman are getting the extra $300. As they increasingly age and pass on, there are less and less of them getting this stipend – so Government should not feel hard to increase this benefit for them.

      You do realize their young wives will continue to get these benefits long after they are dead?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, the young wives are smarter than our government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously!? I had no idea!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes that is the sad reality until they re-marry, (that’s what I’ve been told but I stand corrected). Indigenous Caymanians are in a sad place in OUR country.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are correct 10:36. So they don’t remarry after the old seaman dies, they just shack up so they can still get the pension and health benefits. Bingo!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maintenance Act?

    And why are millions still being given to fund foreign nationals on a regular basis since an ability to maintain yourself and all dependents is a condition of being allowed to come and remain here?

  8. Pensioner says:

    Thanks to you Minister Ebanks for implementing more financial assistance to the older persons, veterans etc. However my contention is there is a number of $950 pensioners out there who would welcome an increase also. We all are facing hard times and we (pensioners) made a major contribution to the Cayman Islands, e.g ex -police officers, prison officers and customs officers. We are all deserving of a an increase also. With high utility bills and rising food costs $950 cannot sustain us. I am very sorry to know pensioners doesn’t some under Minister Ebanks portfolio. Whoever is responsible should follow suit. We desperately need help.

    • Anonymous says:

      When Will the Minister implement payment of the CINCO insurance that was announced recently. Those of us who pay a monthly premium ( I pay CI$ 501.00 per month) also need a break. I recently went to the doctor and had to pay the full cost of blood tests and doctor’s fees. Apparently I have already used up my coverage for the year, have to continue paying CINCO for the remaining months but receiving no benefits at all. This seems like a Royal rip off!! Madam Minister we need help too!

    • Anonymous says:

      What about all the pensioners who took out a lump sum and spent it all? What about the pensioners who were only getting a couple hundred dollars and a previous Government decided they would add “ex gratia” payments to bring it up to the $950 that it is today.
      Didn’t pensioners already get an increase this year?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Let me see if I got this right. I have been working and paying into a pension plan for 25 years, and government says I can get $1425 per month out of the money I have been working for and a pension fund has been investing.

    But if I had spent my days smoking weed and doing nothing, PACT government would give me $1250 per month plus give me free health insurance and assistance with utilities, and the fools like me who have worked hard all my life will pay for it?

    And if we put PPM back in charge they will increase it to $1500.

    People talk about socialism and communism, but we are eternally ruled by stupidism.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Remember the Seamen helped big time to help these islands become what it today. They went to work on shops around the world in rough/hot/cold weather to sent home their money to buy land, build houses ( some started different businesses) that money sent home keep the ones at homes in jobs.
      Government got duties from that to keep these islands going. Remember that was before the Tourism and Banks boom started here. The Seaman truly deserves that little money and more. we Seamen missed a lot of family life birthdays/christmas etc etc. We know that there are some that claiming to be Seamen are in fact not seamen. They should be weeded out for they don’t deserve the seamen benefits.They should be ashamed for they are a disgrace to the true Seamen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those who took a boat across the reef are added to the experienced seamen’s list and handed a cheque. Blame the politician who created that mess and he is well known.

    • Anonymous says:

      disability can strike young and people in their prime as well

  10. Anonymous says:

    What about CoLA for civil servants?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.