The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) offers benefits to workers who have been retrenched, dismissed, or whose contracts have expired. Let’s explore how the UIF benefits work for this cohort and who is eligible to apply.
Who can apply for the benefits?
Any individual who has been contributing to the UIF and has been retrenched, dismissed, or had their contract expired can claim the benefits. Even if an employee has more than one employer and their services have been terminated by one employer, they can still apply for UIF benefits. It is essential to submit a claim within six months after employment termination to be eligible for benefits.
Claiming unemployment benefits
To claim UIF benefits, individuals need to visit their nearest Labour Office or register and claim online. During the application process, they will be required to sign the unemployment register.
It is important to remember that applicants must sign the register every four weeks to demonstrate their continued need for UIF benefits. If an individual is unable to sign due to illness, they must present a doctor's certificate at the labour centre.
Upon registration, applicants will receive a white card that will be signed by the UIF officer each time they sign the register. If everything is in order, the UIF benefits should start being paid within eight weeks of registration. The funds will be disbursed every four weeks until all the eligible benefits are exhausted.
The 2% is split between the employer and the employee; the employer contributes 1% and the employee contributes the other 1%. Over time, these contributions build credit. The more credits an employee has, the longer they will be able to claim benefits from the UIF.
You will then be notified when your claim is approved and when to submit a payment request form. The first payment will be made into your bank account two to four days after the process is complete.
How do the Unemployment Benefits work?
The Daily Benefit Amount (DBA) is multiplied by the number of credit days available to determine the total amount you claim from UIF; thus, total benefit amount = Daily Benefit Amount x credit days.
Credit days are accumulated as follows: for every four days that you work as a contributor, you receive one day's credits subject to a maximum of 365 credit days; DBA = 66% of income capped at R17712 per month. The amount you receive from UIF depends on your salary.
From day 239 to day 365, a flat rate of 20% is applied. Low-income earners may receive a higher percentage of their salary as UIF benefits.
It is important to note that to qualify for the UIF benefits, individuals must have been working and contributing to the UIF for at least four years.
In the event of a delay in receiving the UIF benefits within the eight-week period, applicants are advised to contact the Labour Centre and inquire about the cause of the delay. It is important to have the name and ID number ready when making such inquiries.
To keep track of the payments, applicants will receive a slip each time they receive money, allowing them to monitor the amount received and the remaining benefits.
While the benefits do not fully replace one's previous income, they can provide a crucial lifeline during a challenging transition.
As a qualifying individual, you must be aware of the application process and the requirements to ensure a smooth and timely receipt of UIF benefits.