Covid-19 pandemic has affected the world greatly. Health and livelihood of millions through the world is affected. If you are an Indian resident and have a PF account, you have some funds to fall back on. In March 2020, Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) announced that EPF members can avail advances on their PF accounts to recoup from the problems caused due to Covid-19 pandemic. It could be for treatment of illness, job loss, pay cuts, repayment of debts or any other reason. EPFO does not demand for the reason to be mentioned while claiming funds for the aforementioned reason.
Any employee whose firm/factory is covered under Employee’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act (1952) is eligible. Since Covid-19 is declared as pandemic by the Central Government of India all PF members can utilize their funds for the trouble, they face due to the pandemic.
Any EPF member holding an EPF account can claim advance on PF for Covid-19. There is no age limit of the member or minimum service period that the member should have met in order to claim. The member can either be employed or unemployed. As long as the PF member holds funds in his/her PF account, he can withdraw funds from it. PF member does not have to furnish any documents or certificates in order to apply for this provision.
Limit on advances on PF for Covid-19
Employee can withdraw up to 75% of PF account balance or contribution of 3 months – whichever is lesser. Contribution of 3 months is calculated as the contribution by the employer and employee, and the interest received for the three-month period.
For instance, if balance on a PF account for the month of August 2021 is Rs.70,000 here’s how the limit for advance will be calculated.
Basic salary + DA = Rs.10,000 per month
Contribution of 3 months = Rs.30,000
Interest for the period of 3 months at 8.5% p.a. interest rate = Rs.2,550
Total amount for the period of 3 months = Rs.32,550
75% of balance (Rs.70,000) = Rs.52,500
Least of Rs.52,500 and Rs.32,550 should be considered.
Therefore, Rs.32,550 is the maximum amount that the PF member is eligible to receive as advances for Covid-19 pandemic. The PF member can opt to withdraw any amount lower than Rs.32,550 for the same.
Procedure to file claim for advances on PF for Covid-19 pandemic online:
Step 1 – Login to your PF account on the UAN portal by clicking this link –
Step 2 – Login with your UAN, password and captcha.
Step 3 – Under ‘Online services’ tab, click on Claim Form (31, 19, 10C, 10D)
Step 4 – Verify the bank account on your PF account by entering last 4 digits of your bank account.
Step 5 – Click on the button -’Proceed for online claim’. From the drop-down menu that appears, select PF advance (Form 31).
Step 6 – Select ‘Outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic’. Enter the amount you want to get as advances.
Step 7 – Upload scanned copy of the cheque that clearly shows full name of the bank account holder, bank account number and IFSC code. The details on the cheque and the details on the PF account should match.
Step 8 – Click on the button ‘Get Aadhar OTP’ to generate an OTP. You would receive it in the mobile number linked with your Aadhar card. Enter the OTP received and submit the claim.
Since Covid-19 is declared pandemic, there is no documentation required for processing this claim. Also, this claim is processed faster when compared to other claims so you can expect to receive the advances on your bank account within a few days of claim submission.
If you have any questions or concerns while filing claim for Covid-19 pandemic, you can reach out to UAN helpline phone number – 1800 11 8005. The support team is available 24/7.