Gov’t burial assistance possible

The Department of Children and Family services aims to help Caymanians build up their lives rather than maintaining them with constant handouts, it was stressed in Finance Committee, according to a GIS press release.

MLAs, considering the vote of $45,000 for burial assistance for indigents, heard that a poverty study is to be undertaken.

This will collect data to determine the number of people living below the poverty line, and the best way forward for the government to assist, says the release.

A question was raised whether government would consider raising the vote for burial assistance. It was noted that with $3,000 as the grant for each case, the allocated sum would suffice for 15 burials only.

The expressed view, says the release, was that indigents should not have to apply to their MLAs for assistance. There were funds within the overall vote which could be diverted to this particular one.

The call was also made for the department to produce a leaflet detailing the services offered for burials and the requirements for intended families to receive this benefit.

Minister Anthony Eden welcomed the suggestion for an information leaflet or other such material.

Family Services was in place to help people where help was needed, with the ideology that people should be helped to achieve upward mobility instead of merely receiving continual assistance, says the press release.

Director of the Department of Children and Family Services Deanna Look Loy stressed that the department only paid for certain items of funeral expenses.

Some families wanted ‘all sorts of things’ but the department focused on provision of the basic items – the vault and the casket, says the release.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said requirements in this area were continually on the increase. The additional requirement anticipated would be taken care of, the release says.

While there was a willingness to discuss specific issues, government did not want a situation that once a person passed away, the family applied to government for assistance, it adds.

‘That is not the Caymanian way,’ Mr Tibbetts said.

The committee received a suggestion for Cayman to consider making available burial insurance especially to the elderly through an insurance provider such as CINICO, the government insurance company.

Responding to the suggestion regarding insurance for funeral expenses, Mr. Eden said it would be taken on board, the release adds.

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