Belmopan. April 14, 2020. 5:30 p.m. - As of 2:00 p.m. today, April 14th, 62,706 applications have been received via the COVID-19 eServices Portal, in addition to a lesser amount received in hard copy, for the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program.
The program was designed to offer financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. It also provides relief to persons who were unemployed prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now experiencing even more difficult circumstances.
Thus far, the Economic Oversight Team, which oversees the operations of the program, has been processing these applications and as of midday today, 7,247 applications have been approved and sent to the Social Security Board (SSB) for payment. Approximately 7,500 additional applications are currently being processed and should be ready for approval, in stages, between this afternoon and tomorrow morning.
Applicants that have been approved should receive a text message stating, “Your application for unemployment relief has been approved and has been sent to the SSB for payment.”
Approved applicants whose payments were dispatched since last Thursday, April 9th, prior to the Easter break, should have received their payments in their bank accounts by today, April 14th. The Economic Oversight Team is committed to the timely review of all applications received and ensuring that a response is sent as soon as the processing is complete. In some cases, however, applicants must be contacted to make corrections to incorrect information which may affect further processing of applications.
In line with social distancing rules and the protocols of the state of emergency, applicants are encouraged to use the online application process via a computer, tablet, or internet-enabled smart phone. This will ensure that the time between application, approval, and payment is reduced. If assistance is needed in filling out the form, a short instructional video can be found on the website at www.covid19.bz, or feel free to contact community leaders that may be able to assist. Please be reminded that because hard copies of the forms are manually entered into the portal, these additional steps increase the time between application drop-off and approval for disbursement. (Pic by Channel 5 News)