LIFT social assistance initiative welcomes new applicants starting Monday

The Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs has announced that the social assistance programme LIFT, or Livelihood Improvement for Family Transformation, will begin accepting new applicants from 17th June, 2024.

The initiative is designed to support vulnerable families with assistance of up to $600.00 monthly. 

It was also revealed at the launch on Thursday by Minister of State responsible for Social Development and Gender Affairs, Isalean Phillip, that the income threshold of LIFT has been increased to $2500.00 in order to “assist more families in need by putting more money into households”.

Senator Phillip added that  LIFT hopes to promote equity by better targeting “…those who earn the least and are subject to more indicators of poverty.”

A statement from the Department of Social Development and Gender Affairs further noted while individuals and families that are employed, particularly those with children are being targeted, …”single-parent families, persons with disabilities, caregivers of children with disabilities, and seniors, particularly those receiving minimal pension benefits with no other sources of income” will also be among those expected to benefit from the programme.

Registration  for the programme goes live on Monday at 9am via the website and will remain open as intake is continuous. 

While accommodations have been made for potential applicants who may have difficulty getting online, all applicants are being advised to register with a valid email address which they, or someone they trust, access regularly to “ensure timely communication and facilitate efficient information processing”.

“Persons without internet access or who are not familiar with technology can get in-person assistance at community centres or at the Department of Social Development and Gender Affairs administration office on Victoria Road. Assistance will also be available to seniors by calling the Seniors Services Unit at 665-3983, while persons living with a disability can contact the Disabilities Unit at 665-3984,” the department said.

During the press conference, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs, Azilla Clarke, also pointed out that mechanisms have been established to ensure the programme is not abused. Social Security will play an integral role in supporting the thorough screening of each applicant that will take place to maintain the integrity of LIFT.

Applicants who are approved for assistance will receive support for up to 24 months, with the possibility of extensions on a case by case basis.

Permanent Secretary Clarke also explained that LIFT’s case management approach will aim to connect beneficiaries with essential information, services, and opportunities.

“The programme is designed to foster independence and assist individuals and families in realising their full potential. Regular meetings with assigned officers will facilitate the creation and adjustment of care plans tailored to the specific needs and goals of the participants,” the Department of Social Development and Gender Affairs said.

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