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Supplementary benefits to be paid out

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The labour minister said that “efforts are being made” to have the first of the Government's supplementary unemployment benefits paid out today.

Jason Hayward was quizzed yesterday after Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, said on Wednesday that payments would be made “before the end of this week”.

Mr Roban added: “I know this will be welcome news for many families.”

The supplementary benefits scheme was set up to help Bermudians still struggling at the end of the Government's 18-week emergency unemployment fund.

The emergency fund, which also covered expatriate workers, started at the end of March as a lifeline for people put out of work when strict lockdown measures were introduced to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

A small, but undisclosed, number of workers are still on the emergency benefit, which pays a maximum of $500 a week.

It continued for some people because workers applied at different times during the summer.

But Mr Hayward said this month the “majority” of the thousands who had signed on had later moved off the emergency scheme and many were now back at work.

Bermudian recipients who were still in need have been moved over to the Department of Financial Assistance, where people must apply to get further government help.

Mr Hayward said this month that about 700 application forms had been picked up from the department.

The department runs the supplementary benefits scheme as well as the regular financial assistance programme.

Mr Hayward said yesterday that “just over 100” people would receive the supplementary unemployment benefits in the first payment cycle.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (File photograph)

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Published September 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated September 18, 2020 at 1:24 pm)

Supplementary benefits to be paid out

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