Public Assistance Division ( Overview )


The Public Assistance Division (PAD) is responsible for the administration of all non-contributory social assistance programmes provided under the Social Security arm of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The Public Assistance Division provides assistance to the most needy Jamaicans through the  Rehabilitation Programme or through the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).  Provisions under the Rehabilitation Programme target immediate/emergency needs that may be successfully alleviated by one-off interventions, while the longer term Human Capital Developmental needs requiring sustained intervention are targeted by PATH.  

 Under the PAD, assistance is provided to persons who are poor and/or vulnerable. Beneficiaries may include: 

  • Children 
  • the unemployed or underemployed adults 
  • the elderly 
  • Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) 
  • pregnant and lactating women and  
  • victims of disasters, whether man-made or natural.  

The programmes of the Public Assistance Division are administered through each of the Ministry of Labour & Social Security Parish Offices. Assessment and social intervention services are provided by PAD’s cadre of Social Workers.  

Public Assistance Programmes  

Established by a Cabinet Decision in 1972, the Rehabilitation Programme provides support to individuals in need of social assistance for compassionate purposes or to improve their economic base through income generating projects.  

 The Rehabilitation Programme constitutes four (4) types of grants: Rehabilitation Assistance Grant; Compassionate Assistance Grant: Emergency Assistance Grant; Education and Social Intervention Grant.  

Rehabilitation Assistance Grant  

This Grant provides opportunities for individuals/families to undertake income generating projects to improve their economic status. It provides assistance to establish small projects or boost existing projects such as trading, crop and livestock production, or provision of services including food service, hairdressing/ barbering, dressmaking etc. The Grant may be used to purchase stock/raw materials, or to procure, replace or repair tools, machinery and equipment.  

 Compassionate Assistance Grant  

The Compassionate Assistance Grant is available to persons in need of speedy assistance, who have no insurance coverage, and who are unable to access assistance under any other Scheme. Assistance is usually provided to meet urgent needs such as  

  • prescriptive aids or medication 
  • living accommodation, including house repairs and purchase of household items, and  
  • funeral expenses.  

 Emergency Assistance Grant  

This Grant is available to provide swift relief to persons who have suffered a disaster, whether man-made or natural, and who have no insurance coverage. Assistance may be provided to victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, flood or other disastrous events, and is available for  

  • replacement of personal effects 
  • provision of basic food items or toiletries 

 Education and Social Intervention (ESI) Grant  

The ESI Grant is available to assist children who cannot attend school or whose regular attendance is affected by their parents’/guardians’ inability to provide uniforms, school books and other basic needs. Parents/guardians of such children may simultaneously access Rehabilitation Grants to establish income generating projects.