The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) allows members to avail COVID advance facility even in case of job loss. In that case, he/she can withdraw some portion of the corpus as COVID-19 advance.
To support its subscribers during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO has now allowed its members to avail themselves of a second non-refundable COVID-19 advance. The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during the pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). An amendment to this effect was made by the Ministry of Labour & Employment in Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 by inserting therein sub-para (3) under paragraph 68L, through notification in the Official Gazette.
Under this provision, 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 member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, is provided. Members can apply for a less amount also.
The COVID-19 advance has been a great help to the EPF members during the pandemic, especially for those having monthly wages of less than Rs. 15,000. As on date, EPFO has settled more than 76.31 lakh COVID-19 advance claims thereby disbursing a total of Rs. 18,698.15 crore.
How to apply for EPF withdrawal online
In order to apply for EPF withdrawal online during job loss too, the process is the same. The subscribers must have an active Universal Account Number (UAN) and the mobile number used for activating the UAN number should be in working condition. The UAN should be Know Your Customer (KYC)-verified.
If not done, you will need to complete your KYC by submitting the same on Member Portal. For submitting your claim online your Aadhaar linked mobile will get OTP. So your Aadhaar should be linked with a mobile. If your basic details such as name, date of birth and gender against UAN are the same as that in Aadhaar, you can link your Aadhaar through the eKYC Portal.
COVID-9 claims are settled in 3 days
Considering the urgent need of members for financial support in these trying times, it has been decided to accord top priority to COVID-19 claims. EPFO is committed to settling these claims within three days of their receipt. For this, EPFO has deployed a system driven auto-claim settlement process in respect of all such members whose KYC requirements are complete in all respects.
It’s important to note here that the COVID-19 related PF advance is not taxable under income tax law.