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Sep 14, 2020

62,000+ Persons Apply for Unemployment Relief, but Only 32% are Approved

The COVID 19 pandemic has left thousands jobless, without income and in desperate need of assistance.  Latest figures show that sixty-two thousand three hundred and sixty-three persons applied to benefit from phase two of the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Programme.  The programme is for persons who have lost their jobs and have no money coming in due to COVID-19.  The relief is one hundred and fifty dollars every two weeks—not much, but it helps to put food on the table. As of this morning, twenty thousand one hundred and ninety-seven applications were approved which represents about thirty-two percent of the total applications. Of this number, eighteen thousand three hundred and sixty-four payments have been sent to the National Bank of Belize which is now the paying agent of the programme.  According to a release, six hundred and fifty-two payments have been rejected; over eleven thousand have been excluded for a number of reasons including that applicants are benefitting from other programmes, are deceased persons or have identified an employer that says they do not or have never worked at their business establishment.  In the ongoing phase two, the issuance of top-up cards will be done through the Labour Department.  Of note is that one thousand top-up cards remain at the Social Security Board offices for persons approved under phase one.

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