Posted: Monday, March 30, 2020. 5:49 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: As the country prepares for a national shutdown this week, the Social Security Board (SSB) is doing its part to help Belizeans through the difficulty by rolling out new measures, which were announced today.
The SSB announced several measures which include new office hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) for essential services only, while all non-essential services have been suspended until further notice. Claimants can now submit benefit claims as scanned document or picture to [email protected], or drop off claims at the drop boxes located outside all office branches. The deadline for claims has also been extended to up to six months with no penalties.
“We wish to inform the general public that while Social Security will support the unemployment initiative to facilitate payments where possible. The application form will not be available on the COVID-19 website until this Friday,” the SSB said.
Other measures include a two-month vaiver of employee contributions for employers and advance payment of contributor pensions (retirement, invalidity, survivors’, disablement and death) with the pension period of March 16- April 12 and April 13- May 10 being paid out as of April 2. The SSB noted that the one-month advance will be deducted from future payments.
The regulation governing benefits have also been amended through Statutory Instrument (SI) 43 of 2020 to allow for sickness benefit coverage to unemployed workers who become sick with COVID-19. The SSB said that the measures were rolled out in light of the current local situation with COVID-19.
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