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Over 59,000 Belizeans apply for Covid-19 relief assistance; payments processed for 1,400 people

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Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2020. 3:06 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: On Friday, April 3, the Government of Belize launched the COVID-19 e-Services Portal through which persons may apply to receive benefits from the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program.

As of midday today, April 9th, almost 59,500 applications for unemployment relief have been submitted online. There are also a number of hard copies that have been delivered that will be entered into the portal early next week, as soon as the proper protocols in relation to time and sanitization can be followed.

The Government says that the Economic Oversight Team has been diligently working on the verification and approval processes for these applications.

Payments to 1,488 already approved applicants were sent to the Social Security Board this morning for processing today.

Government informed that the verification and approval processes are continuous and will proceed throughout the long weekend, as the next batch of approved applications are expected to be a much larger number.

Applicants are reminded to make all efforts to ensure that they input the information on their application forms accurately.

Small errors in the spelling of names, Social Security numbers, or telephone numbers will cause delays in processing of applications or in communicating with applicants.

Please note that this program provides assistance of $150.00 every two weeks for three months to persons who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

It also provides assistance of $100.00 every two weeks for three months to persons who were unemployed prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now experiencing even more difficult circumstances.

These latter persons will also be referred to the Ministry of Human Development for consideration for further assistance through the social programs operated by that Ministry. Persons who are employed, whether full or part-time or are on leave from their job, do not qualify for this program and should not apply.

The following persons also do not qualify for the Unemployment Relief Program at this time:

  1. Persons who are not Belizean nationals
  2. Persons laid off in March 2020 by the Belize Tourism Board
  3. Persons under 18 years of age
  4. Persons receiving benefits from other government or social security programs

Applicants are once again encouraged to use the online application process via a computer, tablet, or internet-enabled smart phone since this will ensure that the time between application, approval, and relief payment will be shortest.

Please be as accurate as possible when entering the information. The vetting and approval processes are computer-based and dependent on correct information. If help is needed in filling out the form, a short instructional video can be found on the www.covid19.bz website.

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