by Anicia Antoine, GIS
The National Insurance Corporation recently provided an update on the economic relief programme, as it continues to assist persons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of July 28, the NIC had processed a total of 36, 733 applications with $30.1 million being distributed. As the NIC continues to process claims, employers are encouraged to update the portal and notify the NIC of any changes to allow for the smooth processing of payments.
NIC Communications Manager, Mr. MacNaughton McLean, said no payouts would be made for the month of June until employers have updated the information on the portal.
“We still have this issue of employers failing to provide the necessary information for us to process claims. The number of employers who registered on the employer portal is 1367, with 718 yet to submit information for June,” he explained.
Head of Group Internal Audit of the NIC, Mrs. Sue-Ann Charlery-Payne explained that while in excess of 18, 000 applicants have successfully received payments, the NIC has made efforts to improve communication to better assist individuals who are currently facing difficulties with the economic relief program. Mrs. Payne also explained that persons in receipt of another benefit from NIC do not qualify for the ERP program.
“The regulations stipulate that applicants would be paid the higher of the two benefits. So, for example, if an individual is qualified for maternity benefits and economic relief benefits, they would be paid only the higher of the two benefits. If the lower benefit is processed beforehand, but the second benefit is higher, they will subsequently receive the difference.”
Mrs. Payne also explained that the NIC does not pay in advance.
“We need to allow the time to pass. Until the time has passed, we cannot pay.”
The NIC would like to notify self-employed and voluntary contributors that the NIC offices are now open, and that persons can continue to make their contributions.