By Loshaun Dixon


More than $2 million has been paid out so far by Social Security under the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, with 2,000 recipients benefiting from the initial payment in April.

This was disclosed by the Kamila Lawrence, Social Security public relations officer. The fund was established to assist those who lost their jobs or are on reduced hours and earning less than $1,000 per month.

Lawrence said daily deposits are still being made to some who were not paid and said qualifying applications who did not receive the income support for April will eventually benefit.

Lawrence  explained, “Payments not completed in the month of April will be made in May along with the May’s payment.”

She said every effort is being made to ensure all outstanding benefits are paid out.

“The Social Security Board and the Labour Department are working closely together to ensure that all eligible persons are paid as promptly as possible given the current challenges.”

She reminded recipients that hard copies of the application form can be collected from the Social Security Offices and applicants can place the completed forms in the drop boxes of the two agencies.

Lawrence said employers must submit the names of employees who have been laid off, employed with reduced hours or were made redundant due to the fallout from COVID-19. To qualify earnings must be less than $1,000 per month.

She implored all to ensure the information provided on the forms are accurate and to not submit duplicate forms.

“Contact your bank to verify your account information to avoid further delay and charges.” “This can hamper the process and cause many delays.”

This Emergency Relief Fund will pay up to EC$1,000.00 monthly for three months in the first instance to persons whose income has been impacted by COVID-19.