Prospect MLA Austin Harris is urging patience for those who are waiting for assistance from the Needs Assessment Unit.
“Also when they blog and social media that they don’t forget that they are being assistant, perhaps not at the speed that they like, or not at the dollar value that they like, but the NAU really is doing the best that it can,” he told Cayman 27 last week at the Chamber Legislative Luncheon.
One of Mr. Harris’ constituents is Cindy Abrahams. Ms. Abrahams was finally approved for permanent financial assistance this month after a months-long application process. After approval, she was told she would have to wait for one of the 948 spaces on the list to become available.
She told Cayman 27 the system is broken.
Mr. Harris acknowledged the need for changes in the way social welfare is distributed. He said the reality is there are thousands of people in need.
“Unfortunately, on the permanent financial assistance side, the numbers which were already large, have blossomed even better after the announcement of the strategic policy statement in the budget address, and unfortunately there are just more people in need to enter our funding available to assist them,” said Mr. Harris.
Premier Alden McLaughlin announced last year that PFA recipients would see increases in the amount of money they receive each month. It went from $550 to $650 for 2018, and will increase to $750 per month beginning in 2019.