1. What does PATH provide?
Answer: The major benefit is the cash grant.
2. Does PATH pay school fees for basic & primary school children?
3. Does PATH provide books and school uniforms?
Answer: No. However the Ministry of Education makes available, at no cost, those books which are normally available under the National Textbook Rental Scheme to beneficiary students at the secondary level.
4. Where can I apply for PATH?
Answer: Applications are made at the Parish Offices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security located in each parish
5. What documents do I need to take with me when I go to apply?
Answer: Applicants must provide:-
• Birth Certificate or other proof of age for the family head
• Picture identification for the family head
• Birth certificates for all children under age 1 who live in the household
• Birth certificates or other proof of age for adults 60 and over who live in the household
6. I would like to make an application but I’m unable to read. Will someone be available at the office to assist me?
Answer: Yes. Applicants are interviewed by an officer of the Ministry who completes the application form.
7. Is there an application fee?
8. Who qualifies for a PATH benefit?
Answer: Any person from the following categories living in a poor household may qualify for a benefit:-
a) Children, from birth to completion of secondary school
b) Persons 60 years and over
c) Pregnant or lactating women up to six months after delivery
d) Persons with disabilities
e) Poor adults
9. Can a representative make an application on my behalf?
Answer: Yes. The representative must be able to provide the necessary information and submit the required documents.
10. How will I collect my payments?
Answer: Payments may be collected by cheque or by electronic transfer. Cheques must be collected at the Post Office or Postal Agency nearest to the beneficiary’s address. Proper identification must be provided. Since October 2006, beneficiaries have the option of collecting their grant payments using the "NCB Keycard Cash". Cardholders may use the cards to collect cash at NCB automated banking machines (ABMs), or to purchase goods from merchants displaying the NCB Keycard sign. Beneficiaries who choose this option must apply for the card through the Ministry’s parish offices.
11. Who collects my payments?
Answer: Payments are collected by the family representative, or a designated agent.
12. Who is a family representative?
Answer: The family representative is a member of the family who signs the agreement with PATH, collects the payments, and ensures that the family members adhere to the Programme conditions. He/she also reports to the Ministry’s offices any change affecting the family.
13. Who is an Agent?
Answer: An agent is a non-family member who functions in a similar capacity to a family representative. An agent is usually appointed by someone who is physically unable to collect his/her own payments.
14. How often are payments made?
Answer: Payments are made every two months.
15. What provisions are made under PATH for persons suffering from HIV/AIDS?
Answer: There are no special provisions. All beneficiaries are selected on the basis of one criterion only that is poverty. Information collected on applicants’ health status is restricted to pregnancy and disability. The Programme is therefore not able to identify persons on the basis of this or any other illness.
16. What is an Education Grant?
Answer: This refers to the cash grant which is provided for children between the ages of 6 and 18 years or older if still attending a government funded secondary school. For this category a school attendance record of 85% must be maintained.
17. What is a Health Grant?
Answer: All beneficiaries who are outside the age range of 6 to18 years receive a Health Grant. These beneficiaries must adhere to an agreed schedule of visits to Government Health Centres to facilitate preventive health care.
18. What groups of persons are excluded from PATH benefits?
Answer: Persons receiving an NIS or other pension benefits are not eligible for PATH benefits. Persons who do not satisfy the means test are also not eligible for a PATH benefit.
19. Can I apply for a PATH benefit for a cousin living in my family?
Answer: Yes. Applications may be made for all members of a family irrespective of relationship, provided that they operate as a single family unit.
20. Can I apply for a PATH benefit for my children who live with my relatives in a separate family unit?
Answer: Each family must apply for its own members. However, if the child is residing temporarily with another family (for easy access to school etc) and your family maintains responsibility for his/her economic support, then you may include that child on your application. Otherwise, the other family unit should apply.
21. My child is a PATH beneficiary. If he goes to live with my sister’s family, can I still collect the benefits for him?
Answer: If the child is residing temporarily with another family and your family maintains responsibility for his/her economic support, then you may continue to collect benefits for him/her. If you are no longer responsible for providing for the child, then you must report to our offices that he/she is no longer a part of your family.
22. I am physically unable to collect PATH payments myself. Can someone else act on my behalf?
Answer: Yes. Persons who are physically unable to transact business with the Programme may appoint an Agent. The appropriate form should be completed, signed by a Justice of the Peace or other public agent, (indicated on the form) and returned to the MLSS Parish Office.
23. What are the compliance requirements?
Answer: Compliance requirements vary with the category of benefit.
• Children aged 0 to 6 months must visit the health centre 3 times within a 6 months period, which is once every two months (Health Benefit). This is in keeping with the immunization schedule which is stipulated by the Ministry of Health.
• Children between 12 and 71 months must visit the Health Centre twice per year, at six month intervals (Health Benefit)
• Children between age 6 and eighteen years must maintain a minimum school attendance record of 85% (Education Benefit)
• Pregnant women must attend the Health Centre every two months, and lactating women must visit at six and fourteen weeks postpartum. (Pregnant and Lactating Benefit)
• Persons with disabilities, elderly persons and other adult beneficiaries must attend the health centre twice per year, at six month intervals.
24. What happens if my child is unable to attend school because of illness?
Answer: You must submit a letter to the child’s school advising of the illness. Where the child will be absent for more than 3 days, you should submit a medical certificate from the health centre or health practitioner. The school will make the appropriate notes on the compliance verification report. In such cases there will be no penalty for the absence and the child will receive his/her benefit.
25. What must I do if my family transfers to a new health centre?
Answer: This and any other change affecting the family’s circumstances must be brought to the attention of the Programme’s personnel. The family representative must visit the parish office and complete the Family Change Form, giving the particulars of the change. This is necessary for purposes of compliance verification.
26. I got married and my husband’s children have come to live with me. Can I receive a PATH benefit for them?
Answer: Provided that your family is already receiving benefits under the Programme, new family members may be added by submitting their documents to the Parish Office. A Social Worker will visit the household to verify the information.
27. My child who is a beneficiary has started secondary school. Do I need to advise the PATH office?
Answer: Yes. Although some information on GSAT students is obtained directly from the Ministry of Education, it is important that the family submit the information to ensure that the records are correct.
28. My wife who was the family representative has died. Will my children still be able to receive their benefits?
Answer: Yes. But the family must submit proof of the death to the Parish Office and name a new family representative.
29. My child has not been receiving very good grades in school. Will his/her PATH benefit be terminated because of this?
Answer: No. At this point the stipulated requirement for continued receipt of a PATH benefit for students is that they must maintain an attendance record of at least 85%.
30. Can PATH assist me to set up a small business?
Answer: No, however a separate programme of MLSS provides Rehabilitation Grants for the purpose of establishing income generating projects in special circumstances. This facility is accessible to both PATH beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries between ages 18 and 64 years.
31. Does PATH provide a death benefit for the family when a beneficiary dies?
Answer: No, however if the beneficiary had been an NIS contributor then the family may be able to access an NIS Funeral Grant. If the beneficiary was not a NIS contributor, the family may apply for a Compassionate Grant, under another programme of the Ministry called the Compassionate Grant Programme, to assist with funeral expenses.
32. Can PATH assist me to find a job?
Answer: No. However, the Ministry facilitates job placements through other programmes.
33. Does PATH provide skill training?
Answer: Skills training for PATH beneficiaries is facilitated under the Steps to Work Programme.
34. My daughter will be 17 this year, but would like to continue secondary school to do advanced level courses. Will she continue to receive her PATH benefits?
Answer: Yes. She can continue to receive benefits however you need to provide the Ministry with proof that she is still registered in school.
35. My child refuses to attend school on a regular basis. Can PATH help?
Answer: Yes. Cases such as these must be reported to the Social Worker who will investigate and make a referral to the Child Development Agency.
36. Where can I go to appeal?
Answer: Appeals may be made at any parish office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.