Tuesday 28 January, 2020

Ministry approves Special Disability Grant for children

Children with disabilities will now be able to access the Disability Assistance Grant. 

This was announced recently by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services as the New Disability Assistance Grant for Children.

Following the budget for Fiscal 2019, the grant was introduced making provisions to allow children with a disability to access a fixed monthly rate of $1,500 per child.  The grant is payable where assessment of the child is either severe or complete and where the disability is permanent in nature. Such assessment or certification shall come from a Paediatrician or other medical practitioner (Public Health) authorized by the Chief Medical Officer for this purpose or from a Paediatric Specialist (Private Practitioner) registered with the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago.

Existing recipients, ie, parents who receive the special needs grant for their child will be automatically transitioned to this new grant with retroactive payments effective from January 1, 2019.  These parents are not required to reapply. It should be noted however, that where a monthly income exceeding $1,500 is paid for a similar benefit on behalf of the child, such cases will not be eligible to receive the disability assistance grant for children.

For new recipients, applying is quite simple. New applicants are required to obtain a Medical Report and Application form from a Social Welfare Local Board, health centre or online at www.social.gov.tt. Once the forms are completed following the medical assessment, the form is returned to the Ministry for processing.

This facility came after several meetings and collaboration with the Administrators and Health Practitioners of the Ministry of Health.  The Ministry says it's is in the process of sensitizing key stakeholders of the application process. Sessions have already taken place with Doctors and Medical Social Workers as well as NGOs working for and with persons with disabilities. Other sessions will be held to ensure all key stakeholders are familiar with the new disability grant for children. 

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