Payments of the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits start again from today (21 September) onwards.
The fund’s main goal is to shield SA’s workers from the worst effects of the pandemic-enforced lockdown by offering financial aid.
The two-week pause of UIF payments was a result of the Fund responding to comments from the Auditor-General (AG), which highlighted lenient regulations that needed to be reviewed.
"We plan a payment run for all outstanding payments for April, May and June 2020 on Monday and Tuesday.
“After that, we will plan to run payments for the 1 July to 15 August 2020 period from 23 - 26 September 2020,” said the acting UIF Commissioner Marsha Bronkhorst.
The Fund has scheduled multiple fast-tracked payments this week.
So far, R42 billion has already been paid out to ensure that workers are not irreparably affected by the lockdown and its effect on the country’s economic activity.
Ongoing discussions with government and agencies will help to synchronise its data to ensure that the TERS payments reach the “right and authentic” beneficiaries.
The AG’s report guided the UIF on the necessary steps needed to eliminate fraud and to ensure that only qualifying recipients benefit from the TERS fund.
"We are aware that many workers around the country have been placed on the back foot as a result of the need to ensure that our systems stand up to scrutiny, and we close the gaps identified by the Auditor-General.
“While the inconvenience was greatly regretted, we are pleased that we have turned things around and our systems are ready to make a difference in the lives of workers again,” Bronkhorst said.
Payments from the fund only apply to qualifying claims and incomplete forms will not be automatically processed.
"We still have claims that are yet to be processed in the system because of outstanding information.
“We urge employers to submit this information and we have made it easier for them to know what is still outstanding by developing the discrepancy tab in the system, and they can also use FAQs on the DEL website," said Bronkhorst.
Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for March to May 2020 will officially close on the 25th of September 2020, while the Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for June 2020 will close on 15 October 2020.
Applications for July to 15 September 2020 will close on 30 October 2020.
No further applications will be accepted beyond these closing dates but claims that have already been received will not be affected, as they will be settled once all the outstanding information is submitted and reviewed.