As the number of Covid-19 cases surged in India because of the highly transmissible Omicron variant spread. Many EPFO members may be facing a financial crunch due to the adverse impact on employment and jobs.
In March 2020, the government had announced that any EPF subscriber can withdraw a certain sum from their Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account if he/she is facing financial problems due to the coronavirus-related lockdown.
According to rules, you can get non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75% of the amount standing to your credit in the EPF account, whichever is less. The amount standing to credit in EPF includes employee’s share, employer’s share and interest thereupon. Since withdrawal is non-refundable, there is no requirement to refund the amount.
On May 31, 2021, the Centre government has also announced that an EPF member can make a second non-refundable withdrawal from their EPF accounts due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under this, any member of EPF Scheme, 1952 with UAN (Universal Account Number) employed in any establishment or factory covered under EPF & MP Act, 1952 can apply for COVID advance.
COVID-19 claim is also permitted for those who have already received or applied for any advance earlier, Commenting on this EPFO said, “During the pendency of any other advance, the application for COVID-19 claim is permitted.”
EPF members can also apply online for COVID advance through their login.
“EPFO settles claims for availing advance to fight COVID-19 pandemic within 03 working days. After processing the claims, cheque is sent to the bank for crediting amount to bank account of the claimant. Bank usually takes additional one to three working days to credit advance in your bank account.” EPFO said.
Those members who have applied for COVID advance can track their claim status by visiting: https://passbook.epfindia.gov.in/MemberPassBook/Login. Click online services >> track claim status.
The facility for availing advance to fight COVID-19 pandemic is available till the pandemic prevails.
Those who have left the service but have not yet availed of the final PF withdrawal benefits can also apply for COVID advance as they are still EPFO members.
How to Apply
You can also apply for a COVID-19 advance claim on Umang App or follow the below steps.
- Login to Member Interface of Unified Portal https://unifiedportalmem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface
- Go to Online Services>>Claim (Form-31,19,10C & 10D)
- Enter your Bank Account and verify
- Click on “Proceed for Online Claim”
- Select PF Advance (Form 31) from the drop down
- Select purpose as “Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)” from the drop down
- Enter amount required and Upload scanned copy of cheque and enter your addresClick on “Get Aadhaar OTP” i
- Enter the OTP received on Aadhaar linked mobile.
- Claim is submitted