Ministers On Assistance, Unemployment Benefit

December 1, 2020 | 1 Comment

As of November 20, 2020, an estimated 2,163 people are receiving Financial Assistance benefits, Minister Jason Hayward said, while Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson said that just over $267,000 has been paid to about 60 people on the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit programme.

Speaking at yesterday’s [Nov 30] press conference, Labour Minister Jason Hayward said, “Regarding the total number of Financial Assistance recipients, I can advise that as of November 20, 2020 there is an estimated 2,163 persons receiving benefits. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 141 are able-bodied unemployed;
  • 769 are disabled;
  • 223 have low earnings; and
  • 1030 are pensioners.

“I can also advise that the total number of children on the Financial Assistance Child Day Care Program is 117, which is unchanged from the prior period.

“Regarding the total number of persons on the Supplemental Unemployment Fund, I can advise that over the same period, the number of beneficiaries have decreased to 58. This represents a decrease of 36 persons receiving benefits, down from the previous month when we reported that there were 94 recipients. Please note that the decrease in numbers is attributed to 36 persons receiving their redundancy payments. In accordance with the relevant Regulations, the amounts received deemed them no longer eligible for the Supplemental Unemployment Benefits.”

42-minute video of the full press conference held on Monday

Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson also spoke on assistance, saying, “The public will recall that when the 18 week Unemployment Benefit concluded the Government quickly introduced a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit [SUB].

“The purpose of the SUB was to provide payments to individuals who did not qualify for Financial Assistance, but for whom it had been determined through a means test that they required income assistance from the Government.

“The amount is not intended to cover all living expenses. It is designed to be supplemental income. The intention is to prevent recipients from becoming reliant on the benefit long-term, but to provide temporary support that allows persons to be retrained, to seek employment and to transition into a new job.

“The means test is administered by the Department of Financial Assistance while the Ministry of Finance’s team administer the payments via the UEB direct payment system. DFA provide a monthly list to the Ministry of Finance.

“The SUB would be paid once a month and the programme will run until 31st March 2021. Recipients must immediately notify Government when they commenced any form of employment as they would no longer be eligible.

“The SUB pays recipients with health insurance $1,520 per month and $1,950 per month to those without health insurance. All persons without insurance have been placed on the Government operated Health Insurance Plan.

“Thus far, just over $267,000 has been paid to about 60 persons in the programme. In additional approximately $50,000 has been paid on insurance premiums.

“We want to ensure that those persons in our community that need assistance receive it. Therefore if members of the public who have been laid off, lost their job or are working substantially reduced hours due to COVID-19 require financial assistance, I encourage you to reach out to the Department of Financial Assistance so that an officer can assist you with the application process.“

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The purpose of the SUB was to provide payments to individuals who did not qualify for Financial Assistance, but for whom it had been determined through a means test that they required income assistance from the Government.”

    Really? It is not the fulfillment of a long time PLP promise of unemployment benefit for those without employment?

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