Makhosonke Buthelezi, director of communication and marketing at the Unemployment Insurance Fund, answers some questions relating to the new online UIF claiming process.
How many months can you claim UIF for?
UIF can be claimed for eight months, provided that you have full (238) credit days. For every six days that you work as a contributor, you receive one day’s credit, subject to a maximum of 238 days. To qualify for the full credit days you must have worked as a contributor for more than four years. The rate at which the benefits are payable ranges between 38% and 60% of your last remuneration as a contributor. Low-income earners receive a higher percentage.
I am from Welkom but I’m currently in Rustenburg looking for a job. As a UIF beneficiary I used to claim for UIF in Welkom. Do I have to return or can I receive my claim in Rustenburg?
If there are outstanding payments to be made on the original claim made in Welkom, then the claimant should continue to claim in Welkom. This will avoid confusion and delays because the records are in Welkom and it is easy to process the continuation of payment form from where the claim was originally made.
How long after being dismissed do I have to apply for benefits?
The prescription period for benefits is six months from date of termination of service, so you should submit your application for benefits as soon as possible after being dismissed. Note that ordinary benefits are payable from the date of application and not the date the job ended, so it is important to apply as soon as possible.
How do I go about filing online for my UIF benefits?
Simply go to www.ufiling.co.za and follow the steps to create an account. The service is completely free and allows UIF returns can to be done simply and conveniently online. Other benefits include ease of secure payments (debit order and credit push via internet banking) and faster processing times. uFiling is paperless and submission of declaration is instant and reliable.
As an online registered employee you will be able to securely submit your Application for Benefits (for unemployment, maternity, illness and adoption) as well as Continuation of Payment and Notice of Appeal. An employee can register on the Employee Portal if the employer has been accredited by the UIF. This portal will allow the employee to securely submit forms to the UIF electronically.
How long should it take after signing and being given a date as to when payment will be paid?
It should take no more than 10 working days to process the second or third payment after signing the continuation of payment. We use the 10 days to double check if the claimant is indeed still unemployed, and verify other personal details to prevent fraud.
I have not received my claim, and have had my forms sent back. What can I do?
Generally, claimants would be turned away if their forms are incomplete. Keep in mind that the banking details form is to be completed by the bank, and the salary schedule is to be completed by the employer. There are also cases where the claimant’s employment history shows that previous employer/s never terminated the applicant when she or he left.
If you are having a problem with a claim you can contact the call centre, but it helps to have the name of the official who has been assisting at the labour office as well as which labour office you have been dealing with in order to resolve the issue.
Sharecall: 0860-345-464 or 012-3371680 option 3
I want to claim UIF during my maternity leave. How much will I receive?
The application should be made prior to the birth of a child or within six months of the birth.
The contributor must be receiving less than the normal remuneration while on maternity leave. Subject to credit days accumulated, benefits can be paid to a maximum of 121 days. In the event of a miscarriage or a stillbirth, benefits are only paid for a maximum period of six weeks after the miscarriage/stillbirth.
You can also claim for maternity benefits in the case of adoption. This application must be made within six months of the adoption order being issued by a competent court. The adopted child must be younger than two years old and only one of the adopting parents can apply for benefits, provided that the contributor suffers full or partial loss of earnings while physically caring for the child. Benefits are payable from the date on which adoption leave commences and the time must have been spent caring for the child.
Can I claim UIF benefits if I am too ill to work?
Yes, you can claim as long as the application is made within six months after you have stopped working due to the illness. Benefits are paid as from the date on which you stopped working. A medical certificate should be submitted to support the claim. The amount payable is the difference between what the employer pays and the rate that is prescribed in the benefits schedule of the Unemployment Insurance Act.
Benefits are only payable in respect of periods of illness lasting longer than 14 days and subject to credit days. Benefits can be paid to a maximum of 238 days in any period of four years.
|Ensure that your employer declares your UIF contribution with the Fund every month as this assists in the finalisation of the claims. Too often employers pay the lump sum via SARS, but UIF doesn’t know who they are paying for. So when the claimant applies, the Fund has to go back to the employer to obtain information about the individual applicant which delays the process.|
This article first appeared in City Press.