Vuniwaqa spells out recertification task

Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa during a Parliament sitting. Picture: RAMA

The recertification exercise for social welfare recipients currently in progress is “to prove that they are still alive and are the ones receiving the social welfare allowance, says Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

Those who fail to fill and submit new forms by November will have their social welfare payments terminated. She made the comments during the budget debate on Tuesday evening, saying funds were set aside for this verification process.

“I am pleased to share that the ministry also received an allocation of $20,000 which will ensure the continuation of the recertification exercise to ensure that those benefiting from social welfare payments are, in fact, those who are supposed to be benefiting from it,” she said.

Those receiving the disability allowance are exempted from the recertification process.

“All social welfare beneficiaries are required to fill out a form to be witnessed by authorised personnel, basically to prove that they are still alive and are the ones receiving the social welfare allowance.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa said 79 per cent of beneficiaries had submitted recertified forms so far.

“For those who have not fulfilled this requirement, their allowances will be suspended from August.

“If these requirements are not met by November this year, allowances will be terminated.”

She said the recertification is part of Government’s ongoing efforts to ensure that the social protection net truly captures those who deserve to be helped. Mrs Vuniwaqa said recipients did not have to open new accounts in order to receive the allowance.

“I have been advised during the day about large numbers of our beneficiaries crowding BSP premises around the country for fear that they may not get their allowances if they do not switch banks.

“I advise the social welfare payments will continue to be deposited in beneficiaries’ allocated bank accounts, depending on the banks they have already nominated.”

She said there was no need for social welfare recipients to change accounts to BSP.

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