The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), has extended the processing of new Temporary Employee / Employer Relief Scheme (TERS) benefit claims for April to September following consultations with social partners at Nedlac.
The TERS applies to employers who are facing distress and are unable to pay salaries due to the lockdown. The payments are part of a government-wide response to ease the burden of the pandemic and to ensure that, to the extent possible, workers are not prejudiced by the lockdown.
In a statement on Tuesday ( 15 September), the UIF said that the new dates are as follows:
- Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for March 2020 to May 2020 shall close on 25 September 2020
- Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for June 2020 shall close on 15 October 2020,
- Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for July to 15 September 2020 shall close 30 October 2020.
The UIF said that no further applications for these period shall be accepted beyond the specified dates. It added that the closing dates will not affect claims that have already been submitted, as they will be processed and paid once the outstanding information is finally submitted to the fund.
“Currently payments are still on hold as the fund is still working with the Department of Home Affairs and other government databases to verify about 5 million identity documents of Covid-19 TERS applications. This is done to ensure that payments are made to deserving and authentic workers.”
An announcement will be made in due course about when the Fund will resume with payments again, the fund said.
“We are aware of the negative impact this delay has caused and is causing. But in the interests of mitigating the risks which have been identified both by our Risk Unit and the auditor general, we unfortunately have to pause payments. As soon as we have a sense of comfort with the steps taken, we will announce to the country the resumption of payments,” said Marsha Bronkhorst, acting UIF commissioner.