A pensioner has been left with only four cents in her pocket and facing eviction after falling in between the cracks of Malta’s pension and the COVID-19 supplement scheme.
“I’ve been through every hoop and boundary and I’m getting nowhere,” 64-year-old Sarah Matthews told Lovin Malta.
“Since October I’ve had no rent money and no money for food. My sister has been sending me £20 a month and I’ve got a dog to feed as well.”
Matthews has been living in Malta over the past nine years working in various hotels and bars. Like most employees, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Matthews applied for the wage supplement scheme but was rejected because she was told that she had a pension that she wasn’t aware of.
“They told me that I wasn’t eligible for the wage supplement scheme because I was on a pension but they never sent me any letters to apply.”
“I’ve just been told that they sent the application form to my mother’s address who passed away in 2017. I live elsewhere now and my address on my ID has been updated.”
As a result, Mattthews has been chasing various departments in an attempt to track down her pension scheme so as to avoid getting evicted from her apartment by the end of the month.
However, the bureaucratic red tape imposed by the system means she’s getting nowhere.
“I’ve written to the prime minister, to the president and the British high commissioner. I’ve been through hoops and boundaries and I’m getting nowhere,” she continued.
“If I was getting my pension I wouldn’t be making a fuss but no one seems interested.”
In certain cases, Matthews has been told that she’s not eligible for a pension in Malta which has only created more confusion surrounding the matter and has put the 64-year-old in a serious and desperate situation.
“I’ve got friends that bring dog food, friends who have been giving me milk and bread. I’ve only got four cents to my name and can’t even afford water and gas to get the cooker going.”
Matthews isn’t the only person to have fallen between wage supplement cracks. Lovin Malta recently reported how employees within the tourism sector had not received a single cent from the scheme, two months after it had been announced.
Students were also aggrieved after being left out of the wage supplement scheme as well.
Following the publication of the article, Matthews’ landlord reached out claiming that he has been extremely lenient with Matthews to the point that he reduced her rent before COVID-19 struck and after she lost her job.
The landlord also claims to have paid her utility bills throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and tried to make contact with Matthews who refused to answer her messages or phone.
While contact was made recently, the landlord said he won’t seek any unpaid rent from her.
“She’ll have to move out when her contract expires in September,” he told Lovin Malta.
“At the end of the day it’s my source of income and I can’t keep carrying out charity forever.”