Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Update on Unemployment Relief Program


As of April 20, 2020, a total of 72,213 applications have been submitted since the Unemployment Relief Program was opened to accept applications on April 3, 2020. This includes some of the applications submitted via hard copy, which have begun to be entered into the online portal.

So far, 32,916 applications have been approved for payment to applicants. These include 7,106 that were approved on April 20th and have been forwarded to the Social Security Board (SSB) for processing.

SSB has paid directly into the accounts of 20,153 applicants during the period of April 9th to 17th.

Heritage Bank has prepared 2,618 top up ATM/debit cards which have been sent to SSB offices for distribution. Not all ATM/debit cards have been prepared, so applicants will be notified by text message when their cards are ready for pick up. Those who receive these cards will be required to activate a Personal Identification Number (PIN) so that they can withdraw their funds at the ATMs or use them for shopping at stores that accept debit cards.

Given the number of applications with incorrect information, the information technology team is preparing an addition to the web portal that will allow applicants to go online and review the status of their application. If additional information is required to move the application to the next stage, the applicant will be directed to the numbers to call to provide the information needed. This addition should be ready for use within the next two days.

Applications that have been excluded due to ineligibility now stand at 11,454. These include applicants who are:
1. under 18 years of age,
2. are not Belizean nationals (applicable only if applying for long term unemployment relief, not applicable to the recently unemployed), or
3. who are already a beneficiary of a Government of Belize or SSB pension, or the BOOST program are not eligible.

A total of 28,159 applications remain to be reviewed and continue to be processed as quickly as possible.

As shown on the graph, the bulk of the applications for unemployment relief were received in the first six-day period of April 3rd to 9th. Since then, applications have notably tapered off.

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