UIF sees ‘drastic’ reduction in claims backlog thanks to new plan | Fin24

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  • The Unemployment Insurance Fund has decentralised the way it processes online claims for unemployment benefits.
  • This has drastically cut the backlog in unpaid claims. 
  • In December alone, the UIF paid out more than R930 million. 

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) says it has “drastically” reduced the time it takes to pay online claims for unemployment benefits.

Its online claims backlog has been reduced from 111 000 in September to 28 000 in November.

“This has been achieved following the fund’s decision to decentralise processing of u-Filing claims from the UIF’s head office in Pretoria to the provinces, which resulted in applications being processed faster,” the UIF said in a statement. The decentralisation process has drastically reduced the backlog, it added.

It paid R931 million in unemployment benefits to 180 833 beneficiaries in the month of December.

The UIF said that since the inception of the Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) in March 2020, it has paid out R63.8 billion to 5.4 million workers.

The UIF TERS was meant to assist South Africans who could not work due to the Covid-19 lockdown. It was announced at the beginning of the pandemic as a mechanism to allow businesses whose operations were restricted due to the pandemic to pay their employees.

But the system has faced technical problems and has been abused, hit by fraud by companies as well as government employees. 

The UIF said that more than 119 090 UIF TERS payments are currently suspended as they were awaiting correction of details and errors including failed bank verification, unverified foreign nationals, no record of relevant employees declared on the UIF system and incorrect identity numbers.

“The fund appreciates the work done by employers who have heeded our pleas to correct errors throughout the year and enabled us to pay their claims which significantly reduced the number of unpaid competent claims,” the UIF said in a statement.

The UIF will continue from 3 January to pay unresolved claims once the necessary corrections have been made.

The UIF is also continuing to pay out beneficiaries of the Workers Affected By Unrest (Wabu) relief scheme, which was launched in November to benefit workers who were affected by the civil unrest in July this year.

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