South Africa’s workers who did not receive their COVID-19 Temporary Employment Relief Scheme (TERS) benefit payment from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) have been assured that payment re-runs for outstanding claims were under way for the period of April to 15 September, starting mid-December.
The UIF has also started processing and paying claims to foreign nationals who were verified via the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Services (SARS) and meet all other verification processes.
These payments come on the back of a staggering ZAR55.6bn ($3.8bn) in 12.9 payments to millions of workers from 1.1m applications that the Fund has disbursed since the first lockdown in March. This figure includes just over ZAR2bn paid to 491,410 foreign nationals from 95,834 applications by employers.
“The Fund has been sporadically re-running claims for the previous months, but this time we have decided to recycle all claims to ensure that those that have updated declarations and discrepancies are paid when we re-run the payments. We have dedicated the entire week to re-run payments for a period between April to September 2020, and we shall repeat for all lockdown period on Saturday, 19 December to try clear the backlog as far as we possibly can so that beneficiaries will not suffer during this festive season,” said the UIF acting commissioner Marsha Bronkhorst.
Payments for the 16 September to 15 October period have already commenced with ZAR1bn disbursed to 272,686 workers through 22,884 employer claims. The fund said applications for this period close on 31 December 2020 and no further applications will be accepted.
As the festive season is underway Ms Bronkhorst said annual leave for all key personnel in operations, ICT and finance has been postponed in order to fast track the processing and payment of claims, including claims for normal UIF benefits.
The UIF also advises employers who submitted COVID-19 TERS claims via CSV file for April to 15 September periods, and where “no employees” appears on the online portal, to assume that their CSV file was incorrectly formatted. As per agreement with social partners, applicants who attempted to upload prior to the closing dates, and whose attempt failed due to technical issues, are given a further opportunity to re-submit.