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Contact details for benefits scheme help

A list of numbers including WhatsApp contact details was released yesterday so people can get help with applications for the Government's unemployment benefits scheme.

Lovitta Foggo, the labour minister, said: “We want this process to be as seamless and efficient as possible.

“We understand the financial hardships being faced by those who are unemployed as a direct result of Covid-19.

“We want to ensure that those who qualify have the benefit of this financial safety net.

“Last week, I announced that we've already started making payments to individuals who have met the criteria.”

Ms Foggo added that anyone who needed help to complete the online application should call:

? 297-7714

? 297-7716

? 707-5439

? 707-5438

? 707-5440

? 707-5442

Ms Foggo said that numbers starting with 707 could also be contacted through WhatsApp.

She added: “We are a compassionate and caring government and we are committed to assisting where we can.

“I encourage residents to use our resources to help them navigate through these challenging times.”

The Government said that the Ministry of Finance was working with the Department of Workforce Development and banks to make sure that funds were available for unemployment benefits.

A spokesman explained that the Covid-19 payment programme was for “eligible employees not currently on financial assistance”.

The scheme provides 60 per cent of a weekly gross salary, up to a maximum of $500 per week.

Benefits are for a maximum of 12 weeks per employee from the date of application.

The press release explained that employees must meet the definition of an employee under the Employment Act 2000 and either:

• possess Bermudian status; or

• be the spouse of a person who possesses Bermudian status; or

• be a permanent resident as provided for in section 23 of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956; or

• have a valid work permit as defined in the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 and can show that they were prevented at the time of the application, due to travel restrictions directly related to Covid-19, from departing Bermuda.

They must also have been in full-time employment but, because of Covid-19, they:

• were laid off from work; or

• are self-employed, and without income or their income has been substantially reduced, and are registered with the Office of the Tax Commissioner; or

• have had their employment terminated; or

• are engaged as an employee, but working substantially reduced hours for the time being; or

• are subject to mandatory quarantine or isolation, without compensation.

Encouraging uptake: Lovitta Foggo, the labour minister (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 09, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 09, 2020 at 9:01 am)

Contact details for benefits scheme help

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