Frequent Asked UIF Questions during Covid-19

For Employees:

I have been working and money has been deducted from my salary/wages for UIF. However, as I wanted to claim I was informed that I am not registered with UIF. What should I do?

There are two possible reasons:

  1. Your Employer has been paying UIF through SARS but has not been declaring you as an Employee.
  2. Your Employer has not been forwarding the Money deducted from your Salary to the UIF.

Email should be sent to:

The Company I work for has been deducting money for UIF for 13 years, however the UIF online systems shows that I have been contributing only for 8 Months. What should I do?

There are two possible reasons:

  1. Your Employer has been paying UIF through SARS but has not been declaring you as an Employee.
  2. Your Employer has not been forwarding the Money deducted from your Salary to the UIF.

Email should be sent to:

My UI19 / UI benefit claim was approved, and I received confirmation via SMS before the lockdown. Will I receive my money and when?

The UI Commissioner has issued a Directive to ensure that all applications that were approved pre-lockdown are paid.

I am unemployed and have been receiving UI benefits for some time now. I was unable to submit a Continuation Form at a Labour Centre due to the Lockdown. What is going to happen?

The UI Commissioner has issued a Directive to ensure that all beneficiaries that were supposed to submit continuation forms are paid without submitting any continuation form.

I am working during the lockdown. However, my working hours as well as salary have been reduced by my Employer. Do I qualify to apply for UIF?

You can apply online for yourself if your Employer has not applied for you.

I have not received my salary for March and April. I have now been informed that the company is under business rescue. Can I apply for UIF?

Yes, you can still apply

I have successfully applied for UI online today. What should happen?

Applications are processed within 48 hours of receipt. Check your application status online.
I was retrenched in February and did apply for UI benefits at a Labour Centre. I was informed by an official at the Labour Centre that I should wait for 35 working days.

Valid applications for UI benefits are processed within 2 working days. A UI reference number received during the day of application can be used to trace the application status. There is no 35 working days waiting period.

My Employer is refusing to apply for UIF on my behalf and is instead using unpaid leave for everyday that I am away from work because of the lockdown. What can I do?

You can apply for yourself on the same portal that is used by Employers to apply.

I worked for 15 Years and paid UIF this whole time, and never made any UI Claims. Then I resigned 2 years ago. I have been unemployed ever since, and I want to claim UIF, but I am unable to do so. Can’t the UI Laws be relaxed?

No the laws will not be relaxed. They are there to protect workers who are out of a job not because of their own. Those who voluntarily resign from their work cannot claim from insurance.

My Employer made me sign unpaid leave, and then offered me a loan with interest as a salary.

This must be reported to the relevant Union, as it is not allowed. Labour Inspectors must be sent to that company to ensure that no unlawful measures are taken against employees during this time.

I have been employed since last year, and I checked online to see if my Employer pays our UIF. He does not. What should I do
I have been receiving UIF benefits for 11 months. And I was due to start a new job on the 1st April 2020. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, I will now be claiming for the 12month in April. What is going to happen to me if the lockdown continues? Will my claims benefit be extended?

UIF can only pay up to 12 months. You will need to explore other relief measures introduced by government. E.g. Social Relief Unemployment Grant.

I worked at a company for 6 years and I left due to an illness. My application for UI benefits was declined because I resigned. What should I do?

You need to supply an affidavit from your doctor to prove that you left ‘due to an illness. The Appeals Committee will consider the affidavit.

My Employer is refusing to apply on our behalf despite the fact that we have been contributing to UIF. What can we do?

On the same portal, there is an option for employees to apply for themselves if the employer is refusing to apply for them.

The UIF system shows that I have no Employment history?

This means your Employers have never declared you as their Please request a UI19 from your latest/Former Employer and upload it online on Ufiling. The website is zero-rated by Vodacom therefore; no data costs will be incurred.

 For Employers:

Company received payment from the UIF. However, it does not show how we are supposed to split the money amongst the Employees?

A Schedule regarding the breakdown of whom should be paid, and how much they should be paid will be made available to every Employer that has received payments. Amount is determined on a sliding scale of 38% - 60%.

Who is supposed to apply?

An Employer should apply on behalf of their employees. If the Employer is unable or unwilling to apply, then the Employee should apply for themselves.

Now that the lockdown has been extended indefinitely, what is going to happen?

The COVID19TERS benefit is for the duration of the lockdown. Therefore, as long as the lockdown remains in place, the benefit will also remain in place.

I have been informed that the application closing date for April payments is 30 April 2020. What happens if I have not yet applied?

You still have a chance to apply, and if you have applied but are still awaiting a response, that response will still be provided even after April 30.

I am an independent film contractor and I was due to start production before the lockdown. I am the only employee of my company. Can I apply for Covid19TERS?

No. Please explore other government options including DSBD for small business assistance.

I own a small company and my employees do not earn a salary, they are paid on commission. I pay UIF through SARS. Do I qualify for Covid19TERS?

Yes, you qualify. You just need to apply an average salary in border to ensure that UIF can calculate payments for your employees.

I am struggling to upload the required information in the required format. What should I do?

Unfortunately, all required information is necessary for UIF to process claims. UIF has now uploaded steps on how to successfully upload CSV files to the portal. Kindly follow the instructions on the guide.

Can’t the UIF utilise SARS to assist with the fast tracking of payments to applications for Covid19TERS?

The UIF is currently in talks with SARS to determine how best they can assist the Fund in the process verification and payment to Employers already on their system. These engagements will also be determined by our existing partnership with SARS, as they are already our Revenue Collector.

Why do some Employees end up being paid whereas others are rejected but all work for the same Employer?

There are several possible reasons:

a) We have put measures in place to curb Fraud and therefore if they pick up any anomaly we may refrain from paying

b) Some Employers declare fewer employees than the actual number of employees that they have, therefore when payments are made, those employees that do not appear on the system (because they are not declared) are not paid until such time that they are declared. When an Employer does not declare certain Employees, it become difficult to establish whether there is even an Employer/Employee relationship between the two.

c) There can be a genuine mistake on the part of Employer, e.g. applying for someone who is already receiving other UIF benefits such as maternity or unemployment benefits. If an Employer makes use of a Payroll Specialist/company to make payments and declarations of UIF on their behalf and that Specialist/company do not forward either one or both to the UIF. Since they would not be reflecting on UIF systems, UIF will not pay.

We made an application for COVID19TERS and we received some payment without any details regarding who should be paid and how much?

This has been resolved. For those who have received a payment, we now send a schedule containing a breakdown of the payments for each Employee. Alternatively, you can send an email to to request a breakdown schedule 

Some of my Employees are Foreign Nationals and when I applied for all my Employees, only the South African ones received their payments, and all the Foreign Nationals were rejected. We were informed that the UIF system only recognises SA ID numbers and not Passports.

Foreign Nationals’ applications are tested against the Department of Home Affairs (DHA)’s systems to ensure that those Employees are in the country legally and they have the right to work (they are holding a necessary permit that allows them to work in SA).



Who can apply for the covid19 relief benefit?

a) Any UIF contributing business facing distress, unable to pay salaries as a result of the lock down period (27 March 2020 – 30 April 2020); and

b) Any employee who is contributor (works more than 24 hours a month) and there is an employer and employee relationship.

How do I apply?

Companies are encouraged to apply on behalf of their employees by:

a) Visiting

b) Registering and follow application process

c) Sending email to COVID19ters for a National Disaster Staff template should you needs to load a CSV file.

d) An email will be sent to your mailbox to indicate successful transmission.

Should I have enquiries how do I make contact?

Please call 0800 030 007 for any enquiries

What is the deadline for the submission of applications?

This is informed by the Presidents pronouncement and right now, it is for the period of 27 March until 30 April.

Do employers who are not registered with UIF qualify for the relief benefit?

Companies who have registered with UIF just after the 15 March 2020 may not be eligible for the Benefit.

Do informal businesses like spaza shops, hair saloons etc. qualify?

Yes if they are registered with the UIF. Other Informal businesses not registered with UIF will not qualify for this benefit, instead they must check with the Department of Small Business Development for support they offer at

As a domestic worker, can my employer apply for the Covid19 TERS benefit?

Yes, your employer can apply for the Covid 19 TERS Benefit provided you are registered with the UIF.

Do commission earners and freelancers qualify for covid19 TERS benefit?

In normal circumstances, Commission earners and freelance employees are not contributors to the UIF; therefore, they will be regarded as non-contributors and will thus not qualify for this benefit.

How long does it take to process the application?

If application is complete and accurately captured, the turnaround time will be 10 days.“THE COVID19TERS BENEFIT WILL NOT AFFECT ANY CREDITS BECAUSE IT IS A SPECIAL BENEFIT”

    How much will I be paid?

    The minimum amount to be paid by UIF to clients is R 3 500.00.
    The maximum amount to be paid by UIF to clients is R 6 638.40.

    As per Schedule 2 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, No 32 of 2003
    the benefit due is calculated as follows:
    Daily income for weekly earners = Weekly rate *52 / 365
    Daily income for monthly earners = Monthly rate * 12 / 365
    Benefit = Daily Income * IRR

    Where IRR is the Income Replacement Rate corresponding to the contributor’s daily income, which is defined as: The Income Replacement Rate (IRR) determines the percentage of a contributor’s previous income to which the contributor is entitled in the form of benefits. The IRR is a variable, so it defines a sliding scale. A contributor who previously earned a low wage is entitled to receive benefits representing a larger proportion of her or his previous income than a contributor who previously earned a higher wage.

    The IRR is at its maximum when income equals zero, and it reaches its minimum where income is equal to the benefit transition income level. The maximum IRR is fixed at 60%. The minimum IRR is currently set at 38%. However, the Minister may vary the minimum IRR in terms of section 12(3) (b).

    Using current values, the IRR can be calculated according to the following formula:
    IRR = 29.2 + (7173.92 / (232.92 + Yi))
    Where Yi represents a contributor’s monthly rate of income. (Consistency of units is essential. To calculate IRR from daily or weekly rates of pay, please refer to the more detailed explanation of the IRR formula in the technical note below.)

    Scenario: 1
    Worked as a contributor with the remuneration being R 4 000 per month. This remuneration will also be used as the average remuneration earned 4 000 for the last 6 months)

    Step 1: Determine Daily Income (monthly remuneration X 12/365)

    R 4 000 X 12 = 48 000/365
    Daily Income: R 131.51
    Formula: 29.2 + (7173.92 / (232.92 + DI)
    29.2 + (7173.92 / (232.92 + 131.51)
    29.2 + (7173.92/ 364.43)
    29.2 + 19.69

    Client would be paid on an IRR of 48.89% for the number of days: R131. 51 x 48.89% = R 64. 29 (Daily Benefit Amount)


    30 Days


    Benefit amount



    NB: In this scenario since the amount due to the client is below the minimum wage R 3500.00, the amount to be paid will be R 3 500.00.



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