NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister with responsibility of the National Insurance Board (NIB) Brensil Rolle said yesterday it would be ‘no surprise’ if NIB pays out $100 million in unemployment benefits.
Rolle revealed $78 million has been paid out to-date, during a contribution in Parliament in support of a resolution for the conversion of $37 million in Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) bonds to a 20 year loan with NIB.
He noted that since March 23 this year, NIB has processed over 36,000 claims and has paid out over $78 million.
“Notwithstanding we have paid out over $78 million to the Bahamian population I understand there are some frustrations and some complaints,” Rolle said.
He said NIB is working to address the various issues such as persons not getting their claims processed or those who may have only gotten one or two unemployment benefit payments.
“Whatever our obligation is we will do our best to get the funds to you on a timely basis,” said Rolle.
“We started this process from March 23 and realized that we had many applications for assistance dated earlier. We did not anticipate the amount of layoffs that happened before March 23.”
“We rolled back the date to March 13. That means an additional 5,000 people will get assistance from National Insurance in this regard. These persons, once they are properly verified will receive their benefit in the shortest possible time,” said Rolle.
Rolle added: “We would not be surprised if we spend 100 million on this exercise. That is on the NIB side to the government side.”
He also urged to not abuse the unemployment claims process.
“Be honest when you return to work you are not out of work. You should be paid by the employer and not NIB,” said Rolle.