NIB moving to ‘expedite’ unemployment benefit claims process in the wake of Hurricane Dorian

NIB moving to ‘expedite’ unemployment benefit claims process in the wake of Hurricane Dorian
National Insurance Board headquarters

Labour Director: Claimants number in ‘the thousands’, businesses have 90-day window to make a decision on redundancy packages

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The National Insurance Board (NIB) has moved to ‘expedite’ the processing of unemployment benefit claims for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian, with the number of people seeking the unemployment benefit reportedly in ‘the thousands’.

Labour Director John Pinder told Eyewitness News Onlinemost people submitting resumes to the department have indicated they are only interested in short-term jobs in Nassau.

“We have had and quite a large influx of persons as it relates to persons coming in and applying for the unemployment,” Pinder said.

“There are a few persons who have been submitting resumes as it relates to trying to find jobs in Nassau. For the most part however persons have indicated that they only want short-term jobs in Nassau until they get back to Abaco and Grand Bahama.”

He continued: “The crowd was so big we had to set up our offices at NIB just to avoid them having to have the hassle of coming to one of the sub stations. We still had a number of persons showing up at the substations. I can tell you the numbers were in the thousands, it had to be a couple thousand for sure.”

The National Insurance Board (NIB) in a press release issued on Wednesday called on employers from Grand Bahama and the Abacos whose businesses resulted in staff layoffs and loss of wages to help expedite the processing of claims for the unemployment benefit for claimants impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

The board stated it will accept a listing of unemployed staff in cases where the required Employers Lay-Off Certificate (Form B80) cannot be issued to each employee. Employers providing employee lists are to include: the full name of employee; the National Insurance number; employment start and end dates and date of birth (if available) for each employee.

Mr Pinder said employers have 90 days before redundancy packages become an issue.

“Based on the law, employers have a 90-day window in a situation like this. After that employers have to make a decision as to whether they will offer redundancy packages. It’s going to be very difficult. I think the government is trying its best to assist businesses. They have a 90 day window and after that they have to make a decision, whether they are going to stay in business and keep the staff employed. I don’t know if after 90 days any special privilege will be given to them,” said Pinder.

He added: “While we are talking about enhancing the building codes to protect the residents, businesses now have to recognize use the importance of having some sort of insurance to be able to take care of their or else they have to make them redundant.”