The Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity Ministry has so far received 5,994 applications for social benefits linked to the four schemes to help individuals who are facing a difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Out of the 5,994 applications, 3,101 applications have been processed, and up to €1.12 million in social benefits will be paid by next Saturday, Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon said on Wednesday.
Falzon was addressing a press conference regarding the number of applications for the four schemes which the government has so far announced; Parent benefits, Disability Benefits, Additional Unemployment Benefits and Medical benefits.
4,449 applications received by the ministry are for Parent benefits, 423 are for Disability Benefits, 843 are for Medical Benefits, and the lowest number of applications is 279, for Additional Unemployment Benefits.
“Whilst this is a large number, we can see that the lowest number of applications is for unemployment benefits, which is a good sign,” Falzon said.
He added that those who applied for such benefits will still receive their Children’s Allowance, and those individuals who have been laid off work during this time will still receive in-work benefits.
Permanent Secretary Mark Musu explained the process and how, in less than a week since the schemes were announced, applications were released online, and that the first payments were made to those who applied. “Payments are being made weekly, and are being paid out in the order the applications were received.”
Falzon said efforts are being made to continue the state-funded food distribution scheme, and to deliver the food directly to homes of the 20,000 beneficiaries.
He said that the 1772 helpline for the lonely, which is run by Appogg, has been used by around 500 people in the first five days since it was launched.