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Beneficiaries should reapply to PATH after four years

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson

Persons who have been on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) for four years will be required to reapply in order to continue receiving benefits.

Labour and Social Security Minister Shahine Robinson said failure to reapply after four years will be interpreted as a voluntary withdrawal from PATH.

"If, after the application is made, and a determination is made that this particular applicant no longer qualifies for the benefits as a result of an improvement in their economic situation, we don't simply just cut the person off," she explained.

"We will ensure that we issue three more payments before the severing of ties. The same thing would apply if, after four years, someone fails to reapply," she pointed out.

Robinson, who was addressing a forum at the Holiday Haven Hotel in Runaway Bay, St Ann, last week, said the move is to ensure that the programme continues to fulfil its mandate of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in the society.

"It is always a good sign to see persons graduating and moving on from PATH. It also means that somebody else who is in need can now get that assistance," she noted.

PATH is a conditional cash transfer programme funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and is aimed at delivering benefits by way of cash grants to poor and vulnerable persons.

The programme offers an array of benefits to children from birth to completion of secondary school; senior citizens 60 years and over who are not in receipt of a pension; persons with disabilities; pregnant and lactating women; and poor adults between the ages of 18 and 59 years who are duly registered.

...Parents must ensure children attend school regularly - Robinson

Shahine Robinson, labour and social security minister, is reiterating the call for parents to ensure regular school attendance by their children.

She noted that last year, only 79 per cent of students at the secondary level, who are on Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), achieved the 85 per cent attendance requirement.

Robinson said the programme provides transportation and lunch allowances, among other benefits, in order to ensure that children attend school.

"In the area of transportation, $21 million was spent last year as allowances for PATH students. This year, the amount has been increased to $115 million," she indicated.

She added that a further $120 million in bursaries and grants will be available for those students who move from secondary to post-secondary institutions.

"There will also be an additional $100 million provided to students at the tertiary level. There is no substitute for a good education and we are committed to help our students realise their dreams and potential," Robinson said.