The Emergency Social Assistance Card Programme

The Emergency Social Assistance Card Program was established in 2012 and was designed to provide urgent support to Tobagonians and citizens’ resident on the island who are confronted with adverse circumstances. The card has a value of five hundred dollars ($500.00) and is to be used on a one-off basis to purchase food and medical supplies. Please be advised that the purchase of alcohol, cigarettes and games of chance are prohibited.

The guidelines for accessing the Emergency Program are as follows:

  • Persons who suddenly find themselves in unfortunate and unforeseen situations offering no social/financial support, such as a sudden loss of job, or individuals who have exhausted sick leave but not yet fit for work.
  • Persons who attain age sixty (60) years but receive no monetary benefits, for example National Insurance Benefit (NIS) or any other  pension, these persons are not eligible for old age pension; and not medically certified as ill to receive public assistance;
  • Persons awaiting the assessment of welfare applications;
  • Persons who suffer loss of belongings as a result of domestic violence, fire, natural disasters or any other unforeseen circumstance; and,
  • Must be a resident of Tobago.

The Process

  • In order to apply for assistance an application form must be completed and submitted to the Emergency Social and Medical Assistance Unit via the email address or at the office located on the 1st floor of the Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex.
  • Subsequent to the receipt of completed application forms, interviews are scheduled by appointment at the office of the Emergency Social and Medical Assistance Unit, via telephone or home visit where a needs assessment is undertaken.
  • Once approved, the applicant is contacted and provided with the Emergency Food Card along with a “Personal Identification Number” (PIN). The Card can then be used at participating businesses.

You are advised that the Card can be used immediately after collection and though it provides temporary assistance and can only be used on a one time basis, persons are not prevented from reapplying if additional assistance is required.

Emergency Social Assistance Card Form:


Contact Information

Level 1, Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex

6-10 Post Office Street, Scarborough, 900212, Tobago

Tel: (868) 639-4412 – ext. 52900 and 52901