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Apr 14, 2020

Additional 5000 Approved for COVID-19 Relief

Just after he made those unsavory comments on who gets funds under the COVID Relief programme, Doug Singh spoke in a much saner tone to News Five. Now, one of the big issues coming out of the handling of the COVID-19 response is the unemployment relief programme; that programme is managed by the Economic Oversight Committee that vets and approves applications and then forwards those approvals to the Social Security Board that acts as the paying agent.  Well, when we left you last week Thursday, almost one thousand five hundred applications were approved.  Chairman Singh told us via phone that an additional five thousand applications were approved. Singh shared the status of the disbursements.


On the Phone: Doug Singh, Chairman, S.S.B.

“The team that is doing the approval approved around 1400 application last week Thursday. Social Security received that list of approval and commenced the disbursements last week Thursday. Of that 1400 or so, we actually issued payments to the accounts of just over one thousand of that 1400. Those were mainly at Atlantic Bank and Belize Bank. The other two banks, Heritage Bank and Scotia Bank and Credit Unions made up the balance and those were processed on Tuesday which is today. Of course, the banks closed relatively early on Thursday and didn’t reopen until today. So, anyone who got funds over the weekend is because those funds had been posted to their accounts from last week Thursday.”


Andrea Polanco

“Were any other applications approved and forwarded for payments to be disbursed?”


On the Phone: Doug Singh

“Yes, today we received a list of just over five thousand that have been approved and those are being processed and it is possible that some of those may have even gotten processed today. Once it is approved, social security has access to the data and it is sorted in a particular way that allows us to break it down by banks and goes all the way to the beneficiary. Those that can be done quickly, we process very quickly like what we are able to do last Thursday. But based on the way the process works, it is entirely possible that we would have been able to make some payments today and do all the payments by tomorrow.”


As an update, a press relief received a short while ago says that as of two p.m. today, April fourteenth, a total of sixty-two thousand seven hundred and six applications have been received via the COVID-19 e-Services Portal, with a smaller number of hard copy applications. In addition, as of this afternoon, a total of seven thousand two hundred and forty seven applications have been approved and sent to the Social Security Board for payment.  The release says that “another seven thousand five hundred applications are currently being processed and should be ready for approval, in stages, between this afternoon and tomorrow morning.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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