Life is a roller-coaster. One minute you are employed, and the other you are being retrenched or let go due to issues like company restructuring. When this happens, you are at risk of financial woes. To reduce these effects, South Africa has established an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) that workers can claim at some point in their lives. Here is a guide on how to make UIF claims in South Africa.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund is South Africa’s response to Social Security. The government initiative is a saviour for workers who have been retrenched or terminated without fault. Find out how you can make UIF claims in South Africa in 2023.
What are UIF claims?
The Unemployment Insurance Fund is South Africa’s initiative to pay workers who have been retrenched or terminated without fault. It is strict on the fault part in that it cannot pay workers who have been terminated for issues such as bad conduct or negligence. Additionally, it cannot pay anyone who has left their work without notice.
Who can make a UIF claim?
Any employee who has registered with the fund and has contributed to it. Even so, an employee may be exempted from contributing to this fund if:
- They work in the national or provincial government.
- They are a member of the municipal council.
- Have been employed for a minimum of 24 hours a month with a specific employer.
- Their contract is part of the Skills Development initiative.
How to check your UIF claim status online
If you are unsure about your registration, you can always check to see if you are viable. The process is as follows:
- Visit www.ufiling.co.za
- Click on check my status and proceed to read the instructions
- Enter the Captcha number for verification
- Enter your UIF Reference Number
After this, you will get a notice displaying your claim status. If not, you can choose to use this second method:
- Send an email to online.BCP@labour.gov.za
- Provide your name, ID and UIF registration number
After a while, you will get a reply detailing your status.
When to claim UIF
You can only claim if you have been retrenched, let go, the contract expires, or your employer runs bankrupt. It means that getting UIF in South Africa is impossible if:
- You were let go for disciplinary actions like bad conduct or rule violation
- You were suspended because of a criminal act or fraud
- You turned down training or advice
- You willingly quit your job
- You already qualify for a benefit from an unemployment fund under the Labour Relations Act
- You are receiving benefits from other schemes established by the Labour Relations Act
What happens to my UIF when I resign?
Unfortunately, you will be able to claim it. The rule of this fund is that it cannot be claimed after resignation, suspension, or being absconded from work.
How to claim UIF when resigned
Despite the rule, you can claim if the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) considers your resignation a constructive dismissal.
UIF payout process
- Visit the department of labour office and sign an unemployment register.
- Return after every four weeks to sign the registry to show you still need the unemployment benefits.
- Have the necessary documentation. These include:
- A copy of the 13-digit bar-coded identity document
- A copy of your last six payslips
- Information supplied by your employer (UI19)
- A service certificate from the employer
- Registration proof as a work seeker
- A fully completed registration form
You will find the relevant forms from the department’s offices, or you can download them from labour.gov.za. Meanwhile, you will also be given a white card by a UIF officer. Ensure the white card is signed by the officer on duty on each of your visits.
Similarly, make sure you return to the office at the correct date and on time during the required four weeks. If, for example, you cannot make it due to an illness, make sure you submit a doctor’s note to the department.
NOTE: If you genuinely want these benefits, you must be prepared to:
- Attend training or career counseling if the UIF officer asks you to.
- Be ready to work if you are offered work.
- Go to different firms searching for work. You must present a signed form showing you looked for work but could not find any job opportunity.
When will I receive my UIF money?
If everything goes accordingly, you will receive it roughly eight weeks after the registration process. The funds will then be paid to your bank account after every four weeks until it is depleted. You will always receive a slip whenever you receive the money showing you the amount you have received and your balance.
Does UIF money expire?
If the money is not claimed, it is transferred to an unclaimed benefits fund. You can still access this account but through the proper channels. However, some funds’ rules state that the amount must be written back after a set duration.
UIF claims in South Africa are the government’s initiative for employees who are let go or retrenched. They also apply to employees whose contract has expired or the employer has run bankrupt. Finally, they apply to employees who contribute to the fund.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
Source: Briefly News