Gov’t launches online portal for old-age pension, public assistance applications

Persons eligible for pension and public assistance can now apply for these services from the comfort of their homes, as the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security launched its online application portal on Tuesday.

Minister of Human Services, Dr Vindhya Persaud explained that the initiative marks a significant step towards leveraging technology to enhance accessibility and support for vulnerable citizens.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud at the launch of the online portal for old-age pension, public assistance applications

Dr Persaud made the remarks during the simple launching ceremony held at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Providence, on Tuesday.

“It is my pleasure to launch a transformative initiative brought to you by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, one that will change the way in which our services are accessed. One that is inclusive, accessible, and harnesses the power of information communication technology,” she noted.

The minister further underscored that the portal aligns with President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and the government’s overarching commitment to moving Guyana on the international stage of digital technology.

The portal is being piloted in Regions One, Four and Seven, and will later be extended to the remaining regions.

Minister Persaud affirmed the portal’s simplicity, noting that persons can visit the ministry’s website, select which application they are interested in, fill up the form, and hit send.  

Applicants living with a permanent disability are required to complete the application process and provide a medical certificate establishing their permanent disability to complete the application process.

Shortly, the ministry will provide an updated list of the classification of permanent disability, so persons are aware if they qualify for this benefit.

With the integration of this new service, the minister noted that it makes the process of transitioning persons living with a permanent disability from receiving public assistance to pension significantly easier.

Additionally, there is an interface that allows persons to communicate with an agent for further assistance

“It is our intention to make this process not only an online process where the internet will be crucial but an offline process as well and this, I think is a tremendous step in the right direction,” she emphasised.

Senior citizens that were present at the launch

The minister further announced that special features will be introduced soon to cater to persons who are blind and deaf, so they too can gain access to the platform from the comforts of their homes.

Officers are also being trained in information and communication technology (ICT) to collect data from applicants who are interested in using the old route of applying in person on tablets to mirror the online form.

Meanwhile, come March 1, a nationwide verification exercise will be conducted to capture the information of every senior citizen and person living with a permanent disability.

Similarly, the ministry will be embarking on a massive nationwide awareness campaign to encourage persons to utilise the new facility.

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