The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, this Wednesday presented the new income protection insurance for self-employed workers, creating a relief fund for people who issue boletas de honorarios (invoices for services rendered) with benefits similar to those provided through unemployment insurance.
The benefit will initially cover 1.2 million people, who will only need to present a statement from the authorities citing the catastrophe, national disaster, health crisis, or a significant drop of more than 20% in their income. Once the insurance is fully operational, it should benefit 2 million workers.
The insurance will be available for workers who have issued boletas de honorarios in at least 4 months over the last year, or that have issued them in at least 8 months over the last two years.
“This insurance will be of a supportive nature and will provide greater protection to low-income workers and people who have had significant drops in their income,” said the President during a ceremony at La Moneda Palace. He was accompanied by First Lady Cecilia Morel, Labor and Social Security Minister María José Zaldívar, and Treasury Minister Ignacio Briones.
The fund will provide a sum of money calculated on the level of the beneficiary’s drop in income during the months after the health catastrophe, based on the 12 months prior to the beginning of the crisis.
Likewise, this benefit will deliver up to three payments within nine months after the beginning of the health crisis, for a sum that may reach a maximum of 500,000 Chilean pesos (US$600).
President Piñera stated that a person earning close to the minimum wage and whose income falls to zero will get monthly compensation of 225,000 Chilean pesos (US$270), while a worker whose income is around 1 million Chilean pesos (US$1,200) will receive, in this same context, a payment of 462,000 Chilean pesos (US$554).
“We’ve been working on creating a Social Protection Network, so that our intention of not leaving you alone, of accompanying, supporting and helping you, is expressed and felt in the life and quality of life of all our fellow Chileans,” emphasized the President.
This initiative aims to complement the measures already announced by the Executive to generate significant protection for salaried, unemployed, informal, and self-employed workers.
These measures include the Employment Protection Law, which will protect 4.7 million workers, allowing them to access unemployment insurance benefits under different circumstances and preventing layoffs due to force majeure; an emergency family income, for up to 4.5 million people; the COVID-19 Bonus, payment of which is underway to more than 2.7 million Chileans; and a US$24 billion stimulus for loans with preferential conditions to finance the working capital of 99.8% of Chilean companies.
“We understand and have taken on board the fears, hardships, uncertainties, and worries that we know are affecting many Chilean families during the difficult times we are going through. And we would like to assure all of these families that they are not alone; that the Government and many people of goodwill within civil society will accompany, help and support them during these difficult times so that we will get back up on our feet again,” said the President.