- Non-refundable withdrawals up to 75% of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, or the basic wages and DA for 3 months, whichever is less, are provided.
- According to a statement from the Labour Ministry, the provisions and procedures for withdrawing the second COVID-19 advance are the same as for the first advance.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has now permitted its members to avail of a second non-refundable COVID-19 advance, amidst the country’s second wave of Covid-19 and the rise of ‘mucormycosis’ or black fungus infections across states.
Members who have already taken use of the first COVID-19 advance can now take use of the second advance as well. The provision and procedures for withdrawing the second COVID-19 advance are the same as for the first advance, according to a statement from the Labour Ministry.
“It has been determined to give first priority to COVID-19 claims,” the ministry added, “given the urgent need for financial help among members in these challenging circumstances.”
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), a provision for emergency withdrawal to support members’ financial needs during a pandemic was implemented in March 2020.
Non-refundable withdrawals up to 75 percent of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, or the basic salary and dearness allowances for three months, whichever is less, are provided under this provision. Members may also apply for a smaller amount.
“During the pandemic, the COVID-19 advance has been of great help to EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) members, particularly those with monthly wages of less than Rs. 15,000,” the ministry noted. EPFO has so far settled over 76.31 lakh COVID-19 advance claims, thereby disbursing a total of Rs. 18,698.15 crore.
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The organisation further stated that these claims will be settled within three days of receipt. EPFO has implemented a system-driven auto-claim settlement process for all such members who have completed their KYC criteria in all aspects. EPFO’s auto-mode of settlement allows it to reduce the claim settlement cycle to just three days, as compared to the statutory requirement of 20 days, it added.
In light of India’s second Covid wave, the Labour Ministry has approved a plethora of additional benefits for bereaved family members under the EPFO and ESIC programmes.
These benefits include a pension for dependents of ESIC insured persons who died as a result of COVID-19, as well as an increase in the maximum sum assured under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI), run by Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), from Rs. 6 lakhs to Rs. 7 lakhs.
It had said that these welfare measures will provide much-needed support to the families of workers who have died as a result of the COVID-19 disease, as well as shield them from financial challenges during these difficult pandemic times.