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UIF beneficiaries qualifying for Covid-19-related payments may miss out

25 April 2020 - 10:41 By Naledi Shange
The UIF is concerned that employees may be missing out on benefits because of missing information.
The UIF is concerned that employees may be missing out on benefits because of missing information.
Image: Leon Swart/123rf.com

Thousands of people qualifying to receive UIF payments due to the disruption of work by the coronavirus may not get their money on time, if at all.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) said this was because “companies have either not applied on their behalf or have not corrected the information to enable the UIF to pay timeously”.

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said according to their system, about 220,768 people qualified to apply and millions had been expected to be paid out to them but for many, payments had been delayed pending verification by employers.

Maruping said some beneficiaries whose claims were lodged either did not appear in the UIF system or information given to the fund about the beneficiary was insufficient.

“When we receive applications from employers, we verify the information to ensure that the employees they are claiming for appear in our system. When we identify inconsistencies, we send the enquiry to the employer for verification,” said Maruping.

So far, 77 000 employers have submitted applications with R2.2bn being paid out thus far for coronavirus-related benefit claims.  

Companies that are facing distress and contribute to the UIF were advised to apply for payouts through https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/

Companies not registered with the UIF by March 15 2020 may not apply as they would not qualify, neither would freelance and commission workers.

The fund has also emphasised that all businesses with employees from spaza shops to hair salons who are registered with UIF can apply for this relief. Employers of domestic workers should also apply for the relief as domestic workers are included in the UIF.

Maruping said while employers had the right to let employees stay at home for the lockdown, they still needed to help them apply for benefits so they do not lose income.

The UIF said some companies had simply refused to claim on behalf of employees.