A representative from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) said to Lakes District News that approximately 155 Babine Forest Products employees are currently receiving Employment Insurance payments.
Almost three months after the Jan. 20, 2012 explosion and fire, some claims are yet to be finalized. According to HRSDC, about 80 per cent of the 194 Employment Insurance claims received by Service Canada from Babine Forest Products employees have been processed and paid.
“Claims not finalized are awaiting additional information. Once this information has been received, payment will be initiated,” the HRSDC representative said.
Babine Forest Products employees were asked to use a special reference code when completing their Employment Insurance applications. “This reference code was generated to ensure that claims were processed in a consistent and timely manner by staff familiar with the details.”
As for the claims being fast tracked, HRSDC said, “All Employment Insurance time frames and regulations applied to these claims.”
This is contrary to MLA John Rustad’s earlier statement [as reported in the Lakes District News edition of Feb. 8, 2012] that Babine Forest Products workers Employment Insurance payments were being fast tracked.
“Once a claimant submits an application for benefits, Service Canada registers it for tracking. Once the client’s record of employment is received, the claim is finalized and payments are issued to those that are entitled. It is up to the claimant to submit timely, accurate and complete biweekly reports,” the HRSDC representative said.