Ministry to reassess aid applicants

Ministry to reassess aid applicants

State welfare cardholders make purchases under the We Win scheme at the Infinite Mall in Samut Prakan.
State welfare cardholders make purchases under the We Win scheme at the Infinite Mall in Samut Prakan.

The Finance Ministry plans to reassess the eligibility of 13.8 million state welfare smartcard holders to effectively screen the status of low-income earners eligible for financial aid.

Income is the main assessment criteria as eligible recipients of state welfare benefits will have to meet a low-income threshold as stipulated by the Finance Ministry, said Krisada Chinavicharana, the finance permanent secretary.

The new assessment should disqualify some people who earn more than the stipulated threshold, while ensuring low-income earners who have been left out of state welfare benefits are included, said Mr Krisada.

The ministry previously postponed an eligibility reassessment plan because of the Covid-19 outbreak, he said.

Based on offline registration for the Rao Chana (We Win) financial relief scheme, a considerable number of people do not own smartphones and have no access to the internet.

This means these people have been left out from becoming recipients of state welfare benefits using smartcards because smartcard holders do not have to register for the We Win scheme.

The Finance Ministry directly transfers the financial remedy into accounts connected to cardholders' smartcards, said Mr Krisada.

According to the most recent criteria reported in December 2019, those who are eligible for the welfare and subsidy scheme must be Thai nationals aged 18 or older, be unemployed, have annual income of not more than 100,000 baht and have financial assets of not more than 100,000 baht.

Eligible recipients can own a house measuring up to 25 square wah, or a condo unit spanning up to 35 square metres.

State welfare smartcard holders are now entitled to 200-300 baht a month to buy items at Thong Fah shops; a 500-baht monthly subsidy for public buses, intra-provincial buses and electric trains; and a 45-baht discount for cooking gas purchases every three months.

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