Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Monday, 18 July 2022 - 4:44pm

Today marks the beginning of the Social Development Department’s registration process for persons transitioning from the House of Assembly Grants to the Public Assistance Programme. 

The purpose of the transition programme is to establish a single and coherent system of benefits, and to determine eligibility as a beneficiary of the Public Assistance Programme. 

Chief Social Development Officer, Mrs. Annie Malone Frett said, “These are defining  moments for us here at  Social Development Department as we seek to streamline grants, improve transparency and accountability in every sphere of our mandate,  inclusive of  public funds, while ensuring  a seamless delivery of service based on the specific COI recommendations.” 

 The three-month transition grant programme gives persons who were previously receiving assistance from House of Assembly members an opportunity to be assessed to determine eligibility for the Public Assistance or other services and programmes. 

Applicants must meet at least one of the following categories. The beneficiary must be: 

  •  a Belonger, or holder of a Certificate of Residence; or 
  • married to a Belonger and living together with that person in the Virgin Islands; or 
  • responsible for the care of a dependent person who is a Belonger or resident. 

Priority is given to vulnerable children, persons over 65, unemployed persons, and persons with disabilities. 

 “We have identified, trained and stationed additional human resources to ensure that this transition period moves as smoothly as possible.  We encourage persons to start the process early if they are interested in being assessed,” Mrs. Malone Frett said. 

The Transition Grant Programme is a temporary programme that will run from 1 July, 2022 to 30 September, 2022. Eligible applicants will be enrolled unto the Public Assistance Programme effective 1 October, 2022. For persons who do not qualify for Public Assistance, benefit payments will stop at the end of September.  

Persons interested in applying for Public Assistance can do so by filling out an intake form that can be found via the web at Persons are also encouraged to contact the Social Development by email at or by telephone at 468- 468 9372, 468-9352, 468-9373, or 440-3124 for more information. 

The Ministry of Health and Social Development remains committed to strengthening social protection policies and programmes, which aim to reducing poverty and inequality, and improving economic security in the Virgin Islands. 


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286