Govt announces criteria for second phase of FNPF COVID-19 assistance

The second wave of Fiji National Provident Fund-administered COVID-19 unemployment assistance, allowing eligible members to access $1,100 is also open to those who withdrew funds during the first phase and have since become jobless.

Announcing the second round of assistance in Suva today, Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the scheme, payment of which will start from next week, also offers government top-ups to members who do not have adequate amounts in their general accounts.

Eligible members who have less than $220 in their general accounts will have their funds topped up, to allow them to receive funds in instalments of $220 per fortnight, beginning next week. They will not need to submit any documentation to receive the first instalment, as the funds will be directly deposited to their accounts.

However, to receive the balance, Sayed-Khaiyum said these members would need to confirm their unemployment status, meaning they will need to fill the required forms through their former employers.

“Employers need to confirm that they are unemployed to be able to get the rest of the payment right up to August,” he said.

Eligible members who have more than $220, but less than $1,100 in their general accounts will receive government top-ups, but will not be able to access the first instalment of $220 per fortnight until after June 9 when applications are opened.

Also eligible for the assistance are members who have became jobless due to the pandemic and did not withdraw funds in phase one. These members will be able to withdraw a lump sum of $1,100.

“If they don’t have that amount, government will top it up for them,” Sayed-Khaiyum said referring to first-time applicants.

More details of the assistance rollout will be announced soon.

Meanwhile, in the first phase of COVID-19 withdrawal scheme, almost 80,000 members were assisted during which the Fund paid out more than $49 million. The final payments to first phase applicants will be completed next Friday, May 29.

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