Lifetime public assistance for persons living with disabilities, HIV and cancer 

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Every person in Guyana living with a permanent disability, HIV or Cancer will be able to access the government’s $14,000 public assistance with immediate effect, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud announced on Friday.

“All persons living with permanent disabilities will be able to access public assistance.

“And secondly, that public assistance will be provided to them for the rest of their lives,” Dr Persaud said.

For persons to access the assistance, a medical report establishing the disability will only be required once from any private doctor or from the public system.

“This is something that’s been very, very close to my heart, and it really puts much into the hands of persons who are living with disabilities.

“No longer will people have to go before the local Board of Guardians.  All they have to do is to register with the National Commission of Disability and the ministry provides their application and they are onto the public assistance register, this takes immediate effect right across the country,” Dr Persaud revealed.

Minister Persaud at a registration site for persons living with disability (Photo: MHSSS)

This follows the recent announcement by President Dr Irfaan Ali of a $100,000 one-off cash grant for children living with disabilities.

“So, whether you are a child or an adult, it captures the entire spectrum of disabilities, physical and mental as well.

“We want to ensure that those persons who are living with a disability understand the Government of Guyana’s commitment to them and from the Ministry of Human Services level, our personal commitment to all persons living with disabilities,” Dr Persaud said.

The ministry is also providing free support in the form of wheelchairs, walking canes and hearing aids to persons living with a disability.

“In addition to that, we are providing free training for persons living with disabilities. All they have to do is register with us. It’s training that includes ICT and it’s a special ICT programme,” Dr Persaud stated.

Free transportation will also be provided to school children living with a disability.

A registration site for persons living with disability (Photo: MHSSS)

Additionally, the ministry will soon launch a ‘Pampers bank’ for adults and children who require pampers free of cost.

“All they have to do is contact us at the difficult circumstances unit.”

A registration exercise is currently ongoing for persons to access the $100,000 grant and Minister Persaud also encouraged them to use the opportunity to register for public assistance.

“Doctors are on site to do an assessment to ensure that is captured in the records,” Dr Persaud noted.

Meanwhile, Dr Persaud further revealed that a three-member Board for Review is being set up to investigate any claims of unfair treatment during this process. This is to ensure that every person living with a disability benefits from public assistance.

“So, anyone, adult or child who would feel in some way that they have been denied this [public assistant] which is available to all persons living with disability.”

The three-person board comprises of Raiza Khan, Azena Baksh and Arianne Mangar.

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