Deadline looms for seafarer certificates

Cayman seamen who fail to submit proof of income and other paperwork to the government by Sept. 6 are likely to have their benefits suspended, according to the Ministry of Community Affairs. 

Government efforts to update its records on seafarers who are being paid government grants began earlier this year. As of last week, 30 percent of the Seamen Continuation Certificates, which the seafarers had been asked to submit, remained outstanding. 

All confirmed certificates, along with affidavits of income form, must be submitted by Sept. 6 to the Ministry of Community Affairs to ensure continuation of benefits, a release from the ministry stated. 

Payments will be suspended from Sept. 26 for those who do not return their forms by this deadline.  

“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 statement from the ministry read. 

“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,” the statement continued. 

Recipients are asked to contact the ministry whenever a change in their personal details occurs.  

Medical certificates are required for those who are disabled or housebound, and for those who travel overseas for an extended period for medical purposes.  

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin expressed his appreciation to the seamen who have already submitted paperwork. “Such participation is vital to government accountability,” he said. 

Seafarers who need more information should contact the ministry at 244-2424.  

As of last week, 30 per cent of the Seamen Continuation Certificates, which the seafarers had been asked to submit, remained outstanding.