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HR 101 – UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) – Part 2

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Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.

Last time we looked at the “what can” be claimed from UIF and this week we will have a look at the “how to claim” in terms of the benefits.

So, how do you, as an employee claim benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)?

Firstly you would have to physically go to your nearest Labour office and there you will be required to sign the unemployment register. Be warned though it is a slow, tedious procedure and I would suggest that you take a book along with you as you could be in the queue for several hours, just to get to the help desk. You will need to sign the register again every four weeks to evidence that you are still in need of the unemployment benefits and you will be told when the next date is that you are required to return.

If you are wanting to claim the ‘sick’ benefits you will need to take your doctors certificate with you each and every time that you go to sign.

You will be given a white card (or a card of some sort) that you need to take with you, each time you go to the Labour offices and the UIF officer that is dealing with you will sign the card evidencing that you have in fact been to the office.

If you have met all the requirements, you should start receiving your money after eight weeks (from the time that you originally signed) and thereafter every four weeks until such time as your benefits have been used up.

You will receive paperwork every time you receive a benefit which will have the amount that you have received recorded on it as well as what you can still expect to receive.

You will need to take the following documentation with you when you go to register for benefits:

– A copy of your 13 digit bar coded identity document – your drivers licence is insufficient as it often only records your initials and not your full names.
– Copies of your last 6 payslips
– Form UI19 – this you must get from your employers as it will confirm, amongst other things, the amount of time that you were employed as well as the rate of earnings etc.
– A certificate of service from your employer
– Proof of registration as a work seeker (so that means confirmation from where-ever you have registered i.e. employment agencies etc., showing that you are in fact trying to find work).
– A Fully completed registration form – which you can get off the Department of Labour’s website or that you will be issued with when you go to the Labour Office.

Be warned though, the UIF official may ask you to do some things that you will have to be prepared to do – these are (but not limited to):
– Go for training and/or career counselling
– Be available for work. If the official offers you work, you have to be ready to accept it.
– Go to various companies to ask for work. If you are requested to do this, you will be given a form that will have to be signed by a person at the company that you visited to evidence that you did apply for work but that there were no jobs available at that time.

You have to collect your unemployment benefits from the Labour Centre (or if possible they may decide to make the payments electronically into your bank account) and they can only be collected on the date that they tell you come to the offices and they can only be collected by yourself and you must take your white card and your ID document.

Next time we will have a look at the “how to” collect your illness benefits and maternity benefits and depending upon the availability of space, the death benefits too.