The EPFO subscribers can now avail withdrawal of a second non-refundable COVID-19 advance. This was announced by the Labour Ministry announced. The first provision for special withdrawal to meet financial needs during the pandemic was introduced in March 2020.
The subscribers will be able to withdraw a sum equivalent or lesser than that of three months basic wages plus dearness allowances, or up to 75% of the amount standing to their credit in their Provident Fund account, whichever is less. This is independent of the COVID-19 advance if taken during the first provisioning. The provision and process for withdrawal are the same for both advances.
“The COVID-19 advance has been a great help to the EPF members during the pandemic, especially for those having monthly wages of less than Rs. 15,000,” said the Ministry statement. “As of date, EPFO has settled more than 76.31 lakh COVID-19 advance claims thereby disbursing a total of Rs. 18,698.15 crore.”
Given the urgent need of members for financial support, especially with a mucormycosis epidemic during the second wave of the pandemic, EPFO said it will accord top priority to COVID-19 claims.
The EPFO will settle these claims within three days of their receipt. For this, EPFO has deployed a system-driven auto-claim settlement process in respect of all such members whose KYC requirements are complete in all respects. The auto-mode of settlement enables EPFO to reduce the claim settlement cycle to just 3 days as against the statutory requirement to settle the claims within 20 days.