Being a young professional is great, but there are so many things that come with that that you may not understand. COVID-19 has really shown us how uncertain employment can be, and how knowing about your benefits can be helpful during a global crisis. If you’ve ever wondered about UIF and what it is, read on.

What is UIF?

UIF or Unemployment Insurance Fund, offers short-term financial assistance that’s paid out to employees in the event that they lose their jobs. Not every employee who stops working receives a UIF payment, however.

Who qualifies for UIF?

Employees who become unemployed or unable to work due to illness, parental, maternity or adoption leave, or an employee who’s passed away and made contributions (their dependant(s) would be liable to claim) qualify for UIF. However, these employees have conditions that they need to adhere to in order to qualify. They need to have been employed for more than 24 hours a month, must have been registered by their employers and make monthly UIF contributions.

How much needs to be contributed?

UIF contributions differ from employee to employee as they’re based on how much an employee earns. Anyone who’s registered to make UIF payments has to make a contribution of one percent of their salary, along with a contribution made by their employer. Employers are responsible for deducting this amount on a monthly basis from their employees’ salaries, and any employer who fails to do this will be held liable to make this payment on their own accord.

What are the steps to claiming for UIF?

Step 1: Get the documents ready

Before workers can claim, they must get the following documents ready: 13-digit bar-coded ID or passport; form UI-2.8 for banking details; form UI-19 to show that you are no longer working for your employer; and proof of registration as a job-seeker.

Step 2: Go to the nearest labour centre

Unemployed workers must go to the nearest labour centre themselves and hand in the documents. Staff at the labour centre will assist them through the process and give them more information if necessary.

Step 3: Follow all the instructions of the staff at the labour centre

Staff at the labour centre may ask unemployed workers to go for training or visit the labour centre at certain times. Workers should do what they ask, or they may not be able to claim.

Unemployed workers must apply for benefits at their nearest labour centre in person. They must be registered as work-seekers and take the necessary documents with them.

Being unemployed is probably one of the most frustrating things to go through, but UIF works as a relief option if this happens. It’s important to have as much information as possible about this to make sure that you get all your benefits. The more information you have, the sooner you can claim. There are also UIF contact details you can use to have all your questions answered.

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