Acting Director of the NIS, Jennifer Hunte, disclosed that the volume of unemployment benefit claims has been significant and noted that staff are continuing to work diligently to ensure that all qualifying claimants receive their unemployment benefits. (Stock photo)

During the period March 23, 2020 to September 18, 2020 the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) paid $108.6 million to 31,055 unemployment benefit claimants.

Acting Director of the NIS, Jennifer Hunte said the number of claims received during that period exceeded the total combined claims of the previous three years:

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT CLAIMS
Year2020201920182017
PeriodMar 23 – Sept 18Jan – DecJan – DecJan – Dec
     
Claims Received                       35,455            11,369          12,233           10,747
Payments Made$108.6 million*$49.3 million$38.1 million$32.8 million
*2019 payments included settlement of claims backlog

The acting Director added that while the volume of claims has been significant, the staff continued to work diligently to ensure that all qualifying claimants receive their unemployment benefits.  

Mrs. Hunte also explained that as at September 18, 2020, there were approximately 4,400 persons who submitted claims but had not received unemployment benefit for various reasons including:

  • insufficient earnings,
  • have not worked for 52 weeks,
  • have exhausted their eligibility,
  • limited or inaccurate information supplied,
  • earnings reported by employers in the same period for which unemployment benefit was claimed.

With respect to earnings schedules which have been incorrectly completed or contain information which conflicts with the termination certificate, contact has been made with the respective employers to have the various issues addressed. Earnings indicate that the employee is in receipt of salary therefore no unemployment benefit will be paid in respect of that period. Those claimants who do not meet the qualifying conditions for receipt of unemployment benefit will receive disallowance letters.

The National Insurance Office has also been inundated with a large volume of telephone calls, a matter which the acting Director says is being addressed. Mrs. Hunte explained that call volume remains high, however during this period, customers may use the additional contact numbers and e-mail addresses posted on the official website: www.nis.gov.bb.

Claimants are advised to provide their e-mail address and telephone number on their termination certificates so that contact can be made quickly if necessary.

“We do apologize for any inconvenience caused to you our valued customers and we thank you for your continued patience and co-operation as we work together to ensure your remaining benefits are paid as quickly as possible,”  Mrs. Hunte said.

NIS

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