The EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation) has processed about 1.37 lakh EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) claims and disbursed an amount of Rs 279.65 crore towards it under the new provision especially formulated for subscribers to fight COVID-19 related financial needs.
The Labour Ministry in a statement on Friday said that the remittances of the amount towards these claims have already started taking place.
"The system as it stands today is processing all applications which are fully KYC compliant within less than 72 hours," it said.
"Members, who have applied for claims in some other category, can also file claim to fight pandemic and depending upon the KYC compliance condition of each member, every effort is being made to settle claims at the earliest," it added.
As part of its economic relief package to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Finance Ministry had announced a special withdrawal provision from the EPF Scheme as part of the PMGKY scheme on 28 March that allowed a non-refundable withdrawal up to three months of basic wages and dearness allowance or up to 75 percent of the amount standing to member's credit in the EPF account, whichever is less.
This is the maximum amount, a member can apply for a lesser amount and "being an advance, does not attract income tax deductions," the ministry said.
"Anticipating the huge surge in the demand, EPFO came out with a completely new software which has been developed from scratch and a receipt module for on-line receipt of the claims was introduced within 24 hours and deployed on 29th March 2020. Further, the application was required to be in paperless form to curtail any physical movement in view of social distancing. It was decided to introduce a system of settling claims in auto mode directly by the system in respect of all such members whose KYC requirements was complete in all respects," the Labour Ministry's statement said on Friday.
Subscribers can apply for the EPF pandemic advance withdrawals online only. Claims can only be made by KYC compliant accounts.
EPFO has also relaxed date of birth correction criteria to ease KYC compliance for subscribers by accepting Aadhaar card as valid proof for rectification of the date in PF records, with variation in the date of birth of only up to three years.