Claiming money from the UIF: What you need to know:


The coronavirus crisis and lockdown have paralysed businesses and left many in South Africa without an income.

Enter the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), which should help those in the formal sector with some form of payment in this time.

When a contributing worker becomes unemployed; is unable to work due to sickness; or go on maternity leave, they can claim benefits from the UIF. You can also claim if your employer decides to cut your hours (this is called the “reduced working time” claim).

Claiming money from the UIF: What you need to know
“Launch of UIF-NTINGA Training Partnership for Ex-Mineworkers /UIF beneficiaries” by GovernmentZA is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Government has now also introduced a special new coronavirus benefit, aimed at workers affected by the pandemic crisis.

Who can claim from the UIF?

If you lost your job, you can claim an unemployment benefit from the UIF – and if your company reduced your working hours, you can also put in a claim.

But if your company put you on unpaid leave during this time, or if you have been laid off temporarily – or if a company can only afford to pay a part of your salary – you may get  a special payout from the UIF, as part of the Covid-19 Temporary Relief scheme, also known as the special Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS).

How does the new Covid-19 benefit work?

A business has to apply to the UIF to get money to pay workers. It will have to prove that it suffered a severe knock from the lockdown. If approved, the UIF will pay out money per worker for up to three months.

Unlike normal UIF benefits, which is paid to workers, the money may be distributed first to the company, which will then pay workers. (This arrangement has not been finalised, though.)

How much will you get?

The amounts paid will be a percentage of an employee’s salary, according to a legislated sliding scale from 38% (highest earners) to 60% (lowest earners)

The maximum you will get is R6 730 a month. The sliding scale stops at R17 702: All workers earning more than this will only get the 38% maximum benefit (R6 730). The minimum amount will not be below the minimum wage (around R3 500).

How do you claim from the UIF?

If you are unemployed or have had your hours reduced, you can claim directly from the UIF. The UIF offices are closed, but you can register online at From the home page, click on the ‘Activate my uFiling account’ button and follow the on-screen instructions. You will receive a case number to track your progress. Alternatively you can email for guidance.

For the coronavirus benefit, you can’t apply – your employer has to. Businesses need to mail to register their companies for the payout. The UIF hotline for the coronavirus benefit is 012 337 1997.

Confirm with your employer that they have registered – and if not, alert the department of labour and the UIF directly.

When will you get the money?

Currently the turnaround time for payment on approved unemployment claims is 15 working days. The timeframe is not yet clear for the new benefits.

Full article posted on Business Insider:

For more articles by us see our article on: Repayment holidays during the pandemic

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