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  • Writer's pictureNIB Rate Increase

Over $200M In Unemployment Benefits Paid Out In 2020

Published on April 3, 2024

By Berthony McDermot from Our News Bahamas

NASSAU, BAHAMAS -NIB’s report reveals a $108m payout in unemployment benefits for the year 2020 to over 44,000 Bahamians.

It’s a more than $91 million jump compared to 2019 which says $16.3 million paid out.

The report notes the unemployment benefit crises came as a result of Hurricane Dorian and the global pandemic.

For those impacted by both disasters who exhausted their unemployment benefits, the government-funded unemployment assistance program, the unemployment extension program, and the Hurricane Dorian extension programme.

The report shows, $15.6 million was dished out to over 7,000 Bahamians through the government-funded unemployment assistance program; $91.5m to 33,000 people through the extension program and $4.7m to 2,448 Bahamians through the Dorian extension program.

In 2020, both government-funded COVID-19 programs spent $107.1 million to support the unemployed add the Dorian extension benefit and that brings the figure to $111.8m.

Moreover, the economy’s sharp contraction greatly also impacted contributions income and benefit expenditure.

As a result, benefits  expenditure exceeded contributions income, contributions declined due to global lockdowns, benefits expenditure increased as a result of the increase in unemployment benefits due to mass lay-offs, which caused the largest gap between contributions and benefits and the deficit for the year grew significantly.

A closer look into contributions shows a $61.1m decline. The report points to the COVID-19-imposed lockdowns as the cause.

Meanwhile, benefits and assistance expenditure increased by $94.3m or $30.3%.

The millions in funds dished out by NIB in 2020 came as the fund was already in a damaged state and no doubt only made it worse.

The release of this report comes three months ahead of a 1.5% increase to NIB contributions in hopes of saving the depleting fund.

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