The National Insurance Corporation (NIC) took extraordinary measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Economic Relief Programme (ERP).
The ERP was designed to provide income support to NIC contributors directly affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
NIC is continuing to make payments to qualifying applicants under the ERP. As at June 10th:
- The number of application records logged to date is 22,761. This figure includes incomplete applications and multiple application attempts by the same individual. Incomplete applications are rejected by the system.
- Of that 22,761, 16,714 were successfully completed and submitted.
- Of the 16,714 completed applications, o 2,375 claims were disallowed. Claimants either did not meet the qualifying conditions or the financial assistance they received from their employer exceeded the amount they qualified for under the ERP for the month. However, they will be reassessed for the subsequent months. o 1,227 claims are currently being processed.
- 1,585 claims are currently being queried because inconsistencies have been identified or the information submitted have not been validated.
- Of the claims that had all the necessary information readily available, the NIC has paid practically all (10,624) of these.
- A significant number of the remaining claims are yet to be processed. Approximately 1,000 are pending information from employers
- $8,568,964 (more than Eight and a Half Million Dollars) have been paid. The average payout per person for the 10,624 applicants paid, is $806.57.
- The ability of the NIC to process claims and make payments is dependent on the consistency of information submitted by employers via the Employer Portal and by applicants on the ERP Eforms. However, several errors have been identified by our processors which result in delays in making payments. These issues include:
- Incorrect bank details entered on applications resulting in returns from the bank. 407 claims with the incorrect bank information as at June 12th, 2020.
- Incorrect NI numbers entered by applicants on their submissions or by the Employer on the Portal. In cases where the NI number does not match the name on our system, the claim must be investigated to correct the error which delays payment.
- Inconsistencies in the last date of employment or start lay-off date reported by the employee and employer
- Inconsistencies in the financial assistance reported as being paid and the calculated amount based on the C3 forms submitted for the payment period.
- The NIC has already started processing payments for May. However, some staff members are currently engaged in addressing queries on some April applications. These team members will be reassigned to expedite processing claims for May starting the week of June 14th. NIC understands the hardship Saint Lucians are currently grappling with as a result of this pandemic and thank you for your patience and understanding.