COVID-19 PF Withdrawal: The government had recently allowed salaried employees to withdraw PF contribution up to a certain amount in order to tide over the financial crunch that they may be facing during the COVID-19 crisis. The maximum limit that one can withdraw is 75 per cent of the PF balance or three months of basic wages plus dearness allowance, whichever is lower. There is no last date to withdraw the PF amount to meet the COVID-19 financial concerns and as per EPFO, it will be available till the pandemic prevails.
To complete the PF withdrawal process, one needs to log-on to the Unified Portal of the EPFO and using the Universal Account Number (UAN) and password one has to place the request for the non-refundable advance. Alternatively, the PF withdrawal request can also be placed using the UMANG app.
“Employees with UAN number and Aadhaar linking and relevant documents found the online withdrawal process extremely convenient and speedy while those where the records showed discrepancy had to first ensure that requisite steps for KYC, Aadhaar linking were done and then apply for withdrawal,” says Aarti Raote, Partner, Deloitte India.
The UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) app is basically a platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen-centric services including provident fund services.
The UMANG APP can be downloaded by giving a missed call 9718397183. The APP can also be downloaded from UMANG website or from the play store or app stores.
The stepwise process to withdraw PF using UMANG app
Step 1: Open Umang app
Step 2: Select EPFO
Step 3: Select “Request for Advance (COVID-19)”
Step 4: Enter your UAN details and click on ‘Get OTP’ to get one-time password. Use this OTP to login in your account.
Step 5: Enter the OTP and click on login. Once you are logged in you are required to enter the last four digits of your bank account and select the member ID from the drop-down menu.
Click on “Proceed for claim”
Step 6: Enter your address. Click on ‘Next’.
Step 7: Upload the cheque image with your account number and name printed on it. Once all the details are entered, your claim will be successfully filed.
In case you have more than two UAN, it is better to transfer all the previous PF numbers to the current PF account linked to the current UAN. For that, you will have to initially file the transfer claim and then avail PF advance for COVID-19. This will help you avail a higher amount of PF advance.
And, if you are not able to file the claim as details are not matching, you will have to log-on to the Unified Portal for members and rectify them before filing the claim. Even if one has lost a job in the current COVID crisis, the PF advance against COVID-19 can be availed by the individual member.
Maximum withdrawal limit
No matter how much is your PF balance, the maximum limit for EPF advance is capped. For example, if person A has a monthly wage of Rs 20000, the entitled advance amount is Rs 60000. If person A has monthly wages of Rs 30000, the amount of advance will be restricted to Rs 75000. So, even if both A and B have Rs 1 lakh each as PF balance, the maximum limit will be different for them.
Claim Status Check
After filing the claim, you may check the status by accessing online services after logging in. As per the organisation, the EPFO is settling claims for availing advance to fight COVID-19 pandemic within 3 working days. After processing of the claims, EPFO sends the cheque to the bank for crediting the amount to the bank account of the claimant which usually takes an additional one to three working days to credit advance in one’s bank account.