The Tobago House of Assembly has designed the Emergency Social Assistance Card to ensure residents, in dire circumstances can obtain essential supplies such as food and medicine in cases of emergency. The card valued at five hundred dollars is to be used on a one-off basis. Persons are prohibited from using it to purchase alcohol, cigarettes and games of chance
Interested persons can visit any of the health centres island wide to obtain application forms. They are also available at the Emergency Social & Medical Assistance Unit, Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex.
Completed application forms MUST be submitted at the Emergency Medical Assistance Unit, 1st Floor, Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex.
The Application Process
Residents of Tobago can apply for the Emergency Assistance Card but applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Persons affected by loss of belongings as a result of domestic violence, fire, natural disasters or any other unforeseen circumstances.
- Persons awaiting the assessment of welfare applications.
- Persons sixty (60) years & over, but who receive no monetary benefits such as National Insurance Benefit or any other pension. These persons are not eligible for the senior citizens’ grant, and not medically certified as ill to receive public assistance.
- Persons in sudden unfortunate situations with no social/financial support, such as sudden job loss, or individuals who have exhausted their sick leave but not yet fit for work.
In order to acquire the card, you must:
- Obtain and complete an application form. The application contains basic information required for assessment.
- Submit the completed application to the Emergency Social & Medical Assistance Unit. This can be done preferably by the applicant or a next of kin.
- Walk with one form of identification.
- Applicants will then be contacted by the Emergency Social & Medical Assistance Unit to attend an interview. In cases where the applicant is unable to visit the office, a Medical and Social Research Officer will visit the applicant’s home to conduct the interview.
- Applicants should await contact from the Emergency Social & Medical Assistance Unit or follow up if necessary to confirm approval.
- Collect the card following approval from the Emergency Social & Medical Assistance Unit. Applicants should walk with one form of ID.
The process take approximately one week, as long as applicants submit all the required documentation when requested. The card which can be used immediately after accessing provides temporary assistance and can only be used on a one time basis. However, persons are free to reapply if they require another.
While applicants may satisfy the criteria listed, the Division reserves the right to exercise its discretion, in processing each application based on the set criteria.
Applicants are also asked to note that Officers of the Unit must verify the information presented in each case.
The process takes approximately one week, as long as applicants submit all the required documentation when requested. The card which can be used immediately after accessing provides temporary assistance and can only be used on a one time basis. However, persons are free to reapply if they require another.
Ms. Kimberly Quashie, Medical and Social Research Officer
Level 1, Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex
6-10 Post Office Street, Scarborough
Tel: (868) 639-4412 – ext. 2901