BVI News

Nearly $2M paid out to over 1200 applicants of unemployment relief

Social Security Minister Vincent Wheatley has said a little more than 18 percent of the 6,650 known persons who have applied for unemployment relief have received payments totalling nearly $2 million so far.

Specifically, 1,242 persons have received a combined total payment of $1,863,079.08.

Speaking in the House of Assembly recently, Wheatley said: “Claims are currently being processed and our staff are checking and checking again to ensure that claimants do or do not qualify before sending notices.”

800 applicants denied

Wheatley, who is also the Minister of Labour & Immigration, further said approximately 800 persons had failed to qualify for the unemployment relief benefits to date.

He said the staff within his ministry has been calling employers and claimants for missing information on some applications to ensure that claimants are not disqualified for missing information.

“The disqualifications are claimants not being in insurable employment for at least one year, claimants not having work for at least 13 out of 20 contribution weeks immediately before March 30th, and the loss of income not as a result of COVID-19,” Wheatley said while responding to questions from Opposition Leader Marlon Penn.

Why is the process taking so long?

Penn then asked why such a small percentage of applicants have only been processed thus far. He further asked what measures were being taken by the minister to ensure that residents who are in need of these funds receive them in a much timely manner.

In response, Minister Wheatley said his ministry was initially unprepared to handle such an initiative. This, he said is because of what he described as the unprecedented nature of COVID-19,

Wheatley said: “The systems had to be built, you don’t build systems very quickly and for this kind of nature, for this kind of money. We had extra staff working overtime ensuring that payments move as quickly as possible.”

“We have to be very careful we don’t rush and make too many mistakes because the same member will come back and crucify us for having made mistakes with a person’s payment. It is a manual process [and] everyone is checked manually … You would appreciate [that] with the amount of documents in there, it’s going to be a little late,” he added.

The Unemployment Relief Fund

The minister said his team is working as quickly and as accurately as they can to ensure full accountability by the time the process is over.

In May, Premier Andrew Fahie announced that $10 million had been allocated to an Unemployment Relief Fund which will be managed by the Social Security Board.

The initiative is part of the government’s economic stimulus plan and is geared at assisting residents whose employment status have been affected as a result of COVID-19.

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  1. really says:

    paid out wen and where

  2. Needing status says:

    Will everyone who applied be notified with an acceptance or rejection? Not knowing where your application stands is very frustrating. Don’t want to inundate them with status update reqeusts. Anyone know what the procedure is?

  3. What!! says:

    That figure averages out at $6,201.00 per person.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  4. Parent says:

    Govt. need to get some of these people who are not working out of the country,this money could of help some of our BVI Residents rebuild our dam homes.

    Like 2
    Dislike 10
    • @Parent says:

      Getting rid of the people that do all the work is not the solution. Neither you nor your lazy offspring are going to do any work. All your looking for is a handout. The same as Africans around the world

      Like 8
      Dislike 4
      • reality says:

        It is BVIslander who built the country by employing people gicing people woprk permits, you did not build the country you did the job you were employed to do, nothing more. This is the problem you think the BVI will sink without you yet you want to cling onto the country even without money…..strange really.

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  5. Check your spam says:

    If you haven’t heard yet, keep an eye on your junk/spam folder in your emails – that’s where mine ended up. Unfortunately I fell just short of the year mark so won’t be receiving anything but they let me know anyway. Still, I’m lucky as I have managed to get back to work and earn again.

  6. Old says:

    VIP people need help. Some people don’t work for months .some companies take out people money and don’t pay it in to social security .what the people should do .All that is Sin.MR Wheathley help the people..

  7. Anonymous says:

    This damn government need to go…..

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  8. Gee says:

    This damn government need to go…..

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  9. A says:

    A man got $3000 . He never works nowhere. He said he 3 grann to smoke his weed. Now he is looking for some high grade weed.

  10. Still Waiting says:

    Ha… We are still waiting for out Belongers cards since January!!!

  11. Sand says:

    I received an email three weeks ago about deposit $1000. To my account and if I’m still not working I must apply for June, up until now No money in my account. I asked the bank to double check on the deposit and up until now nothing. I called social security which they mention they issued the money but not sure when it will appear in my account and they have other people with the same complaint.

  12. Jane says:

    My thing is everyone who was not receiving pay because of the lock down should benefit

  13. ghutty says:

    build back homes?how much are they expecting to get to do that? after hurricane irma, many home owners got insurance payout and instead of building back their homes, they left the bvi and go to the states with their big insurance to spend in the usa and leave their own home to redevelop. local money is not good for locals to spend here. every time they get money, they fly to the states to spend it,they come broke and then start bullying the expats who have been here working to help bring back the bvi in a state to which they once were.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Is you them want to give it’s not for everyone who needs only special ppl

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