One needs to update Aadhaar KYC through the Member Portal and if there is any data mismatch, then the member has to first get it rectified.
Going by the reports, there are several who have applied for PF Advance for COVID-19, however, there are many who may still be waiting to receive the money in their bank accounts. In order to keep them updated about their PF withdrawal application, the EPFO in replies on its twitter handle has been informing them that EPFO is settling a claim on first come first serve basis.
The government had announced that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic if any salaried individual requires funds out of his or her provident fund (PF), they can do so. The PF advance is generally provided for education, home construction or medical needs but recently the government allowed employees to withdraw funds citing COVID-19 as a reason to need money.
The reply to those who are asking about their PF Advance claim on Twitter reads – “Dear Member we are settling claims on first come first serve basis. We appeal to you to wait for your turn and don’t file grievance unnecessarily. We are working with only one-third staff during this crisis so please bear with us.”
Also, in other replies to the PF members, EPFO is asking employees to first update Aadhaar KYC through the member portal. If there is any data mismatch, then the member has to approach the concerned office with documentary proof of identity, Aadhaar and bank document.
For those who are not able to apply for PF COVID advance for lack of cheque book, have been told by EPFO to attach scanned copy of passbook page reflecting (printed) member’s name, bank account number and IFSC of bank clearly.
EPFO had recently relaxed date of birth correction criteria to ease KYC compliance enabling submission of a claim. EPFO would accept the date of birth recorded in the Aadhaar card of a subscriber as a valid proof for rectification of the date of birth in PF records. All cases with variation in the date of birth up to three years are now being accepted by EPFO.
Those who have already applied may check their claim status by logging on to the Member Portal under Online Services and then by clicking on ‘Track Claim Status.’
The EPFO has introduced a facility in the UAN Portal wherein the employee can enter the date of exit from the previous or the last employer by oneself. Till now, only the employers had the authority to enter or update the exit date of the employee. However, from now onwards even the employee after leaving an organization or company can enter the date of exit.
EPFO in a separate reply to a user states that if the claim status shows ‘settled’, but still if the money has not been received, then members will have to check the bank details linked to UAN. If it is wrong, the payment will not be credited to your bank. It will go back to the concerned PF a/c no. Therefore, one has to rectify the details in KYC through the UAN login and after approval of the employer, it will reflect in your KYC. Then one has to apply a fresh claim. This is true for any PF withdrawal and not just for COVID-19 claims.
Once approved by competent authority, a consolidated cheque is prepared and sent to bank for disbursement through NEFT to the concerned members bank accounts. This process can take 3 working days with EPFO and 3 days at bank level.
Still, if one wishes to raise a grievance, it can be done at epfigms website. And, if you have already registered your grievance, then you can check status at the same website.
The maximum PF advance or non-refundable withdrawal is to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less. One may withdraw a lesser amount as well. Importantly, according to EPFO, this being an advance, does not attract income tax deductions.
According to PTI, EPFO had settled 10.02 lakh withdrawal claims, including 6.06 lakhs COVID-19 non-refundable advance claims, and disbursed Rs 3,600.85 crore in the last 15 working days. And, as per a Labour Ministry statement, around 90 per cent of COVID-19 non-refundable advance claims were settled within 3 days. Also, as on April, 17, 2020, Rs 481.63 crore was disbursed to 40,826 PF members as advance under para 68-L for COVID-19 by the exempted PF Trusts. The top three exempted establishments in terms of the amount disbursed for COVID-19 claims are NLC Ltd, TCS and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.