Requests for Review under Temporary Unemployment Relief Scheme should be raised on or before 8th July

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24th June 2022 – (Hong Kong) Taking into account some 20,000 applications approved after review, about 340,000 applications have been approved under the Temporary Unemployment Relief (TUR) Scheme as at yesterday. Given the relatively low threshold of TUR, the number of approved applications has far exceeded the original estimate of 300,000 cases and provided relief to those who have lost their jobs due to the fifth wave of the epidemic.

The Government has adhered to the principle of leniency in vetting the applications by exercising discretion on appropriate cases, such as approving those that are only one or two days short of the 30-day “unemployment” or “suspended from work” requirements, or cases where an applicant has been engaged in casual work during the unemployment period. As long as an applicant meets all other requirements, the subsidy would be granted. We have also calculated the applicants’ income in the fourth quarter of 2021 through a lenient approach in order to help applicants meet the income threshold as far as possible.

 A Government spokesman said, “Many applications have been rejected because they did not fulfil the application criteria. However, there are also some cases which were initially rejected because of failing to provide sufficient information or failing to provide supplementary information within the specified period. In this connection, we have exercised discretion to allow applicants to provide supplementary information after the deadline. To provide further assistance to applicants, upon receipt of their requests for review, we would arrange dedicated personnel to contact applicants by phone to obtain the required supplementary information through conversation directly so as to complete the review as soon as possible, thereby enabling eligible and needy applicants to receive the subsidies.”

The Government spokesman said that the Government-appointed agent has substantially increased the manpower for the hotline service since 20th May to handle review enquiries and to pro-actively contact applicants who have requested reviews. At present, the hotline service is operating smoothly and all incoming calls are answered within three minutes.

 The Government has earlier invited trade unions and relevant groups which have referred review cases to the Government to submit remaining review applications within this week. The Government understands that there may be applicants who intend to seek a review but have not yet made such request in time. The Government therefore calls on such applicants to make an application via the hotline (183 6128) on or before July 8. The hotline service operates from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

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