As the number of Coronavirus infection cases in the country soar and the entire country remains in a standstill because of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, some people who have lost their jobs or are facing salary cuts are going through a serious cash crunch. In order to offer some relief to people, The Union Labour and Employment Ministry recently notified amendment to the Employees’ Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme to allow withdrawal of non-refundable advance by the members.
Note that while it is advised to not dip into your retirement savings saved up in EPF, PPF account, a situation like this might force you to dig into your provident fund account. PF account-holders who do not have a mobile number linked to Aadhaar may not be able to withdraw money immediately under this withdrawal scheme introduced by the government.
EPFO informed people through Twitter that application for EPF withdrawal claims (Form-21) under ‘Outbreak of Pandemic – COVID-19 are being processed on priority by the organisation. It said, “Previously, if you have applied for any other claim which is not settled so far, you may still file online EPF withdrawal claim under ‘Outbreak of Pandemic – COVID-19 for faster relief.
It further informed people that online claims under COVID-19 are processed under auto mode within 72 hours. However, claims which are not fully KYC compliant require manual procession which takes time.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is accepting only online withdrawal claims. However, a key requirement is an Aadhaar-linked mobile number on which the EPFO sends a one-time password (OTP) for submission of a claim. According to the FAQ segment on the EPFO website, a claim can also be filed through the government’s UMANG mobile application using EPF universal account number (UAN), and an OTP is sent on the mobile number linked to the UAN.
Linking Aadhaar with your EPF account online:
STEP 1: Go to unifiedportal.epfindia.gov.in
STEP 2: Select the ‘UAN Member e-Sewa’ link under the ‘For Employees’ tab. Login with your UAN ID and password.
STEP 3: Under the ‘Manage’ tab, select the ‘KYC’ option. It will direct you to a page where you find tabs to upload a number of documents to link with your EPF account…Read more>>