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MP calls for MSS to facilitate payments for the aged

Dili Weekly - March 23, 2016

Paulina Quintso – There are calls for the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS) to change the aged payment system as most recipients are unable to walk to collect their benefits.

National Member of Parliament MP Ilda Maria da Conceicso said payments are only received at the administrative post in Viqueque, which means that those who live far away and are in poor health are unable to access their entitlements.

She said some beneficiaries must walk 24km to reach the administrative post. "Like in Afoloicai suku, Uato-Carbau administrative post (Viqueque Municipality), there are 30 beneficiaries who have not received the money since 2015 because they cannot walk,"da Conceicso said.

Recipients generally receive their payment every six months. In the past, a family member or other representative was able to collect the payment on behalf of recipients unable to come in person, but that policy has since changed. She said a system needed to be set up to facilitate payments for those in remote areas or unable to travel for health reasons.

However, Director for Regime Non-contributive of MSS Leonito Vicente Faria Pereira said technical officers were on the ground to perform verification checks for those who are sick and eligible for payment.

He said officers relied on a list of names provided by local authorities. He therefore called on local authorities to assist in identifying those beneficiaries who needed to receive payments directly at their home but were not currently on the list.

"They (officers) always ask the local authorities to identify those who are sick and they will do the payment directly at their home," said Pereira. He said the payments had been deposited into their individual bank accounts set up by the government and was not lost.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/capital/13574-mp-calls-for-mss-to-facilitate-payments-for-the-aged