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State intent on assisting elderly citizens, says Bhatnagar

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, November 09, 2017

MORE than 7000 senior citizens are supported by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation's senior citizens pension scheme in the Northern Division.

The Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Veena Bhatnagar, said of these, more than 3000 were assisted in Macuata alone.

Ms Bhatnagar said more than 4000 senior citizens were assisted by the ministry through the scheme in Cakaudrove and Bua provinces.

Last weekend, the ministry's team was in Valebasoga to visit senior citizens and talk to them about the assistance they could access from the ministry.

"Most queries from members of the public include questions about application processes," said Ms Bhatnagar.

"I also had the chance to talk to the senior residents about the problems they faced and yes we will be assisting those that qualify for the pension scheme.

"Government is intent on assisting elderly citizens who are not on any other form of pension as a way of recognising their contribution to the economy of this country."

Ms Bhatnagar said since the senior citizens of this country were not earning and needed care and protection, they were now receiving the allowances.

"Again I need to reiterate that anyone who has attained the age of 65 years and is not receiving any pension or is not financially supported through any other scheme is eligible to be part of the senior citizen allowance of $100 per month," she said.

"They need to contact us with their birth certificates and we will do our assessment before we recommend them for the assistance.

"People need to be mindful that we are also in charge of several other assistance schemes as the pension scheme and it takes us within three months to process applications."

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