How to claim the Covid-19 UIF benefit

Last week the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) expressed concern that “hundreds of thousands” of employers had failed to claim from the Covid-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme.

In a statement, the fund emphasised that all businesses with workers, “from spaza shops to hair salons” who are registered with the UIF can apply for this relief. “Even employers of domestic workers should also apply for the relief as domestic workers are included in the UIF.”

You can, and should, claim relief if your business is unable to pay the full salaries of workers during the national state of disaster. The department of employment and labour has urged employers to continue paying workers during this period, even if they are still waiting on payouts from the Covid-19 benefit.

The minimum amount paid out from the scheme is R3 500 a month.

To make a claim, you must do the following:

• Register on the online portal.

• Login and follow the automated prompts. You will need to fill in your UIF reference number, trade name and contact details.

• Accept the terms and conditions of a memorandum of agreement and a letter of undertaking by clicking “accept”.

• Upload confirmation from your bank in the form of a PDF.

• Add the details of the workers you are applying for. You will need their ID numbers.


If the application is completed accurately, the turnaround time should be 10 days.

Have you tried to claim UIF relief, or has your employer tried on your behalf? Tell us about your experiences here.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.
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