DUBAI // The Ministry of Social Affairs is opening another office in Abu Dhabi.
The office will be independent from the ministry’s main bureau in Abu Dhabi, the state news agency Wam reported, and will make obtaining benefits easier.
There are a reported 12,605 social benefit recipients in Abu Dhabi, with more than 3,000 of them in the city. Women make up 70 per cent of the cases.
The office will register applications for social benefits and ensure they meet the requirements. It will also follow up cases, take complaints about rejected applications and deliver ATM cards to those approved. There are 20 other such offices across the UAE.
Under UAE law, the ministry provides financial aid to divorcees, widows, the elderly, disabled and other needy people.
Only UAE citizens or the mothers of UAE citizens are eligible.
In May, an FNC report found the ministry was understaffed, had no central records of recipients and did not keep proper track of payments.
FNC member Sultan Al Sammahi (Fujairah) said the ministry had made some improvements and was awaiting Cabinet approval for more reforms. “The law needs to be amended and we intend to amend it,” the Minister for Social Affairs, Mariam Al Roumi, told the FNC at the time.
The ministry had not responded to questions about the benefits system or planned reforms.