Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke, says approximately $2.65 billion in Compassionate Grant payments have been made to date to some 265,000 applicants under the Government’s COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme.
In a statement on Monday (May 11), Dr. Clarke advised that the funds were disbursed through more than 40 financial institutions selected by the applicants, noting that “many persons elected to receive their Compassionate Grant from remittance companies”.
Dr. Clarke reminded beneficiaries receiving payments through remittance agencies that they must present a government-issued photo identification, their taxpayer registration number (TRN) and application reference number, in order to collect the funds.
“Where you do not have a government-issued ID and you are on the printed voters’ list, you can contact the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), which will be open from Wednesday, May 13,” he indicated.
He said that the Government is exploring options to facilitate third-party collection of grants for persons over 65 years old.
Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke said payments under the Supporting Employees with the Transfer of Cash (SET Cash) component are slated to commence this week.
This component of the CARE programme is for persons earning $1.5 million or less, whose employment was terminated after March 10.
He pointed out that persons earning above $1.5 million, who are on the tax register, may have an opportunity for an unemployment refund.
He encouraged persons falling in this category to contact Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), noting that “more information will be forthcoming”.
Dr. Clarke, in his statement, addressed challenges reportedly being experienced by some employers in uploading the requisite P45 forms to enable former employees to access SET Cash grants.
He explained that if the termination date inputted by the employer was prior to March 10, the system will reject the application. Furthermore, the system will first process persons laid off in March prior to those laid off in April.
He said that payments currently being done are for persons laid off between March 10 and March 31, 2020.
There will be a second round of payments for persons laid off between April 1 and April 30, 2020.
The $10-billion CARE Programme aims to alleviate the economic impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on individuals and entities.
It forms part of the $25-billion relief package initiated by the Government to deal with the health crisis.