Bulgaria increases minimum daily unemployment benefits pay

Bulgaria’s Cabinet decided on September 2 to increase the minimum daily unemployment pay from nine leva to 12 leva (from about 4.6 euro to 6.13 euro), the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy said in a media statement.

This was an increase of 33 per cent, the ministry said.

The increase will benefit between 30 000 and 33 000 unemployed on average per month between October 1 and December 31, it said.

Approving changes to the state social insurance budget law, the government also decided that the payment of the minimum benefit would be expanded from four to seven months. The change will apply to benefits granted after September 30, as well as to those granted earlier, which did not expire on October 1.

This new provision would have a positive impact on between 13 000 and 15 000 people on average per month between October 1 and December 31.

Both measures are part of the government’s socio-economic package in response to the proliferation of Covid-19, aimed at providing support to the unemployed during a pandemic. Implementation of the move will require an additional cost of 14 million leva for 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy said.

In a separate statement, the ministry said that the Cabinet had decided that an additional 60 million leva would be directed to providing additional remuneration for medical personnel on the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.

“The provision of additional resources is necessary, as with the onset of autumn, an ​​increase in morbidity and deterioration of the epidemic situation in the country is expected,” the ministry said.

“This will require the full mobilisation of health system personnel, who must work systematically and efficiently under greater strain and stress in order to be able to provide a reliable response to the challenges of the pandemic,” it said.

“The granting of additional financial assistance under the procedure is of national importance, as the protection of the health of medics is key to preventing the infection of the population as a whole, as well as the possibilities for providing medical and hospital care to already infected people.”

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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