NIC Says Economic Relief Payments Have Passed $20 Million

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Press Release:- The National Insurance Corporation (NIC) today announced payment for income support under the Economic Relief Programme has exceed $20 million dollars. 

As of Thursday, 9th July, the NIC has: 

  • Processed a total of 26,695 applications.
  • Paid $20,053,067.60 million to qualifying applicants for the months of April and May.
  • Paid all the applications for April and May which had completed information. However, we have a number of applications on query which we are actively engaged in resolving.

The backlog of queried claims has been reduced to 517, which is 1.97 % of total applications processed to date.

This represents a significant reduction since the initial batch of 4,777 which formed 47.76 % of the flood of applications for income support at the start of the Economic Relief Programme in April.

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How fast an applicant gets paid under the ERP for a particular month depends on the following critical elements:

  1. Accuracy of the information provided by the employee on the ERP E-form
  2. The timing of filing the application (e.g. filing for April in June) and
  3. The employer uploading relevant employee information via the Employer Portal on a timely basis. 

Although the NIC has made over 20,000 payments, some applicants would have experienced considerable delays as a result of incomplete or inaccurate information relating to their applications.

The NIC took the decision to process applications for the months of April and May 2020 and make payments to these applicants in the absence of upload by some employers in order to expedite payments to these applicants because:

  1. Some of these applications had remained unpaid for too long
  2. The information was too slow in coming from some employers
  3. The NIC empathized with the applicant and understood the challenges confronting them.
  4. The NIC could reasonably assume that persons were not in employment for that period. 

 However, the NIC is aware that most employees outside the tourism sector have returned to work during the month of June and it would be contrary to the spirit and intent of the program to pay the Economic Relief support to persons in receipt of a salary.

The NIC is also aware that some Employers are either reluctant or unwilling to send in/upload the information necessary for the NIC to ascertain the employment status of the applicant.

Reluctantly, because of this, the NIC will only be processing payments for the month of June for applicants whose employers have provided the information required by the NIC. 

In such cases, applicants should expect at a minimum, to wait a long time before receiving any payment from the NIC. 

Some employers have uploaded information for June, so we have already commenced making payments for that period. 

Again, Employers are reminded of the need to return to the portal to update the NIC on the current employment status of their employees.

 

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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