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Seamen Certificates Overdue

The Ministry of Community Affairs reminds seamen that the deadline to submit Seamen Continuation Certificates has now passed.

Officials say that to date approximately 30 per cent of the certificates are outstanding. The documentation along with an affidavit of income form is required to be filed by former seamen seeking to continue receiving an ex gratia grant from Government.

All confirmed certificates, along with affidavit of income forms, must be submitted by 6 September 2013 to ensure continuation of benefits. Payments will be suspended from 26 September, 2013, for persons who do not return their forms by this date.

The objective of the certificates is not to deprive seamen of their payments, but to confirm those who need the benefits are getting them.

The purpose of these certificates is to ensure that the Ministry's records concerning grant recipients are always as current as possible. Therefore, continuation certificates will be issued every two years for recipients to complete and return to the Ministry. The certificates were implemented earlier this year (February) as part of recommendations by internal auditors to ensure accuracy and accountability.

Recipients are encouraged to contact the Ministry whenever a change in their personal details occurs. Furthermore medical certificates are required for persons who are disabled or housebound, or those who travel overseas for extended period of time for medical purposes.

Expressing his appreciation to the seamen who had already submitted their paper work, the Premier and Minister for Community Affairs, Hon. Alden McLaughlin thanked them for helping the Ministry to ensure accurate records management. "Such participation is vital to government accountability."

For more information, persons may contact the Ministry at 244-2424.

For further information contact: Yvette Cacho