Cox: Ministry still issuing funeral grants

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox. – File photo

SOCIAL Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox has said reports circulating in the public domain about her ministry’s issuing of funeral grants being suspended are false.

In a WhatsApp response to questions from Newsday on March 19, Cox said, “The funeral grant has not been suspended or stopped.”

The funeral grant is one of 12 grants known as general assistance grants the ministry provides.

People who qualify for these types of grants include clients of the ministry’s service delivery units, vulnerable people in crisis and emergency situations and victims of natural or man-made disasters.

In the case of the funeral grant, the ministry’s website says its purpose is to assist in the burial of the dead who have no one willing and/or financially able to undertake the cost of burial.

The grant can be issued to needy families of the deceased in two ways: before the funeral takes place, with claims accompanied by the appropriate supporting documents (death certificate; funeral home estimate); or after the funeral, where the cost has not yet been paid.

The ministry said claims for the grant must be justifiable and accompanied by appropriate documents such as death certificates and bills outlining expenditure.

The value of the grant is $7,000. The requirements to apply to the ministry to access a funeral grant are the applicant’s national ID card, death certificate, and funeral home estimates/bills.

Funeral grants were first issued in April 1972.