Sunday 14 August 2022 - 2:14:15 pm

Social Welfare Programme's restructuring helps achieve leadership's vision: Hessa Buhumaid

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ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2022 (WAM) -- Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, said that the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to restructure country’s Social Welfare Progarmme of low-income citizens will support the vision of the UAE’s leadership to make the UAE one of the best countries in terms of supporting the community and quality of life.

She stated that the Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) has already begun implementing the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed on the Social Welfare Progarmme, which will cover a larger number of families.

She added that the ministry will start receiving inflation allowance applications from Tuesday, with the new social welfare programme to be rolled out in September 2022.

Three pillars of the new social welfare programme The programme includes three key pillars to support low-income Emirati families, they are new welfare allocations, increase in allowances and the inflation allowance, which includes food, water, electricity and fuel subsidies.

Target groups The MoCD said social welfare will comprise financial allocations for eligible low-income families and will be disbursed in September 2022.

The ministry explained that there are several categories eligible for social welfare, including families where the head of the family is aged over 25, retired, an elderly citizen, has health problems or is a person of determination, as well as the families of prisoners, orphans and abandoned children, provided that the household income of the applicant family is lower than the social welfare value specified for the number of family members.

Widows and divorced women whose children are persons of determination, as well as unemployed individuals aged over 45, are also eligible for social welfare, it added.

Social Welfare Value The ministry noted that the value of social welfare will be calculated according to the number of family members and their eligibility for allowances. The main eligible beneficiary will receive AED5,000; the wife will receive AED3,500; the first son AED2,400; the second and the third AED1,600 each, and the fourth son AED800. The allowances granted to children who are university students will be raised to AED3,200, if they are enrolled in certain universities or have high academic scores.

Housing allowances will amount to AED2,500, with an extra AED2,000 'expertise allowance' to be given to breadwinners and retired people.

Main beneficiaries who are aged over 45 and unemployed will receive a conditional social welfare sum of AED2,000, which will increase by AED1,000 once every five years, totalling AED5,000 by the time he turns 60 years old, while his wife will receive an allowance of AED1,000, which will gradually increase to AED3,500 by the time she turns 60. Moreover, main beneficiaries who are seeking employment are eligible for an AED5,000 temporary allowance, with wife and children eligible for allowances as well.

Electricity and water subsidies The MoCD said that electricity and water subsidies will be provided, in coordination with relevant authorities. A monthly subsidy of 50 percent for electricity consumption less than 4,000 kilowatts, and monthly subsidy for water at a value of 50 percent for water consumption less than 26,000 gallons.

Buhumaid said electricity and water subsidy claims can be submitted through the ministry’s website from 5th July, 2022. Eligibility criteria for such subsidies include having a total household income of less than AED25,000 per month, and this is done by calculating monthly salaries, pensions, returns from commercial licences, returns from rental properties and income from investment properties.

Eligible categories for the water and electricity subsidies also include the families of retirees who have unmarried and unemployed children aged under 21, and have with a total household income of less than AED 25,000 per month. The ministry must be informed of changes in family income and marital status.

The eligibility criteria and eligible categories for the water and electricity subsidies shall be the same as those for the fuel and food subsidies.

Fuel subsidies The ministry explained that the fuel subsidy, which amounts to 85% of the fuel price, will be provided to some low-income families if the fuel price increases over AED2.1 per litre. The head of the family receives a monthly subsidy of 300 litres, while the working wife receives a subsidy of an additional 200 litres. Meanwhile, the breadwinner will be eligible for a subsidy of 300 litres, if the spouse (unemployed or retired husband/wife) is not receiving welfare.

In addition, retirees, whether husbands or wives, who are not receiving welfare, will receive a subsidy of 300 litres if they have children aged under 21 who are unemployed and unmarried. Fuel subsidy applications are submitted and approved through the ADNOC Distribution smart application, and will be linked to an applicant’s ID number.

Food subsidies The ministry also noted it will disburse food subsidies at 75 percent of the food price inflation rate. The value of the subsidy is linked to the change in inflation rates for basic foodstuffs. Food allowances can be used at approved outlets selling goods and food, which will be announced in the coming period.

Application submission process The Ministry of Community Development said the social welfare applications and related inquiries can be submitted through the ministry’s website (www.mocd.gov.ae) and smart application. Registrations must be made using the UAE Pass or registration with the Emirates ID.

WAM/Amjad Saleh/MOHD AAMIR