Social Development Ministry to re-introduce Direct Deposit System
June 2, 2017: The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is pleased to announce the re-introduction of the Direct Deposit System for clients who are in receipt of the following grants:
- Disability Assistance
- Public Assistance; and
- Senior Citizens’ Pension
In 2013 when this initiative was piloted, over 50% of Senior Citizens’ Pensioners (amounting to approximately (36,781) positively responded to the receipt of their grant through direct deposit, and are now comfortably benefiting from the service to date; proving that it is safe, reliable and the preferred means to receive their funds. During the roll out of the Direct Deposit System, clients will be asked to complete an application form and return it to the nearest TTPost delivery or retail office or a Social Welfare Local Board office in their respective region.
Clients are also required to attach their bank account information and a copy of their computer-generated birth certificate, which will be used to update their existing records. For persons with disabilities who may not be able to open a bank account, special arrangements will be made by the Ministry to ensure that funds related to the disability grant are uninterrupted. Persons who may wish to use existing Credit Union accounts will also be allowed to do so for the direct deposit.
The Ministry’s decision to utilize this system for the above stated grants is expected to address the myriad of challenges encountered by clients in using the current cheque system. It is also a response by the Ministry to numerous complaints received from clients of lost/stolen/ damaged cheques in the recent past.
The Ministry is confident that the system of direct deposit will assist in maintaining and enhancing a customer-focused approach to all of the social services provided to the national community, and will help to transform the manner in which clients are served. The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services also wishes to inform that a comprehensive communications plan to inform our new and existing clients about these changes has been developed for implementation.
The Ministry has since embarked upon a Premium Client Care Initiative which will also include a retraining exercise for staff at our Social Welfare Local Board Offices to ensure that clients are transitioned smoothly during the migration process.These changes are expected to come into full effect by the end of this year as the Ministry seeks to provide its clients with a sustainable, secure and reliable option for the delivery of financial assistance.
About Direct Deposit
Direct Deposit is a service whereby cheques are deposited directly into the bank accounts of clients. It is an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction that is a safe, proven, confidential method of receiving a payment.
Persons should call Hotline number at 800-1MSD (800 – 1673) or visit a Social Welfare Office in their region for further information on this initiative OR log on to www.social.gov.tt.
For further information please contact:
The Corporate Communications Unit
Ministry of Social Development and Family Services