BVI News

Gov’t contemplating whether to pay unemployment benefits beyond three months

Social Security Minister, Vincent Wheatley.

Hundreds of unassigned cheques are being held at the Social Security Board for persons approved for unemployment benefits and are one of the factors that have prompted the government to consider extending the maximum three-month benefit period.

During the launch of the government’s $62.9 million COVID-19 Economic Stimulus-Response Plan back in May, Premier Andrew Fahie announced that $10 million was allocated for unemployment relief.

He said eligible persons were to receive income support for a period not exceeding three months.

But during a recent live social media forum, Minister responsible for Social Security, Vincent Wheatley said this originally-agreed period was under review for a possible extension.

He said: “The Social Security was for three months – March, April and May. We are considering now — I’m still playing with it — extending the period because some persons didn’t get any money for various reasons.”

“One: wrong account numbers. We have hundreds of cheques in there and we cannot find the persons for these cheques. Two: persons who did not send in all the required information. And three: persons who received other benefits from other agencies, they were disqualified … Also, there were persons who got, in some cases, $45, $25 and stuff like that,” the minister explained.

COVID-19 a fluid situation

Minister Wheatley also said a decision on the extension was further prompted due to the fluid nature of COVID-19 which continues to impact a number of families across the territory.

“I like the idea of extending the period down further because we can’t put a deadline on COVID, it can end next month or it can be here for the next two years. So we have to do our very best to help persons through this COVID period,” he said.

Wheatley said a decision will be made within the next two weeks and the public will be informed thereafter.

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  1. But Mr. Minister says:

    Some of us are laid off since 6 months ago and are not receiving anything yet. Pleaae look into this we have children to feed and bills to pay. Soon school will be open too and we have books to buy.

    Like 13
    • LIT says:

      Exactly! Havent worked since march. 3 children to feed and books to buy and no income. Wow the pressure is real but only who they want to receive will get help. Strups this gov is full a messery!!!!

  2. Jokes says:

    Has anyone received their 3rd month pay yet?

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  3. Pancakes says:

    What about people that still waiting for there cheque since March, it is not fare for some ppl to get and some don’t my social security and NHI is up to date, I went in twice and was told my application was processed and I must give them a few days that was in April I am still waiting, that clearly show someone Inside social security is t*****ng the money and showing documents that ppl are paid

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
    • ummmm says:

      You must be confused.. How were you abke to check in this in April if it was only implement in June…?? Check your info and come back the hun cause the timeline u stated in this comment makes no sense…

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
      • Pan says:

        Fool the were giving a check for March April and May and then a next check for June July and August
        And you need to go back to school to learn English language
        Y’all don’t like to hear the truth
        The expats paying more social security, tax and nhi etc than the bvi islanders so get your facts straight and come again

        Like 2
        Dislike 4
  4. This needs serious revision asap!! says:

    You have people who makes less than $10 an hour some even less than $8 who where giving less than $50. The excuse was that they didn’t qualify for the full amount as jobs where nice enough to still partially pay employees making these persons not eligible.. The fact is these persons hardly make enough to keep up with groceries much less living expenses.. These are the ppl y’all had needed to consider with the ones who weren’t paid at all.. 62 Mil y’all only giving 500-1000 get a system in place to look at who really needs the help.. You have people who now are unemployed after the time frame who now has to suffer.. The extension is necessary 500-1000 I won’t complain it’s something.. Just get it together and give back to the people in need. It’s bad enough some persons had to wait months to see they only got $50 who are paid under $10..

  5. Anonymous says:

    I applied for the package an still can not get anything

  6. BVI says:


    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  7. BVI says:


    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  8. Hmmmmmm says:

    $10M for unemployment – does not include the self employed. Assuming 30% of the population works with 40% of that number being unemployed or significantly underemployed. That means roughly $2,000 per person for 3 months. Why people still complaining they yet to receive their money, Mr. Ministers? This is not rocket science. Divide the money equally regardless if how much they put into SS because there are many employed, putting in SS and will not get qualified to receive a dime. There’s a lot going on but ayo better keep ago hands off the peoples’ money. We the people say pay the people a flat standard amount regardless of what they contributed! In a time of crisis GREED and bad mindedness still exist!

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  9. Politicians says:

    Nothing to worry for these politicians getting their obscene salaries (paid by the taxpayer) and the corrupt nature of making extra money on the side yet no doubt many belongers will continue to be blindsided and think the government is acting in their favor, time to open your eyes!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  10. Y'all need do better.. says:

    You claim to have hundreds of checks not claimed. The public can let you know it has not been easy getting in contact with anyone in Social Security either by phone or email.. the only way to try get help was to waste an entire day in line to hear they will get back to you. Departments like these y’all actually need to hire people for to serve the public better.. All these government departments be moving like snails but yet still we need to social distance when your the ones forcing people to have to come stand in your faces.

    Like 17
  11. Anonymous says:

    Yall had the country on lockdown for lord knows how long!!! So many people were unemployed lost their permits lost their homes couldnt pay their rent yall have no plan no future!! Yall dont want to pay the monies how we gonna eat?what we gonna do busineses are locked down?? Omg like the plan to keep the place locked down it backfired I mean think of something to sustain the people man

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  12. Mr. Hodge says:

    Some persons got $45/$25?? to spend where Mr. Minister and on what? To the persons who’s salaries have not been affected during this pandemic, I would like you to imagine what it would be like to have a job but can’t get paid because you’re not working. Then there are those who have been on 1/2 salary or less based on the curfew times. Businesses that can’t function because of the curfew.It’s hard out here in these streets. Maybe SS needs to hire people to assist with the workload because I know you’re overwhelmed. You can’t help but be. But people have a real need and you have to be able to meet that need. People are frustrated and this is not the time to get an attitude and be all in your feelings when people express their anguish… I’m sorry that’s why you get paid the big bucks

    Like 11
  13. Truth says:

    This guy is way out of his league, totally c******s!

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  14. O please says:

    All chat and no action, I put in for stimulus package from June and all now. What are you trying to say there’s no number for them to call me to let me know if my application was approved or that they need more information. I think this is all a talk and something to make us feel like action are being taken. Fed up

  15. Speak up says:

    What a joke the way this so called social security is being handled. First and foremost, it is the tax payers money, not the government’s. You as a government say you have the public’s best interest well that’s b.s. while most working class people are suffering financially, the political force in this country is taking advantage of a horrible pandemic to better there families and self.

    It is really simple math, just do a stimulus pack 2k per person x 33k people supposedly on island = $66k why is the government making this so difficult?

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  16. Tola says:

    No you cant be serious and people out here still waiting for one mth. Please look in to this matter

  17. @Speak Up says:

    $2k x 32k is $66K???

  18. Virgin Islander says:

    This article has made me lose all respect for this Minister and his Government. Who vex, VEX. You mean to tell me this is the nonsense you as the minister responsible for coming here with? people have been waiting for months for their hard earned pittance and when you call Social Security they can tell you nothing but they working on it? How can there be tons of cheques sitting when they have the individuals names and Employers information? People who are lucky enough to get through are told on the phone that they don’t qualify. You mean to tell me, My hard earned money that I have paid into the scheme from inception and need now to access some, I don’t qualify? Where is my documentation stating why I don’t qualify? If I have lost income due to Covid for the months of March, April and May and you telling me I don’t qualify? something is wrong here. I would warn you all to get your act together when it comes to people hard earned money. This money was taken from Employees and Employers earning and not Government. Do what is right by the people who made social Security what it is today that the Executives could boast of its robust accumulated amounts. You all need to stop playing with people’s livelihood. If I don’t get my money, Barry say you will hear…

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  19. lol says:

    … Give the people the money ,it does not belong to you. This is the people money.He is sickening damm.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It is dirty, filthy, germsy and always hidden away like a sacred cow.

    You know its there, but you never see it. It has a special mystery to it.

    It is not easily gotten even after working hard for it.

    Even after working decades for it, you still are denied what is yours. It work wasn’t done you don’t expect pay. You do the work, but you get nothing but nothing.

    I can thoroughly relate to the frustrations expressed by Virgin Islander.

    What is it?

  21. Left overs says:

    Which means that there is left over money…. help those who haven’t received then consider extension…

  22. This is BVI says:

    I will write these words but I ask God to help me, many times I have criticized people who have committed suicide, but I see the situation I am going through is something difficult to live abroad for 7 years with ups and downs paying all your taxes complying with the law and because you try to change jobs and make a mistake they want to take you out of that country without money without a house to live in or food to give to your children, I ask God to help me, I’m going crazy from debt

  23. God bless you says:

    I will write these words but I ask God to help me, many times I have criticized people who have committed suicide, but I see the situation I am going through is something difficult to live abroad for 7 years with ups and downs paying all your taxes complying with the law and because you try to change jobs and make a mistake they want to take you out of that country without money without a house to live in or food to give to your children, I ask God to help me, I’m going crazy from debt

  24. Really! says:

    STFU, I’m sick & tired of hear n this government talk n with no actions. Wtf r u wait n on huh!!! The money belongs 2 the people the people is the ones responsible 4 the 62.9 million dollars its tax payers money so stop make people feel as if they have2 beg 4whats rightfully theirs!!! DAFG!!

  25. fed up says:

    I need my money I want to go home I need to be paid off from my job I was lead off stop playing around it is time I get my money

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