2nd Covid wave: Over 6 crore EPFO subscribers dip into their provident fund kitty

Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, on Monday, allowed its over six crore subscribers to avail the second round of non-refundable advance from their provident fund kitty as the second wave of the pandemic has hit incomes and have led to surge in health expenditure across millions of households.

“During the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, ‘mucormycosis’ or black fungus has been declared an epidemic recently. In such trying times, EPFO endeavours to lend a helping hand to its members by meeting their financial needs,” EPFO said in a statement.

“Members who have already availed the first COVID-19 advance can now opt for a second advance also,” it said, adding that the provision and process for withdrawal of second COVID-19 advance is same as in the case of first advance.

Government had in March 2020 provided for a special withdrawal option to EPFO subscribers to meet the financial need of members during the pandemic under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

Under this, non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75% of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, is provided. However, members can apply for a lesser amount also.

EPFO is of the view that the COVID-19 advance facility has been of a great help to its members during the pandemic, especially for those having monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000.

As on date, EPFO has settled more than 76.31 lakh COVID-19 advance disbursing a total of Rs. 18,698.15 crore.

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As per the statement, EPFO will accord top priority to Covid-19 claims considering the urgent need of members for financial support in these trying times. “EPFO is committed to settle these claims within three days of their receipt,” it said.

EPFO has deployed a system driven auto-claim settlement process in respect of all such members whose KYC requirements are complete in all respects. Auto-mode of settlement enables EPFO to reduce the claim settlement cycle to just three days as against the statutory requirement to settle the claims within 20 days, it said.



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