The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), which has so far disbursed R45-billion (R45 244 060 501.31) in 10 212 116 payments through 902 775 employers, will from Thursday, 1 October 2020 start processing Covid-19 TERS applications for the period covering 16 August to 15 September 2020.
The payments are part of the government wide basket of services to ensure that workers were not exposed to the worst effects of the pandemic - the lockdown that brought the economy to a halt.
Through these cash disbursements via employers, government, through the Ministry of Employment and Labour, has seen to it that many families who would otherwise not have had anything to eat were shielded from falling into the poverty trap.
"To apply for the September period, employers are required to upload similar documentation that includes: signed approval or acceptance letter, bank confirmation letter, proof of payment to employees, and refund to the UIF - if applicable", said the Acting UIF Commissioner Marsha Bronkhorst.
Applications will undergo a vetting process with external partners to ascertain the validity of claims before the funds are paid and to ensure that the new controls weed out fraudulent claims.
"Early signs of the new vetting process with external partners show that we are on the right track, as we have been able to pick up potentially fraudulent claims. Payments to these claims have been stopped and have been referred to our Risk Management Unit for further investigation.
"We are also subjecting claims applications by foreign nationals to the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that we pay to authentic and deserving beneficiaries, and we shall immediately start paying these claims upon the completion of the vetting process by Home Affairs," concluded Bronkhorst.
It is important to note that Covid-19 TERS claim applications for April and May period closed on 25 September 2020. Claims for June period will close on 15 October 2020 and July/August claims will close on 30 October 2020.
The extension of the payments was announced by the Minister Thulas Nxesi widening the net of the Covid TERS scheme till the end of the National State of Disaster.
The Direction allows employers or employees to claim the Covid-19 TERS benefits for the extension period starting from 16 August until 15 September 2020. The new directives cover the following categories of employees whose employers are:
(a) not permitted to commence operations under the Disaster Management Regulations;
(b) unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers, such as working from home or taking special measures under the OHS Direction to protect them;
(c) unable to make use of their services because of operational requirements caused by compliance with the Regulations and Directions such as rostering, staggering working hours, short time and the introduction of shift systems.
The application process remains the same for the extension period and all claims must be lodged via the online portal (https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/ OR www.labour.gov.za).