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COVID-19

Wrong TINs submitted to by-pass system

August 27, 2021 5:27 am
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The Ministry of Economy has identified several individuals who gave wrong information while applying for the $360 unemployment benefit.

Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says a number of people have not been paid as they are still carrying out the verification process.

Sayed-Khaiyum highlights some people are putting wrong Tax Identification Numbers in their applications to bypass the system, and the Ministry has to be careful.

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“We expect another 6, 850 people in the next few days, over the weekend and early into next week to be paid once their TIN numbers are verified. We found that some people have in fact being not giving their right TIN numbers or have made mistakes. The reason why we have to check TIN numbers is because it helps us verify against the SIM card registration. We have found that some people are deliberately putting in wrong TIN numbers.”

Sayed-Khaiyum adds the current verification process has enabled the Ministry to get very good data.

“So those people who intend to apply for the $360 in the next round need to be fully minded that next time these sorts of leeway’s or these types of time-frame won’t be given to individuals. They have to give us the correct numbers and they have to ensure that the information they provide is most accurate and up to date.”

Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the Ministry has also discovered that some people are using SIM cards of deceased family members to get the $360 assistance.

So far, 21 applications have been identified where people are using SIMs and TINs registered under members of their family who have died.

Meanwhile, the government has paid an additional 46, 800 Fijians their $360 unemployment benefit as of yesterday afternoon.

Sayed-Khaiyum confirms this pay-out totaled $16.9m meaning just over $100m has been paid into the economy through more than 279, 600 recipients within a week.

He says another 3, 900 people are expected to receive reduced amounts today because they overclaimed during the $50 and $90 pay-outs.

The Minister says some people who applied during the right from 9th to 11th August but did not get their first dose, have until this afternoon to get their first jab of the vaccine.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this involves about 2, 120 people.

The unemployment benefit was announced by the government in the 2021-22 National Budget for those individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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