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Unemployment Benefit: Additional Two Weeks

“Government plans to extend the unemployment benefit for an additional two weeks to allow persons the opportunity to transition to the new benefit,” Minister Jason Hayward said, with the Minister explaining that the Government “will introduce supplemental unemployment assistance.”

Speaking at last night’s [July 23] press briefing, Minister Hayward said, “The public is aware that the Government’s unemployment benefit which was extended from 12 to 16 weeks comes to an end on the 31st of July, 2020.

“At that time, 3,802 applicants will receive their last payment. This number consists of:

  • 2,870 Bermudians;
  • 172 Spouses of Bermudians;
  • 50 Permanent Resident Certificate Holders; and
  • 700 Work Permit Holders.

“This will leave 1,555 individuals continuing to receive payments until their sixteen week period ends.

“With the end of the Unemployment Benefit, there 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.

“It should be noted at this time that the Government plans to extend the unemployment benefit for an additional two weeks to allow persons the opportunity to transition to the new benefit.

“From Monday, 27, July 2020, Financial Assistance applications may be collected from the Lobby of Global House, 43 Church Street, Hamilton. Should you be unable to collect an application, you must contact the Department to make alternative arrangements. For additional information, persons can call the Department of Financial Assistance Hotline at: 297 7867.

“When filling out the application form, please note that the form must be 100% completed for the applicant to be considered for assistance. Once all the required information is on the form, they must be submitted in the mailbox located in Global House.

“The Financial Assistance process is rigorous and applications will be vetted and applicants will be 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 a supplemental unemployment assistance. The Government will provide further details about the nature of this financial support in coming public announcements. However, eligibility for this support will likely be as follows. You must:

  • Be Bermudian or Spouse of Bermudian;
  • Be a recent recipient of the Unemployment Benefit Fund;
  • Have fully completed the Financial Assistance application process; and
  • Other criteria that will be shared in due course.

“Persons who receive such a benefit must immediately notify 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.”