In uncertain times like today due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are forced to face early unemployment. Amid difficult economic conditions and world stability that does not seem to immediately improve, all people around the world, especially South Africans, have to fight against unexpected poverty. In fact, for the country, unemployment itself has become a big problem for the government and coupled with the virus outbreak, the current situation is getting worse. The good news is UIF claims are here as an emergency solution from the government to financially aid you.
Before you try your luck by claiming your UIF, consider the following discussion that will help you to understand more clearly what UIF claims are, what is UIF COVID-19, how to claim UIF COVID-19 TERS and other important information about UIF that you simply shouldn’t miss.
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What is UIF?
UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) is a public entity of the Department of Employment and Labour which provides short-term relief to workers when they become unemployed or are unable to work because of maternity, adoption leave, illness, paternity, and also to provide relief to the dependants of the deceased contributors.
The benefits are only available to you if you have been contributing to the UIF while you worked. You cannot claim if you have resigned, been suspended, or absconded from work. You may claim if the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) considers the resignation as constructive dismissal.
To qualify for benefits, you must register as a work seeker. You must apply for the UIF benefits as soon as you become unemployed or within six months of the termination of your employment.
Who is eligible for UIF?
All employees working 24 or more hours a month are eligible to make a claim.
How does the UIF earn the funding?
Employers must pay unemployment insurance contributions of 2% of the value of each worker’s salary per month. The employer and the worker each contribute 1%.
Example: if a worker earns R1 000 per month, the employer must deduct 1%, namely R10. Besides, the employer must pay R10 for that worker. The total of R20 must therefore be paid to the UIF or SARS. Contributions must be paid to the UIF or the South African Revenue Services (SARS) before the 7th day of each month.
What is UIF COVID-19 TERS?
The Unemployment Insurance Commissioner, after consultation with Unemployment Insurance Executive, has also developed a Corona Virus Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID-19 TERS) to contribute to the containment of the Corona Virus and its impact.
This new COVID-19 TERS Scheme and any other normal UIF benefit are only applicable to employers who are registered with UIF and make monthly contributions as required by the Contributions Act of 2002. Should an employer as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic close its operations for a 3 (three) months or lesser period and suffer financial distress, the company shall qualify for a Covid19 Temporary Relief.
Who must apply for the COVID-19 TERS?
The employer would make the application for the Covid19 TERS benefit. Employees are only able to apply for the three UIF options mentioned here above.
Note that the employer may attend to a bulk UIF submission to the Department of Labour for Reduced Work benefits on behalf of all employees. It is recommended that the Employer liaises with employees to inform them of their intentions to make an application.
Who can apply for the COVID-19 TERS?
Any UIF contributing business-facing distress, unable to pay salaries as a result of the lockdown period, and any employee who is a contributor (works more than 24 hours a month) and there is an employer and employee relationship are strongly encouraged to apply.
How to claim UIF COVID-19 TERS?
Follow the step-by-step explanation below to find out how you can apply for the benefits.
- Go to https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/ and register. If you need to find your UIF number click “Get Your UIF Reference Number”.
- Log in and complete the following info: 1) Complete all company info, 2) Accept the Memorandum of Agreement Terms and Conditions, 3) Accept the Letter of Agreement Terms and Conditions, 4) Upload a bank confirmation letter in PDF format which you can download online from your bank, 5) Upload your employees manually one-by-one, 6) If you are doing bulk uploads send a blank email to [email protected] to get the Excel spreadsheet that you need to complete and save as a CSV file.
After submitting your application you need to log back into your profile after a couple of days to check the status of your application. Please note that if you have captured your employees manually (rather than uploading a CSV) your application will be updated faster. Log on https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19 and enter your username and password.
How to check my UIF payment status?
Click “Status” in the menu bar and you see your payment status, the amount paid, and the processed date. “Processed” means that the system has picked up the application. If the Rand Value is zero, this means that there has been a rejection. Please pull the Payment Reports to further understand why.
Or, you can visit https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/paymentStatusJsp to get your payment status.
How long does it take for the payment to go through after signing and being given a date?
According to the processes, it should not take more than 10 working days to process the second or third payment after signing the continuation of payment. 10 days is used to double-check if the claimant is indeed still unemployed and to verify other personal details to prevent fraud.
How can I repay the UIF?
If one of the following happens and you need to repay the UIF:
- You received the wrong amount.
- Some of your workforces have come back to work since your claim, and you have paid all or a portion of their salary to them.
- You applied for the wrong people.
In these instances, you can make payment to:
Unemployment Insurance Fund
Account Number: 51420056925
Branch code: 23-31-45
Reference: C+UIF reference number (eg. “C1234567/7”)
How to contact the UIF office?
Mail your inquiries through the provided address below.
230 Lilian Ngoyi Street, Absa Towers, Pretoria Central
The UIF, Pretoria, 0052