BVI News

43% of applicants paid unemployment benefits! Over 2K outstanding claims remain

The Joshua J Smith Building houses the Social Security Board and NHI offices.

Pensioners in the British Virgin Islands have received more than $18 million from the Social Security Board (SSB) within the first eight months of 2020, while more than 2,000 outstanding unemployment claims exist due to the negligence of employers.

This is according to the minister responsible for Social Security Vincent Wheatley who updated members of the House of Assembly on the latest statistics from the SSB.

On the Unemployment Benefit Programme, Minister Wheatley said more than 43 percent of the $10 million Unemployment Relief Fund has been paid out to successful applicants.

He said that up until September 17, a total of 3,457 persons received benefits while 2,117 claims were denied. The total amount paid out to recipients so far is $4,366,488.03.

Negligence of employers preventing payments

He further said 2,072 outstanding new claims exist at the SSB. The minister said this is partly due to the negligence of employers who failed to submit employee payments.

“I acknowledge that there are persons yet to receive a benefit, but this is not due to the lack of effort on behalf of Social Security Board. It is mainly due to the lack of salary information from employers,” Wheatley stated.

“There are hundreds of employers who continue to deduct from their employees and do not remit the contributions to the Board. These employers are also in violation of the Labour Code by not giving their employees pay-slips. Thus, this lack of information has led to the inability of the Social Security Board to calculate and pay benefits,” he explained.

Pension payouts

In the meantime, the minister said that to date, 3,160 pensioners in the territory are receiving monthly payments.

“From January 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020, the Board paid $18,508,691.09 in pensions and $2,030,321.09 in short-term benefits. I am grateful to the visionaries who were responsible for the creation of this safety net for the people of this territory,” Wheatley stated.

He continued: “I cannot imagine the kind of life our seniors would have without their monthly pension cheques. I wish to note here that in anticipation of some sort of curfew, pensioners were paid early last month to ensure that they were able to purchase their necessities.”

 

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

16 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Comment says:

    all that money paid out and all now i cant get my money from SS smh

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  2. The Future says:

    This is not the entire truth. They also changed the requirements stating that if you were being paid more than $1000 per month prior to being laid off, you did not qualify for the benefits. However, there were people who received benefits but their salary was way more than $1000. The people are suffering! People need help! You cannot change the criteria as you wish. It is unfair and unethical.

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
  3. Here goes... says:

    How can anyone read this without their blood boiling? These employers have stolen from their employees! They should be named, shamed, prosecuted for fraud and forced to pay their employees restitution. The BVI governments failure to tackle this issue over many years (and a number of government figures no doubt benefiting from it) yet again highlights the corruption and incompetence of our leaders. Why do we have to put up with this outrage? Oh yes because our leaders will do nothing about it and when the NDP is voted back in they will also do s** all! As long as we keep on voting in one crooked party after the other this will continue…

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  4. Hmmmm says:

    And guess what? Because most of the delinquent employers are locals we won’t hear anything further and the employee suffers.

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  5. Poor Pensioners Do the Math here says:

    $18,508,691.09 divided by 3,160 pensioners for the period January to August (8 months) is $732 per month. Can someone live on $732 here? I hope they dont have any rent to pay…

    Like 13
  6. Oh Really! says:

    I am one of the 57%!!! Y’all good and h**l well know you haven’t paid out 18 million in unemployment/underemployment benefits!

  7. Really says:

    Parents who are laid off are not getting yet the paying out to single persons. I guess those not processed yet are all expats.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  8. Lies says:

    Not all are negligences of the employers my employers provide everything needed that is how all the locals working there are getting theirs but some of the expats with children are not getting any..what explanation for this biasness.

  9. NO NO NO says:

    Employers negligences but how come some persons from the same company getting the benefit???? So the employers only filled out some forms correctly and some wrongly and most of the wrong ones are expats????? So lets say it was done wrong why is SSB not informing the companies or employees if they need additional information???

    • hmmm says:

      And what makes you think they haven’t informed the employers of the need but the employers probably moving in their own time? I guess they should call that same one employer everyday then, does that make them come any faster. nope!

      • Well says:

        I still do not understand how the employers fill out the locals forms correctly and the expat ones wrong. Its months now i am 100% sure employers would have responded if they are being contacted. HAGD and enjoy yours.

  10. My 2 cents says:

    In stead of charging 7% tax for western union and money gram we all need to be paying a unemployment tax to SSB so that in these times we can get some kind of benefit of 3 to 6 months at least and we all wont be a burden on the government.

  11. Frig Up says:

    Over 2,000 persons not receiving benefits because employers did not remit payments to the SS board and did not give employees pay slips.

    That is a huge dereliction of responsibility. So who is going after the crooks. Where are the regulators? Where are the fines or sentences. It’s disgraceful how the BVI is run…

  12. What a ting says:

    Stop fooling the public : Paying PENSION is not a gift from the govt . Any govt has its obligation it does not matter who wins . Pensioners have to be paid . So where do the people taxes go . Pension is different from SOcial Security . It is your fund .

  13. Redstorm says:

    I do not see why this is making a heading “ Negligence of employers preventing payments” Due to the inabilities of the SSB Collectors, the taxes were not collected. Each SS Collector should have a list of the amount of person working for a company, a checklist each month should state who are outstanding for their employees, whether it is five pserson and one is missing tax a follow up telephone call should help the SSB Collector to document comments and follow up on a later date. If for six month there is no payment then it should agreed a payment plan is put in place. These discussions take place on a monthly basis so all involved ( minister, Director, assistant director, collector and whoever else is involved) should know what is going on. A simple spreadsheet showing the outstanding per month and how it would affect the country, employees and employers. At no point in time no SSB collector should ask an employee about how they intent to pay the taxes. This government and previous administration is lacking the ability to curb this problem. I ask Why?, why the employees should suffer because the employer did not pay but take it out their salary.

    if government refuse to deal with it. Then this is a matter for the judicial system.At no point should the employee suffer. Let this end now! Do something about this , get your association to advocate on your part, call your foreign minister to get involved. Now because of Covid 19 , most person are aware of some devious employers attitude towards the taxes. Help the people!

  14. Jmmm says:

    Everyone ssayinh the paid thid and that but paid what 8 dollars or 40 eventos person told me what they got i didnt believe until i got mines 80 dollars from workkng witt a trust company for 11 heard. Wooow

Leave a Comment

Shares