Few pass up chance for Covid aid cash

Few pass up chance for Covid aid cash

About 7.1 million people were set to receive Covid-19 financial relief for private employees covered by Section 33 of the Social Security Act (SSA) by the end of the second day of registration yesterday, a deputy spokeswoman of the Social Security Office (SSO) said.

Ladda Sae Lee, also director of the SSO's benefits bureau, said that 7.1 million out of 9.27 million, or about 77% of those eligible, had registered for the aid and the rest are expected to complete the process in the next two days.

Registration for the Mor 33 Rao Rak Kan ("Section 33 We Love One Another'') scheme will run until March 7 with approved applicants required to confirm via the Pao Tang app between March 15-21.

Those eligible for the aid will get a 4,000-baht subsidy via the app followed by 1,000 baht weekly from March 22-April 12. Those whose registration is rejected will be allowed to appeal via the website.

Eligibility criteria include being a Thai national and having no than 500,000 baht deposited in bank accounts as of December 2020.

Ms Ladda said there were an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people who could not register for a variety of reasons such as having no smartphone, or their information not matching the civil registration dabatase.

However, she gave assurances that those who meet the criteria will definitely receive the aid.

For those who have their registration rejected, the period for lodging an appeal will be brought forward from March 15, she said, adding that the SSO is trying to make it easy for people to register at its provincial branches.

Ms Ladda also said that there are currently about 11 million workers covered by Section 33 of the SSA.

However, about 1.8 million of them -- 900,000 holders of state welfare cards and 900,000 migrant workers -- are not eligible, she said, adding the remaining 9.27 million employees who are Thai nationals are entitled.

In some cases, Section 33 employees registered for the aid but were rejected for not being covered by the social security system, she said.

In these cases, their employers may have deducted social security payments from their salaries, but failed to send the money to the SSF. Therefore, the employers broke the law and would face legal action while the employees were still eligible for the aid, Ms Ladda said.

Kulaya Tantitemit, director of the Fiscal Policy Office and spokeswoman of the Finance Ministry, said a total of 651,633 people registered offline for the Rao Chana (We Win) financial relief scheme as of Sunday.

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