The COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program

The COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program is entering into its Phase 2 and will continue to provide financial assistance to workers who have lost their income due to the negative economic impact of Covid-19. 

The Unemployment Relief Program offers financial relief to:    

  1.     Workers who have been laid off because of COVID-19:

  2.     Self-employed persons who have lost their jobs and income as a result of
the impact of the COVID-19 

Long Term unemployed persons who were not approved in Phase 1 have been referred to the Ministry of Human Development for consideration in relation to the expanded programs being offered by that Ministry.  Long-term unemployed will not be an eligible category in Phase 2.

The financial relief to be provided in Phase 2 will be the same as that provided in Phase 1:  $150 every two weeks for a 12-week period.    

Laid off workers who can benefit from the Covid-19 Unemployment Relief Program remain the same as in Phase 1, including but not limited to:

 ·       Tour guides

 ·       Office Staff 

 ·       Cleaners/Janitors/Room Attendants

 ·       Kitchen and Dining Room Staff

 ·       Gift Shop staff

 ·       Bus/Van Drivers

 ·       Construction workers connected to tourism related projects

 ·       Border point and free zone workers

 ·       Self Employed Independent tourism operators such as:  

o   Freelance guides,

o   Craft Vendors,

o   Hair braiders

o   Entertainers

 ·       Taxi operators

 ·       Others which may be added

Persons who will not be approved for Unemployment Relief are:

 ·       Persons under 18 years of age

 ·       Persons receiving benefits from other government programs such as BOOST or Pantry of the Ministry of Human Development and persons receiving a pension from Government or Social Security Board.

The Unemployment Relief payments in Phase 2 will also be made every two weeks for a
period of 12 weeks. 

 

Payments will be made by direct deposit into the bank or credit union accounts of approved applicants or via a prepaid Top Up card.

The Covid-19 portal will be open for applications for Unemployment Relief on August 3, 2020. 

You will fill out your application form online. Please ensure that you input all your personal information exactly as it is on your social security card. If it is not correct your application will not be accepted. 

 

Please also ensure you input you bank account information correctly.  If you are unsure, ask your bank for the correct manner to input your bank account number to receive direct deposits.

That number will be used to send you SMS messages on the status of your application. Please ensure you input your telephone number correctly so you can be contacted. 

You will be sent a notification by email or SMS that your application for financial assistance has been received.

If your application for Unemployment Relief is approved, you will be sent an SMS to inform you that you have been approved.

 

When your payment has been sent to your bank account or Top up card you will receive an SMS message that this has been done.

Yes, you will have to apply for Unemployment Relief again in Phase 2. 

If your application was approved in Phase 1, that approval will not automatically carry over into Phase 2, since some persons who were unemployed have gone back to work and new persons have become unemployed. Please apply again if you are still unemployed

 

If your application was not approved in Phase 1, you may reapply in Phase 2.  Please ensure you provide all the information requested.

If you need further  information on the employment relief program, please send an email to: unemployment@covid19.bz  You can also send a text to 613-0095.  This number only receives texts, not calls. Messages can be sent to this email and number at any time.

Numbers to call during normal working hours will be provided by August 4, 2020.

 

Please note that you will be asked to consent to your information being exchanged between ministries, agencies of the Government, your bank or credit union for verification and compliance purposes.