South Africa: Employment and Labour and Nedlac Social Partners Agree to Extend the 14 Day Window Period for April/May Coronavirus Covid/Ters Claims

press release

Notwithstanding previous media statements, the Unemployment Insurance Fund is to continue processing new claims for April and May until a cut-off date is announced. This is in line with the agreement reached by Nedlac social partners that new applications made for the April/May period should still be processed and that there will be a 14 - day notice window period, still to be announced, given to employers and employees before applications will close to submit these applications.

The Fund is working tirelessly to ensure that all valid Covid-19 TERS Benefits claims for April, May and June are settled and sorted out as it gears up to open the system for the new extended period of six weeks ending on August 15, 2020.

There are numerous challenges to handling applications; however, detailed FAQ guiding employers to handle any error codes will be issued to enable processing for payment.

To reduce the number of outstanding claims the Fund is re-running updates on declarations on the system twice a week. Added to that, UIF makes payments every day, except on Sundays, in order to fast-track outstanding claims.

"The Fund is also working on a number of front-end adjustments to the system to enable applicants to fix some of the errors on their own which will greatly ease the load on our side and improve the flow," said UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping.

The UIF appreciates the collaboration and support received from employers, Bargaining Councils and other organisations across the board to resolve outstanding claims. The incidents of fraud have prompted the Fund to introduce the verification of banking details before payment is released into the applicant's bank account.

"The UIF is reliant on the banks to ensure bank details verification. In instances where claims have failed bank verification, we appeal to employers to update the banking details on the system. The process to be followed will be outlined in the FAQs that will soon be made available on the Department's website and the TERS online system.

The Fund has made this activity to be the responsibility of the client because of its sensitive nature, but most importantly it removes the potential of our officials meddling with client's private information," said Maruping.

As the Fund prepares to open the system for Covid-19 TERS Benefit claims for July and August, it has so far paid out R 37 billion (R 37 133 662 558.77) for 693 561 applications benefitting 8.3 million (8 298 307) workers.

"With the testimonies that we are receiving, it is quite clear to us that these disbursements have made a real difference to millions of people dependent on the workers who received these cash injections. As the Fund, it is an honour of us to have played this part and will do so until August 15, armed with learnings from the past three months," said Maruping.

The Fund will leverage its resources to ensure that it continues to process those claims that are in the system and honour those that are valid in line with commitment it has made to various parliamentary committees and the workers in this country," concluded Maruping.

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