Applications for jobless subsidy to open next week - RTHK
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Applications for jobless subsidy to open next week

2022-03-18 HKT 16:16
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  • Applications for jobless subsidy to open next week
The government said on Friday that people will need to have been unemployed, or have had their work suspended, for 30 straight days in order to be eligible for an unemployment subsidy of HK$10,000.

Officials said applications under the HK$3 billion support scheme announced last month will be accepted for three weeks starting next Wednesday.

Some 300,000 workers are expected to benefit.

To be eligible for the one-off subsidy, applicants must have worked for at least one month in the fourth quarter of last year, and earned between HK$2,700 and HK$30,000 in monthly pay before they found themselves out of work.

Employees and the self-employed who stopped working because their companies were forced to close due to the pandemic can also apply.

Such shuttered firms include restaurants, beauty parlours and gyms, but not hair salons which were recently allowed to re-open.

People who resigned, retired or switched jobs will not be eligible for the subsidy

Applicants who have an MPF account will need to submit proof of their unemployment or work suspension, or if this is not available, a personal statement detailing when they stopped working will be accepted.

Extra proof of unemployment will be needed for those without an MPF account.

Applicants will have to make a declaration that all the information provided is true, and any cheats risk being prosecuted. Officials said random checks will be carried out to detect any abuse.

The head of the government's Policy and Innovation and Co-ordination Office, Doris Ho, said officials will try to be lenient regarding applications from people who lost their jobs, but don't meet the 30-day requirement because they found part-time work.

"Of course we definitely don't encourage people making false declarations. In this case, I recommend applicants to truthfully tell us their situation....we will then decide whether we can accept the application," she told a press conference.

Ho said the government aims to make the payments within three to four weeks after receiving an application.

She said there will be five service centres to help those who have problems submitting online applications.