Things You Didn’t Know About UIF Payments

Things You Didn’t Know About UIF Payments

Things You Didn’t Know About UIF Payments

Things You Didn't Know About UIF Payments
Things You Didn’t Know About UIF Payments

We’ll be detailing you on things you need to know about UIF payments. I know some people will ask, what is a UIF payment? It is simply that part of the South African government’s social security program which provides short-term relief to contributors who are unable to work.

This is quite good news because it will enable those previously contributing to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), for a specified period, to claim benefits if they are out of work, unable to work due to illness, or have to take maternity or adoption leave. So to say, employers are required to register their workers for UIF as soon as they commence work. They are also required to pay the UIF contribution – 1% of which is deducted from the worker’s salary and 1% of which is contributed by the employer – to the UIF every month. This totals about 2% of contributions to the worker’s salary. So, therefore, read further below in order to know about UIF payments.

Is there any other thing to know about UIF payments? One other thing to know about UIF payments is the fact that the payment is due for unemployment benefits, illness benefits, maternity benefits, and death benefits. Talking about all these benefits; the illness benefit can be claimed if you are ill for two weeks or longer. There’s also the maternity benefit which can be claimed if you are pregnant and taking maternity leave. You can take maternity leave from four weeks before the expected date of birth and you may not work for a period of six weeks after the birth. Not only that, but there’s also adoption benefits. This works properly if you legally adopt a child younger than two years old and take time off from work to look after the child. However, only one of the adoptive parents can apply for benefits. Also, if your wife, husband, dad, mom, or anybody related to you contributed to the fund but unfortunately died, you’ll stand the chance of claiming death benefits with respect to that deceased person.

Things You Didn't Know About UIF Payments
Things You Didn’t Know About UIF Payments

All You Need to Know About UIF Payments

Everything you need to know about UIF payments prior to the qualifications and how the application works will be highlighted below:

Beneficiaries of the UIF Payments

Just like it’s been highlighted for you above that this fund was set aside by the government in order to provide temporal relief to workers laid-off due to the pandemic, a woman on maternity leave, or if you have someone that lost his or her life but has been into the UIF payment before.

So therefore, you’re not eligible for the UIF payment due to some following reasons:

  • If you were suspended from your job because you committed fraud
  • If you quit your job
  • If you refused training or advice
  • If you already qualify for a benefit from an unemployment fund under the Labor Relations Act
  • If you already receive benefits from the Compensation Fund
  • Must have been employed for a period of 13 weeks before going on a maternity leave

Who Are Due to Receive this Payment then?

  • You’re eligible for UIF payment if you are not receiving your full salary.
  • To claim illness benefits you must apply within 12 months of not being able to work due to illness. Benefits are paid from the date you stop working.
  • To claim adoption leave benefits, the adopted child must be younger than two and you have to apply within 12 months of the adoption order being issued. And also, only one of the adopting parents can apply for benefits, which are payable from the date that the court grants the adoption order.
  • A surviving spouse or life partner can apply for benefits within 18 months of a contributor’s death. If they do not do so within 12 months, a dependent child can apply for benefits. The child would then have six months and 14 days to apply.
  • Any child of the deceased between the ages of 21 and 25, at the date of the contributor’s death, may also qualify for benefits. The child has to be a student and must have been wholly dependent on the deceased. 
  • An unemployed officer will have to go for training or career counseling. Failure to do this will require your UIF benefits to be canceled.
  • An application for UIF benefits must be made within 12 months of losing your job and benefits are payable from the date after termination.
  • Benefits are also only payable if your employer terminates your service or if your contract expires. No benefits are payable if you resign unless it was a constructive dismissal.

See Also: Level 3 Lock-down in South Africa – All You Need to Know

How Does the Payment Works Exactly?

  • If you’ve been contributing to UIF for four years or more, you can claim for up to 238 days or eight months.
  • If you have been contributing for a shorter period, you can claim one day for every six days that you worked while you were contributing to the fund.
  • If you take maternity leave, you can only claim up to 121 days. You can also have to apply for maternity benefits before your child is born or within 12 months of birth.
  • The amount that you will be paid is determined differently, depending on the amount of your monthly salary. For instance, the fund pays a percentage of the wage/salary that you earned while you were contributing to it. If you earn less than R12 478 a month, you will receive about 36% to 56% of your average monthly salary from the past four years. The higher your salary, the lower the percentage that you will get back. If you earn more than R12 478 a month, you will receive a fixed monthly benefit of between R4 250 and R4 550.

But note that the highest amount that can be paid is 58% of what you earned per day.

How to Carry out the Application as an Unemployed

The following procedures are for you in order to seek for UIF payment if you’re fired or retrenched or if the contract with your company ends:

  • The first step is to visit any department of labor branch office and sign an unemployment register.
  • After that, you’ll be required to return every four weeks to sign the register again and show that you still need unemployment benefits.
  • These relevant forms are available directly from the department’s offices, or you can download them from

Documents required are as follows:

  • Your green barcode ID book or passport
  • Proof of your registration as someone who is seeking work (signing the unemployment register at the department of labor’s office)
  • A service certificate from your employer
  • A copy of your last six payslips
  • A form filled in with your banking details (form UI-2.8)
  • A form that shows that you are no longer employed (form UI-19)
  • If you’re ill, a medical certificate must be submitted to the UIF and benefits are only payable for an illness that lasts longer than seven days.


If you’re having an issue with the procedure of application or payment even after successfully applying, you can just send an SMS to 35697 using the keyword UIF before stating your complaint. Remember, you’ll have to include your name and location.

Bonus Tip – SASSA Unemployment Relief Fund

This payment just like the UIF is also set aside to help the need of the vulnerable and people unemployed, who may be badly affected by the economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This new emergency grant was aimed at people who are currently unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) payment.

We’ll be looking at the beneficiaries and equally the requirements needed for this grant:


  • Applicants must be South African by Nationality
  • Must be above 18 years of age
  • Currently unemployed
  • The person must not be receiving any income
  • Not receiving any social grant
  • Not receiving any unemployment benefits and does not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Must not be receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme
  • Not residing in a government funded or subsidized institution.


  • National Identity Number
  • Full Name as it is written in the ID
  • Gender and Disability
  • Bank details, which comprises Bank Name and Account Number
  • Contact details
  • Proof of Residential Address
  • Applicants are therefore required to go to their nearest SASSA office with the required documentation and carry-out their application.

SASSA equally issues Social Relief of Distress (SRD) in the form of food parcels as a temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such dire need that they are unable to meet their families’ most basic needs. SRD is paid to South African citizens, permanent residents, or refugees who have insufficient means. 

Criteria for those who qualify for the SRD payment are listed below:

  • Those receiving temporary disability grants that lapsed in March 2020
  • Those who have had disasters in their communities such as floods and fires as defined in the Disaster Management Act, 1978
  • If a breadwinner in the family has passed on and application is made within 12 months of the date of death
  • If everyone in a household is unemployed and needs government assistance in the form of food parcels
  • Child headed household
  • If you cannot work for medical reasons for a period of six months.