McCarthy Attorneys Inc

Claiming COVID-19 Benefits-UIF

The Unemployment Insurance Fund will compensate affected workers through a new “National Disaster Benefit” and its existing Illness, Reduced Work Time, and Unemployment benefits.

The benefits which can be claimed in respect of the UIF by an employee as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa include:

  1. Reduced Work Time Benefits
  2. Illness Benefits
  3. Death Benefits
  4. National Disaster Benefits

Points 1 to 3 are existing UIF benefits, while point 4 is the new COVID-9 TERS (Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme) benefit.

It should be noted from the outset that this new “National Disaster Benefit” and any other normal UIF benefit is only applicable to employers who are registered with UIF and make monthly contributions as required by the Contributions Act of 2002.

Furthermore, an employer or employee cannot apply for the “National Disaster Benefit” and any other UIF benefit simultaneously.

In respect of the ordinary UIF benefits from 1 – 3 above, employers may fill in and submit the necessary forms for each particular benefit which is to be claimed by an employee.

Download: A general Easy Aid Guide to Employers

This guide sets out the necessary forms and specific requirements in order to claim each particular benefit. The necessary forms can be downloaded from the Department of Labour’s website at:

Applications must then be faxed (via a fax-to-email address) to the nearest UIF processing centre (Illness / Reduced Work Time / Death benefits). Applications will then be verified and processed online.

Claiming in terms of the National Disaster Benefit

Regarding these National Disaster Benefits, employers that are unable to pay the full salaries of the employees which they send home for health and safety reasons as a result of the lockdown (which qualifies as a temporary lay-off) may apply for the COVID-19 TERS Benefit from the UIF by sending an email to co*********@la****.za

On receipt of a request, an automated response will be sent outlining the procedure and documents/information required by the Fund to process application, being:

  • Letter of Authority, on an official company letterhead granting permission to an individual specified to lodge a claim on behalf of the company;
  • Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) (completion of the agreement between UIF, Bargaining Council and Employer);
  • Prescribed Template to be filled in that will require critical information from the employer (sent in automated response with guidelines);
  • Evidence/payroll as proof of the last three (3) months employee(s) salary(ies);
  • Confirmation of bank account details in the form of a certified latest bank statement.

Download An Easy Aid Guide particular to accessing funding in terms of the COVID-9 TERS Benefit 

The UIF has provided a dedicated hotline for enquiries on COVID-19 TERS. The contact number is 012 337 1997.

For more information on the Government’s approach in terms of the COVID-19 TERS Benefit and the Regulations particular hereto, as published in the Government Gazette, please download them here.

If you have any questions about the claiming COVID-19 benefits from the Department of Labour or any other Labour or Land issues, contact McCarthy & Associates Attorneys on (033) 266 6170 or ad***@ma****.za