HOW UIF WORKS AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU


The first thing you worry about when you can’t work, is where the money will come from until you are back at the office or get a new job. There might be one paycheck left to cover the bills and put food on the table, but then? Enter the Unemployment Insurance Fund.


No matter how secure your job, it’s good to have protection if you hit a bump in the road. UIF is one of the easiest ways to cover yourself since you have it automatically if you’re employed.

The laws for UIF in South Africa were amended last year and the benefits are even better now. Depending on how long you’ve worked, you could get a percentage of your income paid every month for up to a year. But the benefit isn’t just to cover you while you’re job-hunting.

WHO CAN CLAIM
You can claim an unemployment benefit if your employer goes bankrupt, your contract ends or you are retrenched. But there are other benefits as well.

A few days in bed isn’t the end of the world but two weeks or longer could cost you. UIF offers benefits for that.

Whether carefully planned or an unexpected surprise, pregnancy makes a serious dent in any paycheck. UIF lets you claim for 17 weeks maternity leave. If you miscarry in the third trimester or the baby is stillborn, you can claim for six weeks. The benefit will be paid at a flat rate of 66 percent. When a child of younger than two is adopted, one of the adoptive parents can receive benefits to take time off for looking after the child.

The partner or minor child of a breadwinner who dies, can claim up to 18 months after if the deceased contributed to the fund.

WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM
Who pays for all this? Your employer is required by law to register you for UIF. The monthly payment for it is 2 percent of your income – half of that by your employer and half deducted from your salary. From the lowest level to company directors contribute to the fund. The exceptions are people who work only for commission, can claim from another fund or quit their job.

You can claim from the day you stop working until your benefits run out or you start working again. Benefits are paid from the application date, so a labour office should be your first stop after your last work day.

HOW MUCH YOU CAN GET
If you have been contributing to UIF for four years or more, you can claim for up to 12 months. For less time than that you can claim one day for every six days worked while contributing to the fund. For maternity leave, you can only claim up to 121 days.


The fund pays a percentage of your wage or salary that you earned while contributing to the fund. The highest payout is 58 percent of your daily earnings.

WHERE TO START
Go to a labour office with your green barcoded ID book or passport, a service certificate from your employer and copies of your last six payslips.

At the office, you'll sign the unemployment register and fill in two forms, which you can get there or download from labour.gov.za. One has your banking details and the other says you’re no longer employed. You have to go back every four weeks to sign again and confirm that you still need support. Payment will start up to eight weeks after registering.

It takes a little effort, but unemployment insurance is a great bonus that will set your mind at ease about money while you deal with a major event in your life.

Useful link: Go to ezuif.co.za for a step-by-step guide to claiming, an online calculator and more tips.



HOW UIF WORKS AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU HOW UIF WORKS AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU Reviewed by Jet Club on April 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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