The Government provided some further information on the unemployment benefit, financial assistance, and supplemental unemployment assistance.
A Government spokesperson said, “The public is aware that the Government’s unemployment benefit was extended from 12 to 16 weeks is now being extended by a further 2 weeks for a total of 18 weeks. It must be noted that due to individuals enrolling in the benefit at different times, over the next two months, their 18 week period of benefits will also end at different times.
“For clarity, all persons will not exhaust their benefit at the same time and individuals who are currently receiving the benefit will automatically receive the additional two weeks. Anyone who has already come off the program because they have returned to work will not receive any further benefits.
“The Government recognises that with the eventual end of the Unemployment Benefit, there will remain many in our community who are not yet on their feet and still require financial aid to provide the necessities of life such as food shelter and clothing.
“To address this, those individuals who have completed the Unemployment Benefit and are still in need of financial aid will need to first apply for financial assistance through the Department of Financial Assistance [DFA].
“Financial Assistance applications may be collected in the Lobby of Global House, 43 Church Street, Hamilton, Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Should you be unable to collect an application, you must contact the DFA to make alternative arrangements. For additional information, persons can call the DFA Hotline at 297 7867.
“When collecting your application, please take note that the standard COVID-19 safety and hygiene measures apply and everyone must adhere to the following Pre-Screening Process:
- 1. The applicant will walk into the Department of Financial Assistance, located on 1st Floor Global House, Lobby A.
- 2. A Security Officer will manage the flow of traffic.
- 3. The Documents will be pre-packaged and given to each Applicant. Applicants must collect their own packages and present proof of identification.
- 4. The applicant takes the package away with them to complete it. The application cannot be completed at DFA’s office.
“When filling out the application form, please note that it must be 100% completed for the applicant to be considered for assistance. Once all the required information is on the form, they must be deposited in Drop Box located on the First Floor in Global House.
“The Financial Assistance process is rigorous and all applications will be vetted and applicants notified accordingly. Should your application for financial assistance be approved, you will begin receiving the approved monthly award payments.
“For persons who are not eligible for Financial Assistance, the Government wishes to advise that it will introduce supplemental unemployment assistance. The Government will provide further details about the nature of this financial support in future public announcements. However, eligibility for this support will likely be as follows. You must:
- 1. Be Bermudian or Spouse of Bermudian;
- 2. Be a recent recipient of the Unemployment Benefit Fund;
- 3. Have fully completed the Financial Assistance application process; and
- 4. Other criteria that will be shared in due course.
“As a reminder, all individuals who receive these benefits must immediately notify the Government when they commence any form of employment as they will no longer be eligible. It must be stated, that the aid given is only a temporary measure to help persons through this difficult time.
“Lastly, due to the Cup Match holiday, no payments will be made this week. The next payment cycle will run towards the end of the first week in August 2020.”