As at 2:35pm, Thursday April 9, 2020 the COVID-19 Assistance Programme (CARE Programme) received 71,182 completed applications where confirmation numbers have been sent to applicants.
Of the 71,182 applicants: There were 51,205 applications for COVID-19 Compassionate Grant and 19,744 applications for a SET Cash grant. Applications are being received from all parishes across the island. (source: Ministry of Finance Jamaica)
Over 71,000 apply for the government COVID-19 assistance programme on its first day live. This was disclosed by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett at a digital press briefing today where he also indicated that more that 80% of the applications have already been approved.
Applications for the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme opened today and will close by June 30. The $10-billion programme offers financial assistance through grants and relief packages across various sectors.
Beneficiaries are expected to receive payments within 30 days after application and confirmation that all eligibility requirements are met.
Bartlett indicated that the Ministry of Finance and Public Service has noted that the high number of applications has resulted in users experiencing glitches on the site. However, he said the Ministry team is working assiduously to have the problems resolved.
Meanwhile, Bartlett informed that as part of the COVID-19 Taskforce, the Tourism Ministry will be driving the implementation of the stimulation package for tourism stakeholders.
He indicated that the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the Jamaica Tourist Board have been collating data from sub-sector suppliers (craft-vendors, transportation operators etc.) through Destination Assurance Managers who will need to access these benefits.
“It has become clear, that the pathway for the tourism recovery is being laid – it begins with the workers of the industry. I am proud to say that my Government has made the first and important move, to secure the well-being of the workers in the tourism industry and also for all workers of Jamaica,” said Bartlett.
COVID-19 Assistance Programme ‘SET’ to Help Workers Amid COVID-19 Layoffs
The Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service will be providing financial assistance to employees who have been laid off during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by way of the COVID 19 Allocation of Resources to Employees (CARE) Programme.
They will be supported by the Supporting Employees with Transfer of Cash (SET Cash) Grant.
“Our aim in implementing this programme is to provide temporary cash transfers to individuals where it can be verified that they lost their employment since March 10, the date of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Jamaica” said Dr. Nigel Clarke.
Persons must earn at the income tax threshold of $1.5 million or less in order to be eligible for this grant. The programme will be available to eligible employees from any sector who were laid off between March 10, 2020-June 30, 2020.
Employees will be required to apply online by accessing www.wecare.gov.jm as of today, April 9, 2020. The validation of applications will include verification of employment before March 10 through statutory deductions that were filed on behalf of the employee.
The employer should provide verification by filling out and uploading a P45 form which identifies all terminated employees.
Successful applicants will receive payment at the rate of $9,000 per fortnight, paid monthly from the month of application until end of June 2020. An applicant who applies in April and qualifies for the grant can receive a grant of up to 54,000 spread equally over the months of April, May and June 2020.