UIF is an acronym for The Unemployment Insurance Fund: a scheme that provides short-term relief to workers when they lose their job or become temporarily unemployed or are unable to work due to either maternity or paternity leave, adoption, or illness. The scheme is also structured in such a way that it provides relief to the dependants of a deceased contributor.
Although structured to cater to the above-mentioned individuals, the scheme is not structured to pay workers who absconded from work, got fired for bad behaviors and conducts, or resigned from work. An exception however is given to an ex-worker only when the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) investigates and considers their resignation as constructive dismissal.
To be able to claim funds from the scheme, you must have registered for the scheme and have been contributing to the UIF while you worked. Below is information on how an ex-worker can check their UIF claim application status and steps to be taken to get it approved and paid.
Methods of Checking Your UIF Claim Application Status
Applicants can now check their UIF Claim Application either online or offline, depending on what works or fits into their schedule.
- Visit https://ufiling.labour.gov.za/uif/ on your browser and log in to your account
- Once the page comes up, click on the “CHECK MY STATUS“ button
- Follow and respond to the instructions displayed on the screen
- Enter the Captcha code that appears on the screen
- Enter your UIF Reference Number
- Your status is displayed on the screen
If you choose the offline method, all you need to do is to visit the nearest Labour Centre with your identification number at hand, or by calling their service center on 012 337 1680 or 0800 843 843 or sending an email to [email protected]
USSD Code Method
In August 2019, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) announced that it will soon be rolling out an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platform that will enable employees to check their registration and claim status for free from the comfort of their homes, offices, or while on the move and it has gone ahead to fulfill this promise.
Now, applicants can check their claim application status by simply dialing *134*843* on their cell phones. The code saves applicants not just from the frustration of queuing for hours at the Labour Department but it is also free. Once applicants dial from their mobile phones, their claim status will be displayed: whether it is approved or rejected.
How Do I Check UIF Maternity Claim Status?
As a female employee in South Africa who is contributing to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), you are entitled to apply for maternity benefits when you go on maternity leave after you give birth or adopt a child under the age of 2. The person can receive payment for up to 4 months.
To qualify for the benefits:
- You must be a South African citizen
- Have a bar-coded ID Book
- Contributing to the UIF
- Self-employed individuals, who are members of a closed corporation or a company, can also claim maternity UIF
- If you are adopting a child under the age of 2, you may also claim maternity UIF
- Foreign nationals with a valid passport who fulfill all other UIF criteria may also claim
To get started, you visit the nearest office, register online, call 084 310 5123 (they are also available on SMS and or WhatsApp), or email them at [email protected]
To check your claim status, you can follow the procedure above
Can I Claim UIF Benefits If I Resigned Voluntarily?
As mentioned above, the scheme is not designed to pay for ex-workers who absconded from work, got fired for bad behaviors and conducts, or resigned from work. So, once a worker resigns voluntarily or due to personal issues, the law says they are not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits despite their contributions to the scheme while still working.
Thus, an employee can only get benefits if his/her service contract has expired, if he/she was dismissed from work by his/her employer, or if his employer is sequestrated. The percentage compensation that will be paid to the worker, however, is dependent on how long they contributed to the Fund and can never be paid for longer than 238 days. As soon they get fixed at a new workplace and start working again, the benefit stops.
The only time an ex-worker can be paid on resignation is only when their resignation is considered as constructive dismissal and this can only be determined by the commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
How Do I Claim UIF When Dismissed?
Just as mentioned above, you cannot claim UIF if you voluntarily resign from the job. You can only claim if you have been dismissed, retrenched or if the contract of employment expires.
To claim the UIF benefits you will either need to visit the nearest Labour Centre, sign the unemployment register, or begin your journey online by creating an account on the uFilling platform. If all things are equal, you should start receiving money from the Fund within eight weeks of registering.
However, to claim unemployment benefits you need to have:
- A fully completed registration form
- A copy of 13-digit bar-coded identity document
- Information supplied by your employer (UI19)
- A service certificate from the employer
- Proof of registration as a Work seeker
- A copy of your last six payslips
Is UIF Package For Domestic Workers Different From That Of Others In Well-Paid Jobs?
Domestic workers are entitled to claim benefits if they lose only part of their work and to qualify, they must submit the claim within six months after they stopped working and the percentage compensation paid by the UIF is determined by the following:
- Salary over the past four years
- UIF contributions over the past four years
The Department of Labour calculates a daily rate (based on the salary they receive) and multiplies it with the number of qualifying days (period for which they contributed to the UIF). Both have a maximum ceiling and the maximum number of days for which they can receive benefits, are 238 (only 121 for maternity leave) and the maximum daily rate is fixed at approximately R185 for a salary of R15 000 or more per month.