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The National Insurance Board Press Release on Unemployment Benefit

The National Insurance Board Press Release on Unemployment Benefit

3/4/2010 7:43:45 AM
Prime Minister the Right Honourable Hubert Ingraham this week approved the request from the National Insurance Board (NIB), to close out the interim phase and begin the next, permanent phase of the Unemployment Benefit with effect from June 1, 2010. His authorization is in accordance with the Unemployment Benefit Regulations which allow for the Minister with responsibility for National Insurance to advise on the effective date of the permanent phase of the approved program. This new phase will afford unemployed workers the same level of coverage and benefit provisions as the interim phase, but with different qualifying conditions, and a modest increase in contributions.

In April, 2009, the National Insurance Board (NIB) introduced the interim phase of the Unemployment Benefit, bringing to 10 the number of income-replacing benefits that replace a portion of wages lost when contributors to National Insurance lose employment income for specified reasons. At December 31, 2009, NIB had paid out unemployment benefits nationwide to 14,071 Bahamians, totaling some $20.833 million. During the initial design, NIB recognized the prevailing economic conditions and its impact on the unemployment levels in The Bahamas, and so designed liberal eligibility conditions – including contribution requirements – for the first phase. The intent was to help ease the financial burden of as many unemployed workers as possible. There was no adjustment to the NIB contribution rate.

The permanent phase of Unemployment Benefit requires an adjustment in contributions, and so, on June 1, 2010 – for the first time in the 35-year existence of the National Insurance programme – the rate of contributions will be increased by 1% – one half percent (.50%) to be paid by the employer, and one-half percent (.50) to be paid by the employee. This means that the current rate of 8.8%, shared 5.4% for employer and 3.4% for employee, will change to 9.8%, shared 5.9% for employer, and 3.9% for employee. This translates to a maximum weekly increase of $2 for the employer and $2 for the employee; though relatively slight, this increase represents a further strengthening of our social security safety net.

Additionally, the contribution conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for Unemployment Benefit will change. In this permanent phase, a claimant must have paid at least 52 contributions to National Insurance in his work life. In addition, he must have paid and/or been credited with 13 contributions in the 26 weeks immediately before the week unemployment began, and he must have paid and/or been credited with seven contributions in the 13 weeks immediately before the week unemployment began.

As in Phase I, the benefit will be paid at a rate of 50% of the average insurable income for up to 13-weeks. Cheques will be paid every two weeks.

Leading up to the implementation of the permanent phase of the Unemployment Benefit, NIB will continue to keep the public informed through its ongoing public relations initiatives.
Comments (3) Add Comment Add Comment
Posted By: Mrs. Knowles on 4/22/2010 6:39:36 AM
It is been said that the Unemployment Benefit has been extended beyond 13 weeks. Kindly confirm.
Posted By: Ms. Williams on 5/4/2010 4:59:30 PM
If you have already received unemployment benefits and after the 13 weeks you were not able to find a job and are still unemployed up to now, can you re-apply for the unemployment benefit? If so, how long after receiving benefit can you apply?
Posted By: Marisa on 5/14/2010 3:59:12 PM
I was wondering if you can receive the second phase off the unemployment benefit if you already receive the first phase of it. If you are still unemployed
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The National Insurance Board (NIB)began operations in October 1974, to ad-minister a social security system that wouldprovide workers and their families withbasic financial protection against the lossof employment earnings in the event ofsickness, childbirth, retirement, invalidity,death, workplace injury (1980), and un-employment (2009). Under NationalInsurance, insured contributors are coveredfor three main types of contingencies –
Employers are reminded that summer students between the ages of 14 years and 24 years, who are employed for an aggregate of 10 weeks, between the period June 1 and August 31, in any year, are exempted from paying National Insurance contributions from their earnings. The employer, however, is required to pay contributions of two percent (2%) of the students’insurable wages in respect of their summer earnings.
For the first time since the National Insurance programme started in 1974, the rate of contribution payments will be increased for employed persons. Beginning June 1, 2010, the rate will be increased by 1% – one half percent (.50%) to be paid by the employer, and one-half percent (.50) to be paid by the employee. This means that the current rate of 8.8%, shared 5.4% for employer and 3.4% for employee, will change to 9.8%, shared 5.9% for employer, and 3.9% for employee. This translates to a maximum weekly increase of $2 for the employer and $2 for the employee.
Direct Deposit
5/19/2010 7:30:11 AM
In February 2006, the National Insurance Board (NIB) began the initiative to have all long-term benefit and assistance payments deposited directly into pensioners’ bank accounts. Apart from the efficiency gained as a result of the direct deposit, NIB considered the initiative to be a significant step forward in ensuring that the actual process of paying pensions and assistance payments was more humane and individualized, as well as confidential.
The National Insurance Board and The Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association announced on Thursday that they are working together to successfully launch the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP) in August of this year.
The National Insurance Board and The Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association announced on Thursday that they are working together to successfully launch the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP) in August of this year.