UIF Only Processing 23 000 Applications
UIF Claims Just Not Happening
As of mid April, the UIF had received only around 23 000 applications for Covid-19 related relief. This in a nation of millions of UIF paying, employed people who are all being affected by the current Covid-19 Lockdown.
Many are blaming the poor uptake on a lack of successful communication to the workforce. COSATU, in particular, have come out shouting that people are simply unaware of the aid they can receive. The news media are largely being left to communicate to the public about these benefits and try to encourage uptake and Government is facing criticism over not raising awareness.
‘people are simply unaware of the aid they can receive’
The UIF report that almost all of the additional applications have not been paid out yet and have either been sent back for additional info or are simply caught up in red tape. This was to be expected of new relief measures but UIF has been in place for many years as a working concern and is now only dealing with a slightly different type of application in an existing system. Not their finest hour.
This rather small number of additional applications has sent the UIF into over time, with them taking on 50 extra workers to try to cope with this tiny influx. The majority of these workers are assigned to answer phone calls. 4 Officials each have, internally, been assigned to help bolster the online processing teams for each province to help with capacity since all these applications are being done via the internet. Despite the increase in team size, payouts seem to simply not be happening and applications are sitting in the doldrums according to reports. It is hoped that this will change for the better in the near future as desperate people are becoming more desperate as food runs out and the end of the month looms.
After The Lockdown
Once the lockdown is over and the slow, staged progressive return to work begins the true harm that has been done to the economy by the Pandemic is going to become evident and then the impact is going to intensify as people without money simply do not spend money and companies begin o shut their doors and shed staff to try to stay afloat.
‘It is estimated that anywhere between 400 000 and 1 million South Africans will lose their jobs’
It is at that time that UIF applications will sky rocket. It is estimated that anywhere between 400 000 and 1 million South Africans will lose their jobs. Many of them in the formal sector and many of them able to try to claim UIF.
If you face retrenchment please remember that your credit accounts carry insurance which will cover your minimum payments for a number of months IF YOU CLAIM. These do not pay out automatically and the credit providers have a history of trying to hide these benefits from consumers.
If you are already financially stressed then please talk to a local Debt Counsellor asap and get some sound, professional advice.