"Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has processed about 1.37 lakh claims across the country disbursing an amount of Rs 279.65 crore under a new provision especially formulated by amending the EPF Scheme to help subscribers fight Covid-19," a labour ministry statement said.
Retirement fund body EPFO on Friday said it has settled 1.37 lakh provident fund withdrawal claims worth Rs 280 crore to provide relief to subscribers during the lockdown. “Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has processed about 1.37 lakh claims across the country disbursing an amount of Rs 279.65 crore under a new provision especially formulated by amending the EPF Scheme to help subscribers fight Covid-19,” a labour ministry statement said.
According to the statement, remittances have already started taking place. EPFO has settled these claims in the past 10 days. The system as it stands today is processing all applications which are fully KYC (know your customer) compliant within less than 72 hours.
Members, who have applied for claims in some other category, can also file for claim to fight the pandemic and depending upon the KYC compliance condition of each member, every effort is being made to settle claims at the earliest, the ministry said.
The provision for a special withdrawal from the EPF scheme to fight Covid-19 pandemic is part of the PMGKY scheme announced by the government and an urgent notification on the matter was made to introduce a para 68 L (3) of the EPF scheme on March 28, 2020.
Under this provision, non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, is provided.
The member can apply for lesser amount also. This, being an advance, does not attract income tax deductions, the ministry said. Anticipating the huge surge in demand, the EPFO came out with a completely new software which has been developed from scratch and a receipt module for on-line receipt of the claims was introduced within 24 hours and deployed on March 29, 2020.
Further, the application was required to be in electronic form to curtail any physical movement in view of social distancing. It was decided to introduce a system of settling claims in auto mode directly by the system in respect of all such members whose KYC requirements were complete in all respects.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat and considering dire need of money in these trying times, it has been decided to process advance to fight COVID-19 pandemic on top priority, the ministry said. Claims for availing advance to fight pandemic are filed online, necessitating every EPF account to be KYC complaint as pre-cursor.
Further, EPFO has relaxed date of birth correction criteria to ease KYC compliance enabling submission of claim.
EPFO would accept the date of birth recorded in the Aadhaar card of a subscriber as a valid proof for rectification of the date of birth in PF records. All cases with variation in date of birth up to three years are now being accepted by EPFO.