NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The National Insurance Board has released a fact sheet to make clear how customers can access benefits if they contract the coronavirus (COVID-19) or are quarantined due to suspected or confirmed exposure.
The board confirmed both the Sickness and Unemployement Benefits are payable.
To access the Sickness Benefit, an individual must be employed on the day of or the day before the illness began, and must be able to satisfy the contribution conditions.
Those contributions are: “You must have paid at least 40 contributions overall; and you must have paid and/or been credited with: 13 contributions in the 26 weeks immediately before the week in which the period of quarantine was imposed; or 26 contributions in the 52 weeks before the week in which the period of quarantine was imposed; or 26 contributions in the contribution year immediately preceding the first day of your quarantine.
The NIB statement continued: “Note that you must follow the same process as you ordinarily would for claiming Sickness Benefit, specifically, your illness must be confirmed by a medical practitioner, and your employer must confirm that you are off from work.
The process is identical for those placed in quarantine due to exposure, with the period of quarantine confirmed by a medical practitioner, and work leave confirmed by your employer.
For those temporarily laid off due to economic impacts of the global pandemic, there is a three-day waiting period from last day of work before the benefit will begin.
To qualify, an individual must: satisfy the Department of Labour’s conditions for registration; be younger than 65 years of age; and have paid at least 52 contributions overall.
The applicant must also have paid or been credited with at least: 13 contributions in the 26 weeks immediately before the week unemployment began; and seven contributions in the 13 weeks immediately before the week unemployment began.