Going through the reports, there are many peoples who have applied for Provident fund Advance for COVID-19, however, there are also many peoples who are still under waiting for receiving the money into their bank accounts. For providing the updated information to them about the status of their PF withdrawal application, the EPFO has been replying to them through its twitter handle that the claim will be settled on a first come first serve basis.
The government of India has announced that amongst the coronavirus pandemic if any, salaried person wants to withdraw funds from his or her PF account, they can do so. Generally, Provident fund advance is provided for education, construction of the house, or medical purpose but recently the government has also allowed the employees for withdrawal of the PF for COVID-19 stating the COVID-19 as a reason for the need of money.
The reply given by EPFO to the persons who are asking for PF Advance claim on Twitter reads – “Dear Member we are settling claims on first come first serve basis. We appeal to you to wait for your turn and don’t file grievance unnecessarily. We are working with only one-third of staff during this crisis so please bear with us.”
Update of KYC Details
In its replies to the provident fund members, EPFO is also asking employees to first update their Aadhaar KYC at the member portal. If a mismatch of data found then the member has to go to the concerned department taking with them documentary proof of their identity, their Aadhar number, and their Bank passbook.
Those persons who are not being able to apply due to not having with them checkbooks are being told by EPFO to attach a scanned copy of their bank passbook which should cleary contain member’s name, his bank account number and IFSC code of the bank.
Recently EPFO has also provided relaxation in the correction of date of birth so as to ease the KYC compliance for submission of the claim. For this EPFO has been accepting the date of birth as mentioned in the Aadhar card of the subscriber and as a valid proof for rectification in PF records. Cases that have a variation of three years in the date of birth are now being accepted by EPFO.
Persons who have already applied for the claim can check the status of their claim on the Members portal by simply logging in and then by clicking on ‘Track claim status.’
The EPFO has also provided a facility on the UAN portal where the employees can enter their date of leaving from the previous employer themselves. Until now, only the employers can enter and edit the date of leaving of the employee. However, from the introduction of new facility employee are also able to enter their date of exit from any organization, or the company can also enter the date of exit of the employee.
What if money not received?
In a separate reply to their users, EPFO also stated that if the status of the claim shows as ‘settled’, but the money has not been received in the account of the beneficiary, the members are required to check their bank details with UAN. If it founds wrong, then the payment will not be credited to their bank, because the detail are wrong about the bank account, and the same will be bounced and credited back to concerned PF a/c number. In that case, one has to correct the details of KYC through the UAN login and the same should be approved by the employer, then it will reflect in the employees KYC. Then he is required to file a fresh claim for the withdrawal of PF, and the same process is applicable for all PF withdrawals and not only for COVID-19 claims.
Disbursal of Claims
After receiving claims from the members the next thing is that it is approved by the competent authority. Once approved, a consolidated cheque for all claims is prepared and sent to the bank. At the bank, disbursement is carried out through separate NEFT to the concerned members’ bank account. It will take 3 working days at the EPFO level and 3 days at bank level.
How to Raise Grievance?
If someone is not satisfied with his claim then he may raise his grievance, with the EPFO from EPFO’s website. He can also check the status of his grievance from the same login details later on after filing of the grievance.
Maximum limit of PF Advance
The maximum permissible provident fund advance or non-refundable withdrawal can be up to basic wages and DA for the three months or 75% of the amount outstanding in the PF account of the member, whichever is less. Hence one cannot withdraw excess amount from the above limits. It is also important to note that it is an advance and therefore it does not attract a deduction of Income-tax or TDS.
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