Your UIF questions answered

We have received several questions relating to the new online UIF claiming process. Makhosonke Buthelezi, the UIF director of communication and marketing provides some answers:

How many months can you claim UIF for?

UIF can be claimed for eight months, provided that you have full (238) credit days. Credits are accrued as follows – for every six days that you work as a contributor, you receive one day’s credit, subject to a maximum of 238 days.

To qualify for the full credit days you must have worked as a contributor for more than four years. The rates at which the benefits are payable is in accordance with the scale of benefits which ranges between 38% and 60% of your last remuneration as per contributor. Low-income earners receive a higher percentage.

I am from Welkom, but I’m currently in Rustenburg looking for a job. As a UIF beneficiary, I used to claim for UIF in Welkom. Do I have to return or can I receive my claim in Rustenburg?

If there are outstanding payments to be made on the original claim made in Welkom, then I advise the claimant to continue in Welkom. This will avoid confusion and delays because the records are in Welkom and it is easy to process the continuation of payment form from where the claim was originally made.

How do I go about filing online for my UIF benefits? I was dismissed in December last year.

All applications for benefits should be made immediately after termination of service. The prescription period for benefits is six months from date of termination of service.

As you were dismissed in December, you need to complete your claim this month for you to qualify.

Note that ordinary benefits are payable from the date of application not the date the job ended, so it is important to apply as soon as possible.

An employee can activate the uFiling account on and follow the steps. Filing is a free service offered by the UIF, and UIF returns can be done simply and conveniently online.

Other benefits include ease of secure payments (debit order and credit push via internet banking) and faster processing times. UFiling is paperless, and the submission of declaration is instant and reliable.

To activate your employee account you need to have the following documents and information available:

. Your valid 13-digit South African ID number

. Your email address, to which all correspondence will be mailed

As an online registered employee you will be able to securely submit your application for benefits – for unemployment, maternity, illness and adoption – and to submit continuation of payment and notice of appeal.

An employee can register on the employee portal if the employer has been accredited by the UIF. This portal will allow the employee to securely submit forms to the UIF electronically.

How long does it take for payment to go through after signing and being given a date?

According to our processes, it should not take more than 10 working days to process the second or third payment after signing the continuation of payment. We use the 10 days to double-check if the claimant is indeed still unemployed and to verify other personal details to prevent fraud.

I have not received my claim and have had my forms sent back. What can I do?

Generally, claimants would be turned back if the forms are incomplete. Keep in mind that the banking details form is to be completed by the bank and the salary schedule is to be completed by the employer.

There are also cases in which the claimant’s employment history shows that the previous employer(s) never terminated the applicant when she or he left.

If you are having a problem with a claim, you can contact the UIF call centre.

It helps to have the name of the official who has been assisting you at the labour office as well as which labour office you have been dealing with in order to resolve the issue.

. Call 0860 345 464 or 012 337 1680 and select option three

. Send an email to

I want to claim for UIF during my maternity. How much will I receive?

The application should be made prior to the birth of a child or within six months of the birth of a child.

The contributor must be receiving less than the normal remuneration while on maternity leave.

Subject to credit days accumulated, benefits can be paid to a maximum of 121 days. In the event of a miscarriage or a stillbirth, benefits are only paid for a maximum period of six weeks after the miscarriage or stillbirth.

The rates at which the benefits are payable is in accordance with the scale of benefits.

You can also claim for maternity benefits in the case of adoption. This application must be made within six months from the adoption order being issued by a competent court. The adopted child must be younger than two years and only one contributor of the adopting parents can apply for benefits, provided that the contributor suffers full or partial loss of earnings while physically caring for the child. Benefits are payable from the date on which adoption leave commences and the time must have been spent caring for the child.

Can I claim UIF benefits if I am too ill to work?

Yes, you can claim as long as the application is made within six months from when the worker ceases to work due to the illness. Benefits are paid from the date on which the worker stops working. A medical certificate should be submitted to support that the worker stopped working because of illness.

The benefit payable is the difference between what the employer pays and the rate that is prescribed in the benefits schedule of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

Benefits are only payable in respect of periods of illness lasting longer than 14 days and subject to credits. Benefits can be paid to a maximum of 238 days in any period of four years.

I claimed UIF three years ago and then started working again. Now my contract is cancelled, can I claim UIF?

Yes you can claim, but the amount you get will depend on the credit days accumulated during your contract.

Ensure that your employer declares your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contribution with the fund every month, as this assists in the finalisation of claims. Too often employers pay the lump sum via the SA Revenue Service (Sars), but UIF doesn’t know who the employer is paying for. So when the claimant applies, the fund has to go back to the employer to obtain information about the individual applicant, which delays the process.