Reading Time: 3 minutes

Claiming From UIF – During Lockdown & After Lockdown

Due to the spread of Covid-19 Government has introduced 2 main options for workers who are working less hours than normal and for workers who are not working at all during the lockdown.

During Lockdown

Let’s first have a look at the options that you (or your employer) have during the ongoing lockdown:

Working Less Hours

If you have been placed on short time then you can claim from UIF due to a provision made since 2018. This provision says that anyone who pays UIF and then loses their income ‘due to reduced working wine, despite being employed is entitled to benefits’


The Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (known as TERS) was introduced at the start of lockdown to assist employers in paying employees who are temporarily laid off (or prevented from coming to work) due to lockdown or Covid-19. The fund will help pay a minimum of R3500 and maximum of R6730 each month your company claims during the lockdown.

Want To Check If Your Employer Already Claimed From TERS?

Already Unemployed? Self Employed But Can’t work?

A new 6 month social grant called the Social Relief of Distress grant has been made available to all unemployed people. This is available to everyone in a household that is unemployed (even if never employed in the past). It is also available to foreign nationals. Find out more here.

Child grants have also been increased by R300 in May and R500 from June to October. People who receive other types of grants will find an additional R250 included for the next 6 months.

Claiming UIF Just After Retirement

You may not be aware but if you have retired at or after 65 years of age you can access UIF to help bridge the gap while waiting for your living annuity to pay out. If you have retired and choose to transfer the full capital into a living annuity you might face delays in getting money each month. You are able to access UIF for up to 238 days while waiting for the annuity to start paying. It is important however to start claiming these UIF benefits within 6 months of retiring.

2 Million Job Losses In Gauteng Alone

Authorities in Gauteng are saying that they have had to revise their previous guesstimates up from around 600 000 job losses coming to 2 Million potential job losses in the next few weeks. Their research is now indicating that things are going to be much more extreme than they had hoped. It is realistic to consider what you will do if your firm is hit with retrenchment. Here are some options:

Claiming UIF After Lockdown

If you become unemployed due to retrenchment (or if your contract expires and is not renewed) in the wake of the Pandemic then you will be eligible to claim from UIF if your employer has been paying UIF on your salary over time. If you resign or have been suspended then you will not be able to claim.

‘UIF normally pays between 38 – 60% of your former salary’

UIF normally pays between 38 – 60% of your former salary for the first 238 days and then drops to 20% from day 239 to 365. What percentage you will receive depends on how long you have been paying UIF (with 4 years paying if contributions qualifying you for the maximum benefit percentage). Low income earners receive a higher percentage payout. These payments are available until you become employed again (during the payout time period).

If your employer reduces your income and you are then suddenly unable to cover your daily needs and still pay your credit providers what they demand each month, then you should consider debt review as an option. Under debt review it is likely that you will pay a much lower monthly debt instalment and have the funds you need to cover your monthly running cost.