Claiming Unemployment Insurance Fund in South Africa

Everything You Need to Know about Claiming Unemployment Insurance

Filing for your UIF claim requires a lot of documents to be furnished. Good thing the Department of Labour decided to put up the uFiling service– an online system that enables employers and employees to track their contributions, payments, and claims.

What is the Unemployment Insurance Fund?

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is a program set up by the South African government to assist those who have lost their jobs due to specific circumstances.

Those who got unemployed temporarily because of an illness, those who are undergoing pregnancy, and those who are taking care of an adopted child under 2 years old are all eligible to file for insurance claims. The family of a breadwinner can also benefit from the UIF after they die.

Farmers and employees who work at least 24 hours every month are required to contribute to the fund. Employers are required to deduct the contributions from your salary as mandated by the law. They’re also required to pay the same amount you contribute to the fund.

The amount you contribute to the UIF should equate to 1% of your gross income.

Those who are employed by national or local government units are exempted from contributing.

Claim UIF Unemployment Benefits

How to Claim UIF Unemployment Benefits?

Traditionally, if you don’t want to go through the UIF online registration, you have to hand all the required documents to the nearest labour centre in your area. The staff will assist you there and give you additional instructions on what else you need to do to complete your claim. You might be advised to enter a training program or asked to return to the office a couple of times. The important thing is you follow all these to make sure you get your claim.

To use the uFiling service and claim your UIF online, simply go to their portal and register your account. Make sure you have the following documents and details with you as you need them in the registration process.

  • Your registered UIF number
  • Your 13-digit barcoded identity number or passport number
  • Valid email address
  • Bank account details where your UIF contribution is deducted

The portal is accessible 24/7 and anywhere there’s an internet connection.

You’ll also be required to submit additional documents from your end, depending on the type of insurance claim you’re aiming to get.

  • Unemployment benefits
  • Illness benefits
    • A statement showing how much you received from your employer during the time you’re ill.
    • Medical certification confirming your inability to work because of your illness.
  • Maternity benefits
    • A statement showing how much you received from your employer during your maternity leave.
    • Medical certification confirming the birth of your child. For those who will apply for benefits before giving birth, a medical certificate from your doctor or midwife with the estimated date of birth should be submitted.
  • Adoption benefits
    • A statement showing how much you received from your employer during your adoption leave.
    • Accomplished UI.2.4 form.
    • The court order stating the legality of the adoption.
    • Copy of the child’s birth certificate.
  • Dependant benefits (spouse or partner)
    • Certified copies of the ID book or passport of the deceased.
    • Copy of your marriage certificate.
    • Death certificate of your spouse or partner.
    • Accomplished UI-2.5 form.
  • Dependant benefits (guardian or deceased breadwinner)
    • Certified copies of the ID book or passport of the deceased, the child, and the guardian.
    • Proof of guardianship.
    • Copy of the breadwinner’s death certificate.
    • Accomplished UI-2.6 form.
    • Proof that the child is heavily dependent on the deceased breadwinner.

The good thing about claiming your UIF online is you get access to digital forms that don’t require your physical signature for validation. Submission of UI-19 and other forms can all be done online without having to print anything at all.

There are exceptions in claiming UIFs. If you belong to any of the following categories, you are not eligible to receive compensation from the UIF:

  • You’re already receiving benefits from the Compensation Fund for an injury or illness that caused either temporary or permanent unemployment.
  • You’re already receiving compensation from other insurance schemes established under the Labour Relations Act.
  • You resigned from your job.
  • You failed to comply with any of the requirements in getting your UIF claims.
  • You’ve committed fraud and you’re temporarily banned from getting claims. In this case, you’ll be denied from receiving benefits for up to 5 years.

Once everything has been approved, you’ll be able to receive the insurance money in the bank account you provided. The amount you’ll receive will depend on your monthly salary when you were working. The duration of your remuneration will also be based on the length of time you contributed to your UIF. The time limit as to how long you can claim your insurance is 238 days.

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