The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will start to process new claims for the Covid-19 Temporal Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) from Monday, August 17.
The TERS scheme, which is meant to help pay salaries during the pandemic, had been due to end in June, but was recently extended.
The new benefits will cover claims for the period for 1 July to 15 August, but will only cover employees whose employers are:
- not permitted to commence operations under lockdown regulations
- unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers (those above the age of 60 years, or with co-morbidities), such as working from home
- unable to make use of their services because of the coronavirus restrictions, for example on how many employees can be in the workplace at the same time.
All claims must be lodged via the TERS online portal.
“In keeping with strict governance principles, we will still subject payments to bank verification prior to releasing the funds into the applicant’s accounts. The immediate past has taught us that even under the pandemic, criminals are at large and looking to benefit through their nefarious means,” said UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping.
Following “robust discussion” at Nedlac, agreement has been reached that the cut-off date for applications for April and May will be 15 September. All new applications for these periods must be uploaded by this day.
A survey among the 10,000 members of the National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA) showed that 12% of companies still haven’t received TERS payments for April. Of the companies which did get money, 66% were paid in full. Some 20% of participants didn’t receive May payments, nor did 37% of June applicants.
The UIF has faced huge criticism about the TERS process. Many companies have complained to Business Insider South Africa, citing applications that have not been processed or paid, some applications being denied without explanation, and a general failure to get a response from the UIF.
So far, the UIF paid out more than R31 billion.
The maximum a worker will get is R6,730 a month (if you earn more than R17,700), while the minimum amount is R3,500.