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COVID Unemployment Relief Program Phase Two #543315
07/03/20 04:52 AM
07/03/20 04:52 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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COVID Unemployment Relief Pgm Phase Two Has Narrower Focus

And while the program for MSME's starts on August first, the second wave fo the unemployment relief program will start before that.

But, this time, it will have a narrower focus group. It will not include those who have been unemployed for years but focus instead on getting relief to those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. That change is likely due to the absence of the PUP from the decision making. In March, the PUP had pressed for the program to be all inclusive, while the UDP just wanted it to cover those in the tourism sector.

Well, the second push from this program which goes live later this month will be closer to that original vision. We start the explanation with a review of phase one of the program:

Dr. Carla Barnett - Economic Czar
"Of these persons, a fully 45% were persons who were laid off and we had another 25% who were self employed persons and the remaining 30% fell in that category that we termed long term unemployed persons. The total expenditure by the time we complete all of the payments under phase 1 will be about 34.5 million dollars. The category we had in phase 1 that we termed long term unemployed, we will direct all of those persons to the Ministry of Human Development."

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister

"They will now be looked at in the context of the augmentation of the BOOST program. It's not that we want to now turn our backs on those that got in, in the terms of the relief offered to those principally we thought, that were affected by Covid. So, the concentration, the priority always ought to have been those that were newly unemployed."

How to Apply For Unemployment Relief

So, phase two of the unemployment relief program with a more specific focus on the recently unemployed will now be opened at the middle of this month.

It will be routed through the same COVID19.bz website, and applicants are asked to be very precise with their information:

Dr. Carla Barnett - Economic Czar

"Once we come past the middle of July, we're going to be clearing up the portal that people were able to apply on and you will be able to go on and do a new application if you're going to be applying for phase 2. So, these people will be redirected to the Ministry of Human Development to determine their qualification for any assistance that may be available there and persons under phase 1 who were approved and who are still unemployed are eligible to reapply in phase 2. We will ask that people reapply because we are aware that people have gone back to work and we want to be sure that people who are back at work are not included in those who are going to be in phase 2. One of the things that hampered us a lot in the phase 1 of the unemployment relief program was the amount of user errors, user input errors that we found and so, I would want to ask applicants both on the MSNE program and on phase 2 of the Unemployment Relief Program to please exercise the greatest of care in inputting information. Your name in particular, your social security number, you wouldn't imagine the amount of errors we had in those kinds of identifiers and if you make a mistake in that, then it really takes a long time to sort those out. Take your time, make your information is correct that you're inputting, and it moves a lot faster after that."

Channel 7


Re: COVID Unemployment Relief Program Phase Two [Re: Marty] #543416
07/09/20 04:39 AM
07/09/20 04:39 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,356
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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G.O.B. Announces COVID-19 Unemployment Top-up Cards

Approved applicants for the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief are advised that top-up cards will be prepared for those who still have not been able to receive their approved payments due to banking information errors. Such persons should send a text with their correct telephone number to phone number 613-0095 so that they can be contacted should the need arise.

Re: COVID Unemployment Relief Program Phase Two [Re: Marty] #544111
08/11/20 04:25 AM
08/11/20 04:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,356
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Marty  Online Happy OP

Phase Two Of Unemployment Relief Rolls Out

The Government of Belize is getting ready to start vetting applications for the second round of aid to needy Belizeans under phase 2 of its Unemployment Relief Program.

The application portal opened up a week ago, and 49 thousand persons have already applied.

To provide an update on the program, and to answer a few of the frequently asked questions, Dr. Carla Barnett, the Labour Minister of State who is in charge of the roll-out, appeared this afternoon on Ask the Experts.

Here's her outline of the current state of affairs:

Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett - Minister of State, Labour, Local Government, Rural Development
"The Unemployment Relief Program, Phase 2, opened for applications a week ago, and we've had quite a number of applications already accepted in the system. The last I counted, it was upwards of 49 thousand people [who] have already applied. And so, we've already begun the process of sifting out and pulling out the ones that are clearly well-prepared, and everything, and following up on those that require further information to be provided. But, people are asking questions. People are passing on to us some of the issues that they're having, but we expect that roll out reasonably smoothly, and we should see approvals and payments begin to be made by the end of this week, or the latest, the beginning of next week."

"We have spent so far 35 million [dollars] on COVID unemployment relief. In this second phase, we have divided it up differently, and we now have 14 million that's earmarked specifically for unemployment relief, and 14 million that's allocated specifically for small and medium enterprises, that's intended to support the retention of unemployment. So, it's not only payment for not working, but also to help businesses to keep employment alive."

Dorian Pakeman - Host
"What are the qualifications for the Unemployment Relief Program? Who qualifies?"

Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett
"The persons who have lost their employment as a result of the impact of COVID-19. That's the definition, yes, and that could be somebody who works for somebody else, meaning they're an employee. And we have a lot of applications coming particularly from the tourism sector still. And then, you can also be a self-employed person, providing goods and services as a self-employed person. And again, it would have to be that you lost your ability to earn your income in your self-employed activity, because of COVID. The bottom line is that it should be because of COVID."

Dorian Pakeman
"How many people will be helped in this phase of the program?"

Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett
"As many as we can. We have 14 million directly to unemployed persons who lost their jobs or cannot work because of COVID, and then there's 7 million that we're channeling through the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, for persons who employers would like to keep on, but are in danger of having to lay them off. So, we put that 7 there. And in putting there, we're expecting that the employers will also be paying their social security contributions so that they remain current with Social Security."

Dorian Pakeman
"Will there be an increase in employee benefit rates, or is it the same amount?"

Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett
"It's the same amount. It's $150 every 2 weeks, for 6 payments, so that's 3 months."

If You Havenít Gotten Your Benefit Yet...

A few of the applicants from the first round made sure to ask Dr. Barnett about the beneficiaries who have still not received their money under the first phase of the Unemployment Relief program. She said that a number of them should have received their money today:

Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett - Minister of State, Labour, Local Government, Rural Development
"All have still not been delivered. On my way here, I was checking on it, and there's the last batch of quite a few hundred that are being delivered today, and that should be last of it for the top-up cards. And that should be the last of the transactions on phase 1. We're trying to tie that up, to finish that up, finally in the next few days. And that should be the last of it for the top-up cards, and that should be the last of the transactions on phase 1. So, we're trying to tie that up finally, over these next few days."

According to Dr. Barnett, if you are receiving your benefits from phase 1 this late, you should receive all the money you would have received in 3 months, in one lump sum.

She is also asking for beneficiaries to hold on to their top-up cards if they qualified for phase 1, and they are applying to receive aid a second time.

Channel 7


Re: COVID Unemployment Relief Program Phase Two [Re: Marty] #544136
08/12/20 04:25 AM
08/12/20 04:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,356
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Marty  Online Happy OP

The Government of Belize - Unemployment Relief Program Update
The Government has rolled out the second phase of the Unemployment Relief Program in the form of the MSME Support Program. It seeks to offer different levels of support to employers and entrepreneurs. Our guests shared the details of the different options and who qualifies to access the support.
Dr. Leroy Almendarez - Executive Director, BELTRAIDE
Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett - Minister of State, Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development


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