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How to claim from UIF

How to claim from UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund)

How to claim from UIF (Unemployment Fund). Losing your job for whatever reason is stressful and incredibly overwhelming. To make matters worse, jobs are becoming more and more scarce, this can mean that unemployed job seekers are unable to generate an income for quite some time while between jobs. This loss of income can be devastating for individuals and their families. Fortunately, we have what is known as the unemployment fund in South Africa which offers slight relief during this difficult time.

The UIF is designed to offer temporary relief to workers who have lost their jobs due to dismissal or retrenchment. But it does not stop there. It will also cover people who can not work because of illness, maternity/adoption leave and even relatives of workers who have passed away. Let’s take a closer look at the unemployment insurance fund, figure out who is covered and how to claim from UIF when needed.

How to Claim From UIF

Who funds the Unemployment Insurance Fund?

Where does the money for the UIF come from? Well, quite simply it comes from all workers in South Africa, with one or two exceptions of course.

Employees are required to pay 1% of their salary (excluding commissions) towards the fund, and employers are required to match that 1% from the company. So essentially the equivalent of 2% of your salary will be paid into the fund each and every month. Every employer is required by law to register their employees with the fund and make the required deductions and payments. (Check out this article on what your employer may and may not deduct from your salary.)

Please remember that it is illegal for an employer to:
  • Take more than 1% of an employee’s salary.
  • Deduct larger amounts because they have fallen behind on payments.
  • Charge a fee for deducting UIF and making the payments on the employee’s behalf.

Who is able to claim from the UIF?

Any worker, including foreigners who are permanently employed in SA, who has contributed to the UIF can claim any of the benefits the fund offers. The benefits which you may claim from the UIF include;

  • Unemployment benefits
  • Illness Benefits
  • Maternity or Adoption Benefits
  • Death Benefits

Unemployment Benefits: You can claim for unemployment if you have been dismissed, retrenched or the CCMA considers your resignation to be constructive dismissal. You CAN NOT claim if you have resigned voluntarily or absconded from work. You may also not claim if you are suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

Illness Benefits: You are able to claim illness benefits from the UIF if a doctor has booked you off from work for two weeks or longer. If you are completely unable to continue working you would be able to claim unemployment benefits. Remember that you can only claim illness benefits for any time that you did not receive normal wages from your employer. You will also not be able to claim if the illness was caused by your own misconduct, or if you have refused to follow a doctor’s instructions.

Maternity / Adoption benefits: If you are pregnant and take maternity leave you are able to claim benefits from the UIF for 17 weeks. If you are planning on adopting a child younger then 2 years old, one of the parents is able to leave work to look after the child and claim benefits.

Death Benefits: If a husband or wife passes away their spouse is able to claim from the UIF if the person who passed away had been paying contributions into the fund. A child may also be able to claim if their parents/s have passed away.

Right onto the big question. How to claim from UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund)

The department of Labour has not made the process of claiming particularly difficult, in fact, if you have a legitimate claim and all your documents are in order the process should be quite simple.

1) The first thing you are going to want to do is to make sure you have all the necessary documents in order. (I will list the required documents a little later on)

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2) Next, you will want to visit a department of labour office to sign an unemployment register. You will need to return to the department every 4 weeks to re-sign the register. This is just to confirm that you are still in need of the benefits.

3) You will be issued with a white card by a UIF officer, make sure you get this white card signed each time you visit the department. This is required to record your visits.

4) You may be required to attend training or career counseling periodically. Make sure you adhere to the UIF officers’ requests.

What documents will you need? (Click on any of the form number to download the form.)

Claiming for Unemployment benefits
  1. Application for Unemployment benefits (UI2.11)
  2. A copy of your Identity Document
  3. A copy of your last 6 payslips
  4. A declaration of information (UI-19 form) completed by your previous employer
  5. Certificate of service from your employer
  6. Proof of registration as a Work seeker
  7. A completed registration form.
A few things you need to know when claiming UIF for unemployment.
  1. Be prepared to attend any training or counseling the labour officer requires of you.
  2. You will need to actively seek employment. You will possibly be issued with a form that you will need to get signed by companies that you have approached asking for work. 
  3. Be ready to start work immediately if you are offered a position.
Claiming for Maternity benefits.
  • An application for maternity benefits. (Form UI-2.3)
  • A copy of your Identity Document
  • Copies of your last 6 payslips
  • A declaration of information (UI-19 form) completed by your previous employer
  • Certificate of service from your employer
  • A completed bank authorization Form (UI-2.8)
  • Proof of your banking details
  • A statement of the amount received from the employer during maternity leave. (Form UI-2.7)
  • A medical certificate from a doctor or the birth certificate of the child.
  • A completed registration form
Claiming for Adoption benefits
  • An application for adoption benefits. (Form UI-2.4)
  • A copy of your Identity Document
  • Copies of your last 6 payslips
  • A declaration of information (UI-19 form) completed by your previous employer
  • Certificate of service from your employer
  • The adoption order
  • Proof of your banking details
  • A statement of the amount received from the employer during adoption leave. (Form UI-2.7)
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • You need to apply for the benefits within 6 months of the adoption order being issued.
  • A completed registration form.
Claiming for Illness benefits
  • Application for illness benefits (UI-2.2)
  • A copy of your Identity Document
  • Copies of your last 6 payslips
  • A declaration of information (UI-19 form) completed by your previous employer
  • Certificate of service from your employer
  • Proof of your banking details
  • A statement of the amount received from the employer during the period of illness. (Form UI-2.7)
  • A completed registration form
Claiming death benefits by a spouse of the deceased
  • Application for dependant partner benefits (UI2.5)
  • A copy of your Identity Document
  • Copies of the deceased’s last 6 payslips
  • A declaration of information (UI-19 form) completed by the deceased’s employer
  • A certified copy of the death certificate
  • A certified copy of your marriage certificate
  • Proof of your banking details
Claiming death benefits by a child the deceased
  • Application for dependant child benefits (UI2.6)
  • Complete form (UF-127) for submission
  • A copy of your Identity Document
  • Copies of the deceased’s last 6 payslips
  • A declaration of information (UI-19 form) completed by the deceased’s employer
  • A certified copy of the death certificate
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • Proof of your banking details
  • A certified copy of the death certificate
  • Proof that you were dependant on the deceased

When will you start receiving your UIF payments?

You should receive your first payment within 8 weeks of registering yourself for benefits, and every 4 weeks thereafter until your funds are depleted. You will also receive a statement from the department of labour that will show you how much you have already received and how much is left.

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One comment

  1. Avatar
    Caroline says:

    I’m 55 years old now and I can’t get the job because of my age (above required age). I cannot earn SASSA because of my age ( below required age). How must I survive between these 5 coming years, can we not receive a benefit till we reach the of 60, May you please look at this gap and do something please.

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