In a bid to provide relief to citizens affected by the second wave coronavirus pandemic, the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has allowed its members to avail one more non-refundable advance from their EPF deposits. Last year, EPFO permitted its members to withdraw a one-time advance in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).
“To support its subscribers during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO has now allowed its members to avail second non-refundable COVID-19 advance. The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY),” read the statement issued by the ministry of labour and employment.
EPFO allows subscribers to withdraw non-refundable advance in certain cases like illness, buying a house etc. Now, individuals can withdraw money from their PF account, citing COVID-19 pandemic as a reason.
The EPFO will also settle COVID-19 claims within three days, the ministry of labour and employment said . Members who have already availed the first COVID-19 advance can now opt for a second advance also. The provision and process for withdrawal of second COVID-19 advance is same as in the case of first advance.
“Considering urgent need of members for financial support in these trying times, it has been decided to accord top priority to COVID-19 claims. EPFO is committed to settle these claims within three days of their receipt,” the statement mentioned.
The ministry said that the COVID-19 advance has been a great help to the EPF 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 claims thereby disbursing a total of Rs. 18,698.15 crore,” it added.
EPFO has deployed a system driven auto-claim settlement process in respect of all such members whose KYC requirements is complete in all respects.