To help meet any economic constraints or emergency fund needs during the lockdown to fight COVID-19, EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation) has introduced 'pandemic advance facility' to employees, wherein members can withdraw up 75 percent of the amount or 3 months' basic salary and dearness allowance, whichever is less.
The benefit has been extended to all workers who are registered with EPFO. The Employees' Provident Fund Scheme 1952 has been accordingly amended to facilitate non-refundable advance to EPF members as they deal with the pandemic and its consequences.
How much can one withdraw under the pandemic advance facility?
One can withdraw up to 75 percent of their EPF account balance or three months' basic wages (plus DA) or the required amount, whichever is lower.
All members who mandatorily contribute 12 percent of their basic pay towards the EPF account every month can use this facility.
To be able to apply for the advance, you need to have an active UAN (Universal Account Number) which must be linked to your mobile number. The UAN should also be KYC (Know Your Customer) compliant with updated information about your Aadhaar, PAN and bank account details.
Your Aadhaar needs to be linked with UAN.
If you have not activated your UAN, you can visit EPFO's home page > Services > Employees > Member UAN/Online services or click here. Enter details like your UAN, PF number and mobile number to activate the account and access services online. You can find details on your UAN and PF ID on your salary slip.
How to apply for the pandemic advance facility?
- Login into the EPFO portal for employees with UAN and password.
- Go to Online Services > Claim (Form-31,19,10C & 10D)
- Enter the last 4 digits of your Bank Account and verify
- Click on "Proceed For Online Claim."
- Select PF Advance (Form 31) from the drop-down.
- Select purpose as "Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)" from the drop-down.
- Enter amount required and upload scanned copy of cheque and enter your address.
- Click on "Get Aadhaar OTP."
- Enter the OTP received on Aadhaar linked mobile.
Employer's approval required
Once the claim is submitted, it will be forwarded to the respective employer for approval. On approval (which the employer can do online), the amount will be credited to the employee's account registered under UAN details.
The retirement fund organisation's central provident fund commissioner has urged all exempted establishments to ensure settling various claims of their employees in online mode.