73.9% of applicants who applied for COVID-19 related assistance schemes are women, whilst 26.1% are males. The announcement came at a press conference given by the Family and Social Solidarity regarding the payments to those who have been impacted by the virus.
When it comes to parent benefits, 88.3% of applicants are females, whilst 11.7% are males. When it comes to benefits for people with disability, there are more male applicants, 57%, whilst 43% are females. With regard to unemployment benefits, 63.9% of applicants are females and 36.1% are males. 54% of applicants for medical benefits are females and 26.1% are males.
The benefits offered by the Ministry for Family and Social Solidarity cover four schemes. Those schemes include helping people who are unable to report for work, working from home due to medial conditions, or disabilities which make them vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as parents who stopped working in order to take care of their children.
A total of €8797,421 has been paid out in social benefits schemes related to COVID-19 so far. Permanent Secretary Mark Musu said that there has been 5,790 applications for parents’ benefit, 511 for benefits for people with disabilities, 1,353 for individuals unable to report for work and 2,016 for medical benefits.
Musu pointed out that the number of individuals who stopped needing assistance has increased over the past week. “This can be explained by the fact that the government has relaxed certain measures and allowed shops to open, which mean certain people can go back to work.” This week, 501 individuals have stopped receiving assistance since they have returned back to work.
He said that there has been a drop in new applications which were submitted this week, with the total number reaching 10,263. He pointed out that so far any new application is being worked on immediately, and that 98.8% of those applications have already been processed.
Minister Falzon highlighted that the hotline 1772 has received 2,800 phone-calls since it began services. “9,419 telephone calls from our helpline 25903030, which is to reach out to our elderly have been made, and we are pleased to say that such services will continue, even once the pandemic is over.” A total of 27,646 telephone calls from three helplines set up by the Ministry have been made since their services began.
At Saint Vincent De Paul home, over 6,400 Skype calls took place for the residents to keep in touch with family members.
Falzon said that the Foundation for Social Welfare has distributed 20,000 boxes of food to vulnerable people since the pandemic began.
Falzon highlighted that it is important to continue the motion of solidarity amongst one another. “These are not statistics or numbers, but we are talking about people.”