The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has allowed its members to avail the second non-refundable Covid-19 advance, a measure which has been announced keeping in view the raging second wave of the pandemic, which has especially turned out to be a devastating one for the country.
The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during the pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).
An amendment to this effect was made by Ministry of Labour & Employment in Employees' Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 by inserting a provision, under which non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to member's credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, is provided.
Members can apply for lesser amount also, according to the rules.
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.
During the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, ‘Mucormycosis' or Black Fungus has been declared an epidemic recently.
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 the urgent need of members for financial support in these trying times, it has been decided to accord top priority to Covid-19 claims, official sources said.
For this purpose, EPFO has deployed a system driven auto-claim settlement process for all such members whose KYC requirements are complete.
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.