Seniors aged 60 + and essential workers who incurred childcare costs during the pandemic will be the recipients of a new benefit fund valued at $275,000 that will be administered by the Band effective today until all available funds have been fully allocated.
The Vulnerable Population Essential Travel benefit is geared toward seniors aged 60 +. These Band members are eligible to apply for a monthly subsidy valued at $50 (per household) to support travel for purchase of groceries and other essential items during the pandemic. Alternatively, seniors who require a taxi to travel may request travel arrangements be pre-paid in lieu of the $50 benefit.
The Essential Worker Childcare benefit is for Band members who were essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and incurred childcare costs. These individuals are eligible to apply for up to $200 in monthly benefits per child. This benefit can be paid retroactively starting in April 2020, will require a letter from the members’ employer verifying their status as an essential worker, along with childcare receipts.
Band Chief Brendan Mitchell noted, “In light of recent developments around the COVID-19 pandemic in our province, it is clear that our communities continue to need our support in whatever way we are able to give it. I’m happy to be able to assist seniors and essential workers at this time and the Band will continue to advocate for programs and benefits for Band members impacted by this difficult situation.”
Health Manager Mitch Blanchard heads up the new program and has several staff in place to help make administration of these benefits as smooth as possible.
“We know that there are a lot of members in our Band who will be eligible for these benefits which will likely mean a high volume of applications. Our staff are ready to help as many people as we can with the available funds.”
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