People are facing a financial crisis due to pandemic of COVID-19, thus the government of India has announced that EPF members can withdraw a certain sum from their EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) account from the online portal of Employees’ Provident Fund.
The government has notified amendments in EPF scheme rules related to the withdrawal of funds from EPF accounts to deal with COVID-19-related financial needs of people.
According to the amended rules, an EPF member can withdraw an amount equal to 3 months of basic wages and dearness allowance (DA) or 75% of the EPF balance in the account, whichever is lower for them.
Puneet Gupta, Director, People Advisory Services, EY India says that “The notification amending the Provident Fund Scheme allows such advance for any epidemic or pandemic situation declared by appropriate Government and not just COVID-19. It will allow employees to access provident funds in case of any such notified eventuality in a specific state or location in the future.”
Eligibility to apply for EPF withdrawal
An EPF member or an EPF account holder should follow three following conditions to apply for claim online:
- Universal Account Number (UAN) of the EPF member must be activated
- Aadhaar should be verified and linked with UAN
- The bank account of the EPF member with the correct IFSC Code should be seeded with UAN.
In also addition, there is no certificate or documents are required to be submitted by the members or their employer for availing the benefit.
However, an individual must keep the clear scanned copy of the cheque ready as this will have to be uploaded while applying for withdrawal from EPF account online.
Steps how a person can apply for EPF withdrawal
- Visit the member e-Sewa website
- Log in by entering your UAN, password, and captcha code.
- Visit Online services and select claim option (Form -31, 19,10C and 10D)
- A new page will appear on screen with all details such as name, date of birth, and last four digits of Aadhaar number. The page will also show your bank account details. Enter the last four digits of the bank account and click on verify. Then a pop-up will appear on the screen asking to give a ‘Certificate of undertaking’.
- Once the last four digits of the bank account are verified, then click on ‘Proceed for online claim’.
- From the drop-down menu, you will be required to select ‘PF advance (Form 31)’.
- You will be required to select the purpose of withdrawal as ‘Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)’ from the drop-down menu.
- Enter the amount required and upload the scanned copy of the cheque and enter your address.
- Then a one-time password (OTP) will be sent on the mobile number registered with Aadhaar.
- Enter the OTP received via SMS.
Once the OTP is successfully submitted, the claim request will also be submitted.
The money will be credited to your bank account only if the information match and your claim are accepted by the EPFO.
Checking the status of the claim
To check the status of the claim EPF members can log in to their account on the Member e-Sewa portal and members can check the status by clicking on ‘Track Claim Status’ under the ‘online services’ tab.
Things to be remembered while applying
While applying for withdrawal from EPF account, check whether the organization is exempted. If the organization is exempted, then EPF members will have to contact the employer for the withdrawal.
Exempted organizations are those that have private trusts to manage the EPF of employees.