Gov’t rolls out new vaccination incentive for over 60s

The Government is rolling out a Conditional Cash Transfer for the Vaccinated (CCTV) subprogramme to encourage more Jamaicans over the age of 60 to get fully vaccinated.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke told the House of Representatives yesterday that more than 100,000 Jamaicans over the age of 60 will each receive a sum of $10,000 as an incentive to fulfil the requirement.

Dr Clarke noted that on March 9, when he opened the 2021 Budget Debate, he had announced the programme, which would pay an incentive of $10,000 to people 60 years and over who had been fully vaccinated through the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

He said, however, that as of June 5, while 159,615 Jamaicans had received the first shot of the vaccine, only 42,254 of those vaccinated were in the group aged 60 and over. He said that, of the 42,254 elderly people already vaccinated, only 7,052 had received their second shot.

Clarke, admitting that the result was disappointing, said that as an added incentive for the over 60s to become fully vaccinated, the Government has now decided to remove the $1.5 million threshold from the incentive.

“During my budget presentation I had indicated that the CCTV grant would only be available to those senior citizens with an income of $1.5 million or less per annum. Today, I want to first announce that that provision has been removed, and this grant is open to all citizens over the age of 60 who have been vaccinated through the Ministry of Health and Wellness,” Clarke said.

He said that, as indicated in that speech, there is public interest in ensuring that the vulnerable older population is protected, while noting that the Statistical Institute of Jamaica estimates that the over 60 population stands at 379,700 of a total population of 2.7 million, according to 2019 figures.

“Now that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has begun administering the second vaccination, I am pleased to advise today the arrangements for the CCTV programme,” the minister noted.

The programme will be administered digitally using the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme platform. Individuals aged 60, and over and who are fully vaccinated, as evidenced by the records of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, are welcome to apply for the CCTV Grant starting July 15, 2021.

To apply they will need to log on to the WeCare platform at www.wecare.gov.jm and provide their first and last names, taxpayer registration number, and/or a government-issued identification, date of birth, mobile phone number (to which they have access), e-mail address, vaccination type, and batch numbers.

Payments will be made by commercial bank account, remittance agency or third party collection.

If the preferred method of payment is via a bank account, it is essential that the account selected is in the same name as that inputted into the online application form and the vaccination card. The account must be active.

Applicants choosing to collect their funds from a remittance company must ensure that they have a valid government-issued identification and the reference number received on completion of their application on the WeCare system.

For those applicants who are physically unable to get to the remittance company, third party collection will be accommodated. However, the third party must have in their possession at the time of collection a signed letter of authorisation stamped by a justice of the peace and a valid government-issued identification of the applicant.

Applicants will be assigned a unique reference number which will be used to track the progress of applications, respond to any queries from applicants, and for those applicants selecting a remittance company to collect the grant once all validation is completed.

Minister Clarke reminded that the WeCare website can be accessed via computer, tablet, or smartphone, is zero-rated and so does not require a data plan or credit to log on.

He said all applicants will be communicated with primarily through text messages and/or e-mail and will be advised once their application has been validated and approved.

Customer service queries will be handled by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service’s customer care team which can be contacted at 1-888-4WE-CARE (1-888-493-2273).

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