Monday 13 July, 2020

Third parties can collect GOJ Compassionate Grant with proper ID

Third parties would be required to present the application reference number and the Tax Registration Number (TRN) of the beneficiary at the remittance agency. (Facebook photo shows a Western Union outlet operated by GraceKennedy Money Service)

Third parties would be required to present the application reference number and the Tax Registration Number (TRN) of the beneficiary at the remittance agency. (Facebook photo shows a Western Union outlet operated by GraceKennedy Money Service)

The Government’s COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme that is providing relief to some 500,000 Jamaicans has amended its arrangements with remittance companies to allow third parties, with proper national identification, to collect compassionate grants on behalf of beneficiaries who are over the age of 65.

Such persons would be required to present the application reference number and the Tax Registration Number (TRN) of the beneficiary at the remittance agency.

This is welcome news for persons in this age cohort, many of whom were forced to join long lines outside remittance agencies to collect the one-off payment of $10,000 for unemployed individuals.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke informed of the development as he provided an update on the CARE programme, during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives.

He said that of the roughly 520,000 Jamaicans who applied since the CARE programme began accepting applications on April 9, more than 400,000 were for the compassionate grant. Of that number, 355,000 were deemed to be eligible and 337,000 transfers have been made up to May 29. Clarke pointed out that the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew and St Catherine accounted for approximately 50 per cent of all applications. 

Clarke also told the House that inaccurate and, or inconsistent bank information which includes dormant accounts or persons providing expired identification information were some of the challenges being encountered. A major problem was with joint accounts.

The finance minister expressed confidence that members of the senior leadership of financial institutions were working to resolve the problems. He said that up to May 29, the programme went from 100,000 accounts that were problematic, to 50,000. Since Tuesday, an additional 20,000 accounts have had the issues corrected. Clarke said his Ministry has stepped up efforts to resolve the outstanding issues involving the remaining 40,000 compassionate grants that are yet to be paid.

Meanwhile, up to May 29, some 12,000 of 31,000 applications under the SET Cash Grant component of the programme who have been deemed to be eligible had received their transfers.

The SET Cash grant is for persons earning $1.5 million or less, whose employment was terminated after March 10 as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on economic activity.

Employers are required to upload the P45 forms for their former employees to the www.wecare.gov.jm website to enable applicants to qualify for the provision.

These payments are made in three tranches.

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