EPFO settles 36.02 lakh claims worth Rs 11,540 cr in April-May

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June 9, 2020 5:11 PM

Despite the lockdown restrictions, EPFO settled a staggering 36.02 lakh claims thereby disbursing Rs 11,540 crore to its members during April and May, it said.

EPFO, COVID-19 lockdown, PMGKY, EPFO members, COVID-19 claims EFFO,latest news on EFFOThe COVID-19 advance has been a great help to EPFO members during these difficult times, especially for the members with monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000.

Retirement fund body EPFO has settled 36.02 lakh claims and disbursed Rs 11,540 crore to its members during lockdown in the last two months.

“To enhance the ease of living experience of its members during the challenging times of COVID-19 lockdown, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)…has left no stone unturned in ensuring timely and effective delivery of services to its members,” a labour ministry statement said.

Despite the lockdown restrictions, EPFO settled a staggering 36.02 lakh claims thereby disbursing Rs 11,540 crore to its members during April and May, it said.

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Out of this, 15.54 lakh claims, which saw disbursement of Rs 4,580 crore to claimants, were related to the recently introduced COVID-19 advance under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), it said.

The COVID-19 advance has been a great help to EPFO members during these difficult times, especially for the members with monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000.

“Receiving the COVID-19 advance to the extent of basic wages and DA (dearness allowance) for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, has provided timely relief to many workers, preventing them from falling into indebtedness,” it said.

A look at the data pointed out that more than 74 per cent of total claimants during the lockdown were those who had monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000.

The high income category with wages more than Rs 50,000 accounted for a mere 2 per cent of the claimants. Approximately 24 per cent of claims were made by the members with wages falling in the slab of Rs 15,000-50,000, it added.

Respecting the social distancing norms at workplace, EPFO worked with less than 50 per cent staff during the lockdown. Notwithstanding the shortage of manpower, EPFO significantly brought down the claim settlement period from around 10 days to roughly 3 days for COVID-19 advances.

Moreover, against 33.75 lakh claims settled in April-May 2019, a total of 36.02 lakh claims were settled in April-May this year with less than 50 per cent staff being able to attend work, which is more than 100 per cent increase in productivity of workforce.

Apart from commitment of staff, use of artificial intelligence played a big role in achieving new benchmarks in claim settlement. As EPFO offices operated with skeletal staff, an out of the box innovation was needed to meet the expectations of its members. Turning adversity into advantage, EPFO launched its first fully automatic claim settlement system in a record time of just five days.

Almost 54 per cent of the COVID-19 claims are now being settled through the auto mode. This system is expected to drastically cut down claim settlement time for EPFO in future, it added.

With automation and dedicated workforce, EPFO is settling more than 80,000 claims every working day amounting to about Rs 270 crore, ensuring social security support for its members in times of crisis.

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