EPFO to ensure claims not rejected on multiple grounds | The Financial Express

EPFO to ensure claims not rejected on multiple grounds

In a recent letter to its field offices, the EPFO has now laid down strict guidelines to ensure claims are processed at the earliest and the same claim is not rejected on multiple grounds.

EPFO to ensure claims not rejected on multiple grounds
Technically, PF claims can be settled in as few as 20 days, but often members complain that their claims are rejected on various grounds. (File)

In a bid to improve service delivery to its members, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has asked its field formations to cut down delays in processing of claims and ensure that they are not rejected on unreasonable grounds or multiple times.

In a recent letter to its field offices, the EPFO has now laid down strict guidelines to ensure claims are processed at the earliest and the same claim is not rejected on multiple grounds.

The EPFO has underlined that every claim must be thoroughly checked in the first instance and the member must be informed of the reasons for the rejection at the first instance. It has been found that often a single claim is rejected time and again on different grounds.

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Further, the regional or additional PF commissioner will be responsible for rejection of claims in their jurisdiction. A sample monthly check of rejected claims — 50 rejected claims or 1% of rejected claims, whichever is higher — will be conducted every month and the data should be submitted to the zonal office.

The field offices will also be expected to send a report on monthly rejection of the same PF claims to the zonal office for a review to ensure they are processed within the expected timelines.

The EPFO’s letter has come after complaints from many members and stake holders of undue delay and harassment in providing the statutory services within the prescribed time limits. Many members have also highlighted irregular practices being adopted in some PF offices due to which their applications are being returned multiple times.

“Needless to say, these practices border on unfairness and will not only bring down the service standards of the organisation but also expose the indiscriminate exercise of powers vested on the concerned officials and shows the organisation in a poor light,” the EPFO said in the letter.

To cut down on such delays, it has also said field offices are to conduct prevent vigilance exercises as a supportive arrangement to reduce such malpractices.

Members can withdraw fully or partially from their provident fund on various grounds, such as house building, marriage or loss of job through an online or physical application. The EPFO had cleared nearly 40 million claims in the last one year.

Officials point out that claims can be rejected on various grounds such as incorrect details or lack of KYC.

Technically, PF claims can be settled in as few as 20 days, but often members complain that their claims are rejected on various grounds.

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To help members tide over the liquidity needs during the Covid-19 pandemic, the EPFO had fast tracked settling of Covid-19 advances and illness-related claims. It introduced an auto mode of settlement for these two categories of advances. The auto mode of settlement reduced the claim settlement cycle to just three days for most claims in these two categories.

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First published on: 07-12-2022 at 00:45 IST