To date, the Government has paid out more than $267,000 to 60 recipients of the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB), in addition to “approximately $50,000” paid on insurance premiums.
Speaking at a joint news conference on Monday, Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson reaffirmed the Government’s commitment “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,” he said.
The SUB was set up to be in place “when the 18 week Unemployment Benefit concluded”.
The Minister noted that it was designed “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”.
He also stressed that “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,” he added.
Moving forward, he said: “The SUB would be paid once a month and the programme will run until March 31st, 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.”