Jamaica government to roll out CARE Workers Grant of JMD$10K to some 130,000 low-income workers starting December 2021
KINGSTON, JAMAICA — While scores of nations around the world have implemented varying social assistance initiatives to help those who became unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Jamaica has recently announced that it will be issuing a cash grant to assist Jamaicans who are employed but who fall lower on the income scale.
Making the revelation, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke said, “The government of Jamaica understands that working people on lower incomes are also impacted by this environment. For this reason, we’ll be introducing for a first time the CARE Workers Grant of $10,000.
“All working people in the P.A.Y.E. system who have a gross weekly salary of $15,000 per week or less, or an annual salary of $780,000 per year or less, and all self-employed persons with statutory income equivalent to $780,000 per year or less as at the last annual filing will be eligible.
“This information will have to be verified by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) as a confirmation of eligibility. There will need to be an application for this grant as we do not have addresses or bank account information for this group of persons.
“Applications will therefore open at wecare.gov.jm at the beginning of December. Detailed instructions will be available on the website.”
Nearly $4 billion in cash grants to be disbursed
An estimated 130,000 Jamaicans are expected to benefit from the CARE Workers Grant, which will cost the government some $1.3 billion. The initiative is just one of a series of cash grants the government will provide to vulnerable groups in the near future.
Some 352,000 Jamaicans — including pensioners, those who are still unemployed due to the pandemic and heads of households in the government’s PATH programme — are expected to benefit from the various grants to be issued, which will collectively cost the government around $3.8 billion.
Another instance of the CARE Set Cash Grant will be issued, Minister Clarke noted, providing an “automatic grant of $18,000 for all persons who qualified for the June 2021 Set Cash Grant and who have still not re-entered the workforce, as evidenced by Tax Administration Jamaica records as at September 30, 2021”.
Additionally, Clarke said the government intends to assist the “many vulnerable individuals [who] are not in any of the formal databases” in the form of a packaged food drive that will run from December 2021 to March 2022.